Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Obama Weighs In

Well, Obama has finally weighed in on the Supreme Court hearings regarding the ACA, saying yesterday that for the Court to rule against the act would amount to, “judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint - that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.” So, in the words of Ian Welsh the other day, I guess this is “the hill he wants to die on.”

The second half of that statement is remarkably silly coming from the mouth of someone who claims to be a constitutional scholar. I make no such claim, but even I know that overturning laws passed by Congress when they are not in accordance with our constitution is precisely the purpose for which the Supreme Court was created. If the Court is not examining and occasionally overturning “duly constituted and passed law” then why do we even have the damned thing?

Obama, the constitutional scholar, has a remarkable inability to grasp the “three equal branches of government” thing. He does not believe that Congress can direct him when to engage in war and when not to do so, and now he believes that the Supreme Court is powerless in the face of any action taken by Congress. What does he think the Supreme Court has been doing for the past 200+ years?

And of course the Obama supporters are cheering wildly that Obama is “fighting back” and is going to do battle for “health care reform” and is going to “run against the court.” All he’s actually doing, of course, is a little bit of feckless name calling, but his loyalists love that sort of thing.

I recall a few years back when Republicans were objecting to various court rulings, gay marriage for instance, and they referred to "activist judges" and "judicial activism" and liberals cried foul. They said that conservatives were just sore losers and that the judges were just doing their jobs, and that the laws were interpreted correctly by these judges.

Now we have Obama saying that if the law that he signed into being is overturned that it would be "judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint" and the response of liberals is to cheer and be delighted that he is going to fight the Supreme Court. Even though he is saying, actually, that the conservatives were right back then in their criticism of the liberal rulings.

What is the difference between the two instances? Why do liberals cry foul at an argument made by the other side and cheer when the same argument is made by their side? Merely because they like the one judicial decision and dislike the other? Isn't that a little bit sanctimonious?

Oh, of course not. It’s because one decision is right, and the other wrong.

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