President Barack Obama used his press time today to launch a frontal assault on the judicial branch of the US government. Speaking to press in the Rose Garden, the president said “Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”
That “strong majority” came entirely from the Democratic Party, which was defeated in the 2010 mid-terms over dissatisfaction with the ObamaCare law. The majority of American voters did not support ObamaCare’s passage and still want the law repealed. So, the president’s call amounts to an appeal to keep an unpopular law intact just because his party passed it and he signed it.
The president continued: “I’d just remind conservative commentators that for years all we’ve heard is that the biggest problem is judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint. That an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, here’s a good example.”
That “unelected group of people” head a branch of the US government that is co-equal with the branch that the president heads. He appointed two of those unelected justices himself, one of which had a hand in formulating the defense of the law that is now under review.
The ObamaCare case is an example of judicial oversight in a case brought against the federal government by 28 state attorneys general. Overturning it would not constitute “judicial activism.” “Duly constituted and passed laws” get overturned by the courts routinely, if they violate the Constitution. The Congress and the president do not always get things right, nor do the courts that review those laws. But it is the system we have and it has worked mostly well for centuries. “Judicial activism” occurs when a court essentially legislates policy from the bench or finds ways to invent powers not expressly granted government in the Constitution. The president, a former adjunct professor of constitutional law, surely knows the difference.
“I continue to be confident that the Supreme Court will uphold the law.”
The president did not appear very confident, while assuring the press of his confidence. He went on to call on the Supreme Court to consider the “human element” in ObamaCare, and essentially abandon its duty to deal with the legality of ObamaCare’s individual mandate.