The PJ Tatler

The Constitutional Lawyer in the White House Has Lost Unanimously at the Supreme Court 20 Times

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has argued cases before the United States Supreme Court, successfully. President Barack Obama has not. He has never argued a case at the Supreme Court at all. That didn’t stop his spokesmen from playing the constitutional lawyer credential card when reacting to the Hobby Lobby defeat on Monday.

Sen. Cruz is also an excellent troll, very much a match for Obama on that score. Obama treats matters of law as opportunities to troll — see both his handling of the border and his Obamacare abortifacient mandate. Obama is trolling everyone on one thing or another.

Cruz is trolling Obama on his record of getting his backside handed to him by SCOTUS. The president has lost 20 cases by unanimous decision since January 2009 according to Sen. Cruz. In some of those cases, the president’s administration argued for some sweeping, disturbing powers.

  • Attach GPSs to a citizen’s vehicle to monitor his movements, without having any cause to believe that a person has committed a crime (United States v. Jones);
  • Deprive landowners of the right to challenge potential government fines as high as
    $75,000 per day and take away their ability have a hearing to challenge those fines (Sackett v. EPA);
  • Interfere with a church’s selection of its own ministers (Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. EEOC);
  • Override state law through the Presidential fiat (Arizona v. United States);
  • Dramatically  extend  statutes  of  limitations  to  impose  penalties  for  acts  committed decades ago (Gabelli v. SEC);
  • Destroy private property without paying just compensation (Arkansas Fish & Game Commission v. United States);
  • Impose double income taxation (PPL Corp. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue);
  • Limit property owner’s constitutional defenses (Horne v. USDA); and
  • Drastically expand federal criminal law (Sekhar v. United States).

Obama wasn’t done, as you’ll see on the next page. Those were his early unanimous defeats at SCOTUS. Here some of his more recent ones.

  • Unilaterally install officers and bypass the Senate confirmation process (NLRB v. Noel Canning);
  • Search the contents of cell phones without a warrant (Riley v. California);
  • Use international treaties to displace state sovereignty over criminal law (Bond v. United States);
  • Expand federal mandatory minimum sentencing laws (Burrage v. United States);

See the rest at Cruz’s blog. It’s fair to say that had Obama prevailed even in half of those cases, it would have had a transformative effect on the American system of government and our relationship between citizen and state. The Senate’s advise and consent role in presidential appointments could have been dissolved. Local churches could have lost their ability to hire and fire their own leaders and staff. More of us may have been criminalized, while our property rights eroded further. Had he prevailed in all of them, a number of fundamental individual rights would have disappeared or been handed over to the federal government.