I’ve been considering President Obama’s comments about the Supreme Court potentially overturning ObamaCare deciding if he was serious or making the usual political hay politicians are wont to do when they think a ruling bu the judiciary will not be to their benefit. I’ve come to the conclusion it was a bit of both. The fact that it was a bit of both only reaffirms my belief that Obama does not understand how the U.S. Constitution and the government derived from it works.
President Obama claimed that it was unprecedented for the SCOTUS to overturn “a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.” Obviously the President has conveniently forgotten that last two hundred years or so in which the SCOTUS has acted as a judicial review of laws that may infringe upon, if not outright counter, the framework of the Constitutional government and Bill of Rights all Americans live under. That hardly makes the SCOTUS overruling laws passed by a majority of Congress unprecedented.
Disturbingly, President Obama tried to imply that the number of votes that passed ObamaCare somehow makes it exempt from challenge or judicial review; that the Legislature and Executive branches of the Federal Government were above any and all judicial process. That is the mindset of would be dictators, not democratically minded politicians. The President clearly does not understand that the United States is a Federal Republic in which democracy exists, but the “mob rule” is not allowed to trample those that were in the minority of a vote. This attitude is a primary reason the Founders established our three-part government: to establish checks and balances that prevent any part of the triad from being able to usurp control of the nation for their own ends and rule without restraint.
So I am left wondering:
- Was Obama playing politics, trying to stoke up furor amongst his base and the radical left?
- Does Obama truly believe the Executive and Legislative branch can make laws without allowing for redress by the public via judicial challenges and review?
As to playing politics, I have no doubt that is exactly what Obama was doing. Unfortunately all he did was harden both sides and perhaps alienated those on the fence concerned that this was an indicator for Obama’s nascent desire for greater power via larger government and perhaps even attempting to intimidate the SCOTUS into submission to his policies.
Does Obama believe the Executive and Legislative branch can rule without public redress? I believe he does. He’s always been a man who supports expansive overarching government.
However, in his support for big government, he has forgotten that since pretty much the founding of the United States the public has always had the right to challenge laws thought to be unfair, discriminatory, or otherwise detrimental to individual liberties, rights, and freedoms. The President forgot something important about the founding of this nation: the Revolution was in part response to the rulers (King George and his court) refusing to acknowledge the legitimate grievances of their subjects in the Colonies.
Curiously, Obama has no complaints about prior “judicial activism” of the SCOTUS. Perhaps he needs a reminder of just a few important decisions resulting from SCOTUS rulings:
- Miranda rights.
- Abortion rights.
- Contraceptive rights.
- Ruling anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional. (I.e. Allowing marriage between races)
While I feel the SCOTUS has made several severely flawed decisions, especially of late, and no longer believe they always make the correct, let alone truly constitutional decision, I’ll take the opinions of the Justices musings over that of a blow-hard politician, even if he is the President, any day of the week.