Obama sounds like a right-winger with his foolish rhetoric about unelected Supreme Court

The Founding Fathers had the good sense to try to insulate the U.S. Supreme Court from the transitory winds of public opinion by writing into the Constitution the provision that members of the court are appointed rather than elected and serve for life unless they are impeached.

It’s shocking, then, to hear President Obama disapprovingly talk about the chance that an “unelected group of people” on the high court might overturn a law that was passed by “a democratically elected Congress.”

The president was referring, of course, to the Affordable Care Act (or ObamaCare, as it’s commonly called).

The story is HERE:

President Obama, employing his strongest language to date on the Supreme Court review of the federal health care overhaul, cautioned the court Monday against overturning the law — while repeatedly saying he’s “confident” it will be upheld…

The president, adopting what he described as the language of conservatives who fret about judicial activism, questioned how an “unelected group of people” could overturn a law approved by Congress. 

Shame on him! Silly rhetoric about the judicial activism of an unelected Supreme Court is the stuff of wingnuts. For this Democratic president to employ the same sort of argument is completely out of character.

UPDATE: Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post also is TAKEN ABACK by the president’s remarks:

Obama’s assault on “an unelected group of people” stopped me cold. Because, as the former constitutional law professor certainly understands, it is the essence of our governmental system to vest in the court the ultimate power to decide the meaning of the constitution. Even if, as the president said, it means overturning “a duly constituted and passed law.”

Of course, acts of Congress are entitled to judicial deference and a presumption of constitutionality.  The decision to declare a statute unconstitutional, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in 1927, is “the gravest and most delicate duty that this court is called on to perform.”

But the president went too far in asserting that it “would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step” for the court to overturn “a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”  That’s what courts have done since Marbury v. Madison.  The size of the congressional majority is of no constitutional significance. We give the ultimate authority to decide constitutional questions to “a group of unelected people” precisely to insulate them from public opinion.

UPDATE II: Another Washington Post pundit, Greg Sargent, is NOT SO CRITICAL of what the president said:

To the fainting couch! Obama attacked the Supreme Court and threatened it with a backlash, should it strike down his tyrannical scheme to impose a government takeover of health care on the nation!

That’s what many conservative writers and even some centrist ones are arguing. They are saying that Obama’s words about the Court yesterday were “unsettling” and a “witch hunt,”and they’re likening them to F.D.R.’s efforts to pack the Court in retaliation for decisions striking down New Deal initiatives.

Please. If what Obama said yesterday is an “attack,” it’s pretty timid stuff indeed.

Obama made several key points in his comments yesterday that critics are citing. First, he said he was “confident” that the Court will uphold the law, that it’s in accordance with legal precedent, and that it’s Constitutional. He noted that legal experts of all stripes, including conservatives, agree. That’s not an attack on the court.



  1. Pat,
    This is exactly the kind of behavior that this president has been displaying for many years. He will do anything to get what he wants when he wants it – and then turns around and says that the Republicans are not participating in bi-partism (spelling) efforts. He waits until Congress is in recess to push parts of his agenda through – bypassing the “democratically elected Congress.” His recent off-mic comments to Russia and what that means to our security. His budget that he sent to the HR got zero votes in favor. No one in the democratic party even thinks his ideas are good regarding his budget ideas.

    I fear that this president will sell out the entire nation be it democrats, republicans, or independants to achieve his dream of a more socialistic type of government.

    I am glad to see that some democrats are beginning to see that this president is very charismatic, well spoken, can instill pictures of grandure with his speeches, but in the end he talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk.

    God Bless America and all of its citizens.

  2. wilson

    “extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”
    Pat conveniently leaves out “strong majority”, but this is what we have come to expect from the liberal media. (911 call editing ring a bell?).
    Then he links to Faux news what is the world coming to?

  3. wilson: Can you get any sillier? How does my omission of “strong majority” from what Obama said slant the story to the liberal side? It doesn’t. It’s irrelevant to the point of this post.

    Nor is there any sense to this question from you: “911 call editing ring a bell?” What the hell is that supposed to mean?

  4. wilson

    You are “thick as a brick”

    What is a “strong” majority?

  5. wilson: If you can’t make yourself clear, why do you even bother submitting comments here?

    Read this question again and try to come up with an answer: How does my omission of “strong majority” from what Obama said slant the story to the liberal side?

  6. Milton Waddams

    Regarding the 911 call editing comment, Wilson is referring to the editing done by NBC on the audio of Zimmerman’s 911 call. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/04/02/nbc-launches-internal-probe-over-edited-11-call-in-trayvon-martin-shooting/

    A strong majority is simply a majority much larger than 51%, pretty sure you should have been able to figure that one out, Wilson.

  7. Milton: Actually, Obama is wrong to say that the Affordable Care Act was passed by “a strong majority.” Rather, it was a slim majority.

    But the question of whether it was slim or strong is irrelevant to the issue of warning the court against judicial activism. I think Obama was wrong to employ such rhetoric.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *