Republicans are blatantly hypocritical in faulting Obama for dissing the Supreme Court

When I took issue HERE with President Obama the other day for disapprovingly discussing the chance that an “unelected group of people” on the Supreme Court might overturn a law that was passed by “a democratically elected Congress,” I did so from what lawyers might call a position of legitimate standing.

I have always taken issue with reckless rhetoric about “unelected” judges resorting to “judicial activism.” In other words, I have a greater right to criticize Obama in this matter than do Republicans who have made even worse statements about the high court.

My argument with Obama is not hypocritical. Most right wing Republicans can’t say the same.

To illustrate my point, allow me to cite the record. 

The 1996 Republican Party platform said this:

The federal judiciary, including the U.S. Supreme Court, has overstepped its authority under the Constitution. It has usurped the right of citizen legislators and popularly elected executives to make law by declaring duly enacted laws to be “unconstitutional” through the misapplication of the principle of judicial review. Any other role for the judiciary, especially when personal preferences masquerade as interpreting the law, is fundamentally at odds with our system of government in which the people and their representatives decide issues great and small.

The 2000 Republican Party platform said this:

The sound principle of judicial review has turned into an intolerable presumption of judicial supremacy. A Republican Congress, working with a Republican president, will restore the separation of powers and reestablish a government of law. There are different ways to achieve that goal—setting terms for federal judges, for example, or using Article III of the Constitution to limit their appellate jurisdiction—but the most important factor is the appointing power of the presidency. We applaud Governor Bush’s pledge to name only judges who have demonstrated that they share his conservative beliefs and respect the Constitution.

In 2008, Republican presidential nominee John McCain said this:

With a presumption that would have amazed the framers of our Constitution, and legal reasoning that would have mystified them, federal judges today issue rulings and opinions on policy questions that should be decided democratically. Assured of lifetime tenures, these judges show little regard for the authority of the president, the Congress, and the states.

What Obama said the other day was no more inflammatory — indeed, was far less so, in some respects — than what Republicans have been saying for years.



  1. expdoc

    The Republicans may be hypocrites, but the Democrats are liars. A small excerpt follows the link. I strongly advise you to read the entire piece.


    The U.S. House has passed a 2013 budget that includes a revised version of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s ambitious plans to curb the dizzily rising costs of Medicare. Democrats claim the plan offered by Ryan, R-Wis., would cripple health coverage for seniors.

    We’ve seen this before. Last year, Democrats attacked Ryan’s Medicare proposal, raising fears the program would disappear. That “Mediscare” campaign was judged the “biggest political lie of 2011” by Politifact, the Tampa Bay Times’ nonpartisan fact-checking website.

    It looks as if Mediscare 2 may claim the biggest-lie title for 2012: Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., calls the latest plan “a Republican path to poverty that would pass like a tornado through America’s nursing homes where millions of America’s seniors receive long-term and end-of-life care.”

    We’re hearing from a lot of concerned readers about this proposal, as we did during the debate last year. It’s worth taking a deep breath and looking at what the latest plan really would mean for various Americans. Some facts:

    • For most seniors who are in Medicare right now, Ryan’s plan would change nothing. They would get the same benefits they get now. Some high-income seniors would pay more for doctor and drug coverage, starting in 2017. That’s it. Rep. DeLauro’s mother has nothing to fear. There will be no tornado through America’s nursing homes.

    • If you are 55 or over, approaching the age of Medicare coverage, Ryan’s plan would change nothing else. You would get the current benefits when you reach the age of Medicare coverage.

    • If you are under 55, Medicare would be substantially different by the time you qualify for coverage. Starting in 2023, the age of eligibility would begin a gradual rise. Right now benefits kick in when Americans turn 65. That eligibility age would reach 67 by 2034. Recipients would have more choices to buy coverage beyond traditional fee-for service care.

    Under the Ryan plan, the government would give future seniors — again, we’re talking about folks who are under 55 today — a certain amount of money to buy health care coverage. That’s called “premium support.” Seniors could buy coverage from a private insurer or from traditional fee-for-service Medicare. Poorer seniors would get more support; wealthier seniors would get less support. No one would be denied coverage.

  2. doc: Your comment was on-subject when you used in a different thread today. But it’s irrelevant here.

  3. Pat,
    At least Doc agrees with you that republicans are hypocrites.

  4. expdoc

    Hypocrisy. Lying. Aren’t they really the same thing?

  5. So Doc, you agree that republicans are liars too. You have seen the light!

  6. Steven McBride

    Let us not forget that Newt Gingrich recently said that judges should be brought to Congress by Federal Marshalls to answer questions about their verdicts. Former President George W. Bush routinely talked about “judicial activism.”

    What President Obama said was APPROPRIATE about there not being a precedence for a judgement against certain parts of the Affordable Care Act.

    It’s only right-wing judges like Jerry Smith, and foaming-at-the-mouth lunatics at Fox “news” that are harping about this.

  7. expdoc

    They are politicians, isn’t that part of the job description Jerry?

    That is a perfect example of why it is foolish to pin your hopes and dreams on government.

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