Now President Obama
is issuing court orders
People who work in their robes are questioning the signature policy
achievement of Barack Obama’s presidency, and he has had just about
enough of it.
Maybe Obama thinks they’re just conservative bloggers, because he
surely isn’t showing them any respect.
The president wagged his finger sternly at the courts on Monday,
implying that if the Supreme Court failed to fall in line with his
plans for government control of one-sixth of the U.S. economy -- and
every U.S. citizen -- the court would make itself a political target.
He couched the threat in a lot of blather indicating that either he
doesn’t realize that many Americans still living today remember how the
passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act came about
way back in 2010, or he doesn’t care that they remember.
Anyone can rewrite history. Rewriting current events takes a special
kind of chutzpah.
“Ultimately,” he said, “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
The Supreme Court has invalidated, on average, two laws a year over the
last 30 years, each of them duly passed by Congress and each of them
deemed out of constitutional bounds. If any of those invalidated laws
passed by a thinner margin than Obamacare -- seven votes in the House
-- it would be a surprise. And it’s guaranteed that none passed with a
more partisan tilt, since every single vote for Obamacare came from a
“And I’d just remind conservative commentators,” the president
continued, “that for years what we’ve heard is, the biggest problem on
the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint -- that
an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted
and passed law. Well, this is a good example. And I’m pretty confident
that this court will recognize that and not take that step.”
Thanks, but after watching carefully shopped-for progressive judges run
interference for leftist causes by feeding the Constitution to the
shredder, conservative commentators don’t need the reminder. Judges who
actually have read the Constitution -- the words actually written
there, which have specific meanings -- have a great deal of liberal
gremlin work to undo. That will require some pro-Constitution activism,
and if that has begun then we’re in for a better country.
The “unelected” complaint, meanwhile -- coming from a man whose
administration teems with unaccountable czars, and whose signature
policy achievement empowers the unelected secretary of Health and Human
Services, the unelected head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services and the members of the unelected Independent Payment Advisory
Board to make individual Americans’ health care an exercise in central
planning -- is nothing more than unintended low comedy.
If this Supreme Court, based on its questioning of the administration’s
representatives last week, actually discerns a limit to federal power
under the commerce clause, it will strike the greatest blow for
individual liberty this country has seen since the Civil War. If it
finally sees a line the federal government cannot cross in commanding
the states’ compliance with its wishes and whims, the court will strike
the greatest blow for federalism since the Progressive Era began the
long, liberty-sapping ascendancy of Washington power.
But first, it seems, the Supreme Court is going to have to strike a
blow for something even more basic: the separation of powers among the
three co-equal branches of the federal government.
It’s going to have to shrug off the executive’s transparent bullying,
rule on Obamacare according to the Constitution and let the chips fall
where they may. Which is to say, it must invalidate at least the
blatantly unconstitutional notion that the government can force
citizens, against their will, to buy a product of its choosing.
If the president doesn’t like that answer, he is welcome to have some
of his congressional flunkies start impeachment proceedings against
whichever justices displease him.
That’s the remedy the Constitution -- perhaps he heard of it back when
he was teaching constitutional law? -- prescribes.
But that would also require making a case rooted in the law and the
facts, and Obama clearly is comfortable in neither realm.
Read this and other articles at Cleveland Plain Dealer