President Barack Obama: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” — January 21, 2009 (Oath of Office – the sequel)
I’m not normally one to take such an out-front position in a political arena. I just want a President that will do his job, serve the people, defend the constitution, balance the budget, and balance humility with strength. It’s been awhile sine we’ve seen one of those. I honestly don’t care if that President is black, white, green, male, female, republican or democrat. Just do the job and be an honest politician. (oxymoron?)
I want to see a President who will fulfill the promise made in the Oath of Office, be honest with the citizens of this country and follow the will of the people. That’s the kind of national leader I can get behind and support.
By now the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) battle of Obamacare has played out and the Justices are weighing the law before making a ruling. It’s really pretty simple. If the law is unconstitutional it should be struck down. If it is constitutional it should stand. That’s the simplicity of laws – it either is or it isn’t. (I don’t know if it is or not. It’s not my job to know, it’s their job to know.)
So the other day the President stands before a microphone and points a metaphorical pistol at the head of the SCOTUS and says, “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 Congress.”
He seems to be inferring if the Congress passed the law it must be constitutionally sound and therefore the Court, being un-elected, dos not have the authority to overturn it. (He actually lied. Since the power was handed to the Supreme Court in 1803 they have on many occasions asserted their power to strike down laws interpreted as unconstitutional.)
The arrogance of that moment amazed me. Here’s a guy that taught constitutional law at one of the nation’s best law schools and he’s standing before the country thumbing his nose at the authority of the Supreme Court. He of all people should understand and embrace the legitimacy and authority of the court. But it seems he has other ideas.
The President’s words appear nothing more than an attempt to intimidate the court to side with his signature health-care bill, constitutionality be damned. It smacks of home-town Chicago “Thug” politics, which might work on Lakeshore Drive, but on Pennsylvania Avenue it’s divisive and has no place in the checks and balances of our Government.
The President is entitled to his opinion. He can even share his opinion publicly and does on a regular basis. What he cannot do is attempt judicial intimidation by laying a public gauntlet of Presidential persuasion that even remotely indicates the SCOTUS does not have the lawful authority to invalidate an act of Congress that the Court determines is unconstitutional.
For the President to attempt such a tactic is an indication of his arrogance. Without a strong opponent in the fall election Obama believes he will get a second term. His “Hot Mic” moment all but confirmed that. He’s probably right. But that belief is empowering the President to assert his arrogance and his true colors are in beginning to bloom in full spectrum.
The fallout of the President’s sucker punch to the Court is starting to fall. The judicial branch has asked for a formal letter from the Justice Department for a clarification of the President’s position.
Republication Senator Orin Hatch, Utah, made a stinging observation of Obama’s swing at the court’s authority. “It must be nice living in a fantasy world where every law you like is constitutional and every Supreme Court decision you don’t is ‘activist,’” he said in a statement. “Many of us have been arguing for nearly three years that the federal government does not have the power to dictate individuals’ purchasing decisions. After a national debate on the subject, more than two-thirds of Americans agree that the Obamacare insurance mandate is unconstitutional.”
Obama is a master at Presidential sleight of hand. His politics are very clear. His tactics are questionable and his goals are clear… or are they?
I don’t know about you but I am glad the Judicial branch has more power than the Executive Branch. I’d like to see Obama in his next four years get back to his oath where he promised to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and stop thumbing his nose at it. It just doesn’t look very presidential.