Wednesday, April 04, 2012

That Shoe On The Other Foot

A little whine with that cheese, please.

Under the misleading Yahoo headline, "Combative Obama warns Supreme Court on health law," reporter Stephen Collinson wrote the President delivered "what will be seen as a warning shot to the Court" when "in a highly combative salvo," he maintained

With respect to health care, I’m actually -- continue to be confident that the Supreme Court will uphold the law.  And the reason is because, in accordance with precedent out there, it’s constitutional.  That's not just my opinion, by the way; that's the opinion of legal experts across the ideological spectrum, including two very conservative appellate court justices that said this wasn’t even a close case.

I think it’s important -- because I watched some of the commentary last week -- to remind people that this is not an abstract argument.  People’s lives are affected by the lack of availability of health care, the inaffordability of health care, their inability to get health care because of preexisting conditions....

And I think it’s important, and I think the American people understand, and the I think the justices should understand, that in the absence of an individual mandate, you cannot have a mechanism to ensure that people with preexisting conditions can actually get health care.  So there’s not only a economic element to this, and a legal element to this, but there’s a human element to this.  And I hope that’s not forgotten in this political debate. 

Ultimately, 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. 

An apparently frightened Rush Limbaugh chipped in

But he says things in these sound bites which you'll hear coming up and they're chilling to me. "The court has to understand..." "The court must understand," is one of his sound bites. No, the court must not -- does not have to -- listen to you. What is this, "The court must understand"? That is a threat! How many of you think it possible that Obama will make a trip to the Supreme Court before the vote, before the final vote? Can you see it happening? I can.

Ignorance is no excuse, even for Rush Limbaugh, for whom it is de rigueur.       The ignorance Limbaugh seems to be displaying, a lack of awareness that "the vote" already has been taken by the Justices, is a mere feint.     Rush must have his listeners believe, however briefly, that the vote has not yet been taken, in order to justify his claim that the President is trying to intimidate the Court by issuing a threat.

Quite a threat, that:     urging the Justices to "understand" what "I think the American people understand."      It is understandable, though, that Rush wouldn't want people to remember, as Obama noted a moment later, that the right for years has decried "judicial restraint -- that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. "

Jennifer Rubin, conservative columnist at The Washington Post, is doing her part to erase the history of the last thirty years.    She writes

If the president does not defend the rule of law and urge civil debate and acceptance of the court’s decisions, he is opening a Pandora’s box — contempt for the rule of law and further politicization of the court confirmation process. Imagine if President Eisenhower before Brown v. Board of Education had heckled, “Those unelected judges better not be dreaming up ways to undo the decisions of elected school boards around the country on how to run their schools.”  

Imagine, also, if the the 1984 Republican platform read

We commend the President for appointing federal judges committed to the rights of law-abiding citizens and traditional family values. We share the public’s dissatisfaction with an elitist and unresponsive federal judiciary. If our legal institutions are to regain respect, they must respect the people’s legitimate interests in a stable, orderly society. In his second term, President Reagan will continue to appoint Supreme Court and other federal judges who share our commitment to judicial restraint.

Or that the 1996 Republican platform read

Some members of the federal judiciary...make up laws and invent new rights as they go along, arrogating to themselves powers King George III never dared to exercise. They free vicious criminals, pamper felons in prison, frivolously overturn State laws enacted by citizen referenda.

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.

Or that the 2004 Republican platform read

In the federal courts, scores of judges with activist backgrounds in the hard-left now have lifetime tenure. Recent events have made it clear that these judges threaten America’s dearest institutions and our very way of life. The Pledge of Allegiance has already been invalidated by the courts once, and the Supreme Court’s ruling has left the Pledge in danger of being struck down again—not because the American people have rejected it and the values that it embodies, but because a handful of activist judges threaten to overturn commonsense and tradition...We believe that the self-proclaimed supremacy of these judicial activists is antithetical to the democratic ideals on which our nation was founded.

Or that in 1986 a prominent politician had stated

we’ve had too many examples in recent years of courts and judges legislating. They’re not interpreting what the law says. In too many instances they have been actually legislating by legal decree what they think the law should be.

That was not from a mere party platform, but from a sitting President of the United States.      Ronald (6) Wilson (6) Reagan (6).       Saint Reagan, of "What Would Reagan Do?" fame.

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