President Obama Scolded for Remarks on Healthcare Bill to Supreme Court

Further proof our Constitutional Scholar of a President is confused over the role of the Supreme Court and the judicial process!

Obama Warns Supreme Court

By  LAURA MECKLER and CAROL E. LEE Via The Wall Street Journal

President Barack Obama predicted Monday that the Supreme Court would uphold his signature health-care law and said that overturning it would be a prime example of judicial overreach. 

President Obama said at a Rose Garden press conference he is “confident” the Supreme Court will uphold his health-care reform law.

It was a rare instance of a president laying out his own arguments about a Supreme Court case before the justices are set to reach their decision.

In his first public comments about the case since the justices took it up last week, Mr. Obama appeared to be framing the political argument he would make should he have to face voters this fall after a loss at the high court.

“For years, what we’ve heard is the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or the lack of judicial restraint, that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law,” he said at a news conference. The health-care case is a good example of just that, he said. “And I’m pretty confident that this court will recognize that and not take that step.”

White House officials have said they were reluctant to appear to lobby the Supreme Court, which is partly why the president didn’t speak out on the case until after it was argued before the court last week.

Rather, the president’s comments indicate how he might deal with the political fallout should he lose, framing the court as a potential villain that substitutes its judgment for that of elected legislators, and Americans who lose benefits of the law as victims. Mr. Obama ticked off a string of popular benefits that would disappear if the law is shot down, such as barring insurers from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions.

Obama aides argue the election is likely to turn on the economy, but others say a negative court decision would be a severe blow to his re-election. Aggressive questions from several justices last week made it clear that the law, or at least its central tenet, could be struck down.

But Mr. Obama, a former constitutional law professor, said he was confident the high court would not take that step, partly because conservatives—who are in the majority on the court—have long argued against what some refer to as legislating from the bench. He noted that two conservative appellate judges who heard the case found the law constitutional.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), among the first to argue that the mandate to buy insurance was unconstitutional, responded, “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.'”

Mr. Obama said the court would take an “unprecedented, extraordinary step” if it overturns the law because it was passed by “a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.” The vote actually was close—it passed with 60 votes in the Senate, just achieving the supermajority needed to overcome a Republican filibuster, and by 219-212 in the House.

The Supreme Court sometimes overturns laws passed by Congress, as it did in 2010, when major parts of campaign-finance restrictions were nullified in the Citizens United decision. It would be more unusual for the court to strike down an entire law with hundreds of provisions over constitutional problems with just one part.

The challengers’ case against the Obama law centers on its provision requiring most Americans to carry health insurance or pay a penalty. Several conservative Supreme Court justices suggested at last week’s arguments that if the provision is found unconstitutional, the entire law must fall because it would be too messy for the court to untangle which provisions were connected to the insurance mandate. The Supreme Court ruling is expected by the end of June.

Conservatives have long complained that liberals turned to the courts for victories they couldn’t win at the ballot box, deriding judges who overturn popularly enacted laws as “judicial activists.”

In this case, the president said, it was conservatives who were betting Republican-appointed judges would nullify the legislative victory he and fellow Democrats achieved after the 2008 elections.

Challengers, including 26 states and a small-business group, argue that Congress has never required Americans to buy a product, in this case health insurance. The Obama administration says Congress properly used its authority over interstate commerce to regulate how consumers finance something they are bound to require: health care.

The two conservative appellate judges who found the law constitutional were Judge Lawrence Silberman in Washington, D.C., and Judge Jeffrey Sutton in Cincinnati. “The right to be free from federal regulation is not absolute, and yields to the imperative that Congress be free to forge national solutions to national problems,” Judge Silberman wrote last November. An appellate court in Atlanta ruled against the insurance mandate, finding it “breathtaking in its expansive scope.”

Democrats have been trying for more than three years to make the case for the mandate to buy insurance, and Mr. Obama tried again on Monday. He said that without the mandate, it would be impossible to require insurance companies to cover everybody, including those with pre-existing conditions, at a reasonable price.

Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, said Republicans would concede some provisions of the law were popular but argue the Democrats went too far by imposing the insurance mandate.

James Simon, a professor at New York Law School, said, “I can’t think of a president anticipating a court decision as Mr. Obama has done and basically arguing in favor” of his side. Mr. Simon, the author of several books on conflicts between presidents and the court, said, “Jefferson was very angry at the Marshall Court, but he [complained] in private,” as did most other presidents.

President Franklin Roosevelt “usually waited until they handed down a decision” before fulminating against the court, Mr. Simon said, such as when FDR blasted a 1935 ruling striking down portions of the National Industrial Recovery Act.

Mr. Simon said he doubted the justices “are going to be influenced one way or the other” by Mr. Obama’s words.

—Jess Bravin contributed to this article.

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Our Constitutional Scholar President Gets His Tuchus Beaten Again By SCOTUS – He is 0 for 2 so Far This Year!

By John Wiseman via Tea Party Nation (3/22/12)

It’s a bad day for a liberal President when even Justice Ginsberg rules against you.  Not only did the Obama Administration fail to convince the court’s only openly Marxist jurist serving on the bench, but they also have to live with the notion that she wrote the concurring opinion.  This case marks the second time during Administration that President Obama has had one of his policies lose in the Supreme Court.  While he is not the first President to find himself on the wrong side of the question of Constitutionality, he is still 0 for 2.  This is not the record we would have expected for a person who was marketed to the country as a, “Constitutional Scholar.”

His first smack down came in January of this year if you will remember, when a 9 to 0 decision said basically that Barack Obama, or any President does not have the authority to tell churches who they could and could not hire based on the religious leanings of the church.  In that case, a Lutheran Church ran a private school, and made the decision to hire as teachers, only those people that they felt would be good role models for passing on the Lutheran message as it pertains to all things educational.  In other words, they wanted their teachers to be Christians, and to pass those beliefs on to their students.  This is what the parents who sent their kids to a Lutheran school wanted, and this is what the owners of the school wanted.  President Obama disagreed.  In Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church Vs. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, the court decided that a President was not allowed to violate the First Amendment because his ultimate goal is to put an end to the practice of any religion other than Islam in America, nor for any other reason that he might have.

Yesterday’s loss, which makes him Zero for Two, came in the form of Sackett vs. The Environmental Protection Agency.  In this particular case, The EPA decided that they would prevent the Sackett’s from building a house on a piece of property that they owned.  The EPA decided that the property consisted of, or was located on wetlands in Idaho.  Here is where it gets dicey, they did not want to defend their position in court, and decided to dispense with the entire concept of due process.  They thought a good way to do this would be to tell the Sacketts that they thought it was possible that their property was inappropriate to build a house on, and therefore they should stop while the EPA took and indefinite amount of time to consider the matter.  They threatened to fine the Sacketts $35,000 per day for each day the Sacketts defied the order to stop building, and then further threatened to increase the fines to $70,000 per day if the Sacketts challenged them in court.  Nice!  So, for those of you keeping score at home, Little Barry read the Constitution and decided that the Fifth Amendment meant that he could circumvent Due Process by simply declaring that it was possible that a person was doing wrong without ever actually alleging it.  Since the allegation was never actually made, then a fair and speedy trial would never be warranted, regardless of the fact that deprivation of property was ongoing, permanent, and beyond redress.

The Supreme Court yesterday did not agree.  The decision was unanimous, not that the Sacketts could start building, but that due process must be granted.  For those who believe that this decision was limited in scope, and therefore not terribly important, I disagree.  It is a shot across the bow of a President who has been effectively creating law by executive fiat since he lost control of the Legislative Branch in January of 2011.  Things that Obama does are making their way to the Supreme Court in rapid fashion, and I do not believe that to be an accident either.  One other interesting thing to note here, he lost 9 to 0 on this one.  Putting aside any of the idiotic claims that this man is somehow a Constitutional Scholar, in his two trips to the Supreme Court so far, he has a combined score of 18 against, and 0 in favor of himself.  This does not exactly inspire confidence in his understanding of, or even his promise to uphold our founding document.  By writing a concurring opinion, Justice Ginsberg, the farthest left member of the court basically told the man child President that he has gone too far.  Removing Due Process prior to deprivation of Life, Liberty, or Property is the stuff that monarchs do to their subjects.  This is not something Presidents do to their fellow citizens.

The bad news for President Obama is that this is not going to be his last trip to the Supreme Court.  On Monday, he gets to go again, and this one will be a doozy.

Cross Posted at Musings of a Mad Conservative.

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Morning Bell: A Troubling Trend in the Courts

By Ericka Andersen via The Foundry

Should judges act based upon reasoned legal arguments, or based upon their personal feelings and media coverage?  A controversial recent “statement” made by Justices Ginsburg and Breyer in a case that was the legal equivalent of a slam dunk raises serious questions about what really guides some judges.

In the case, American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock, the Court was asked to address a Montana Supreme Court opinion upholding a Montana ban on independent expenditures by corporations. This should be an easy case—after all, the Court ruled in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that bans on independent political expenditures by corporations and unions violate the First Amendment.

But Justices Ginsburg and Breyer, who dissented from Citizens United, want another crack at Citizens United.  They issued a separate “statement” advocating that the Court take the “opportunity to consider whether, in light of the huge sums currently deployed to buy candidates’ allegiance, Citizens United should continue to hold sway.”

As Heritage legal expert Hans von Spakovsky wrote:

What evidence is there before Justices Ginsburg/Breyer that the allegiance of candidates is being bought?  The misinformed editorial pages of The New York Times?  The propaganda spewed out about Citizens United by MSNBC?

von Spakovsky concludes regrettably that Ginsburg and Breyer are “making decisions based on their personal ideologies and political opinions” instead of relying on “actual evidence submitted in the cases before them.”

Personal preferences and subjective editorials clearly shouldn’t form the basis for judicial decisions.  But what should guide their decisions, and how much power should the Supreme Court exercise? The Founders asserted that the judiciary would be the weakest branch of the federal government. As of late, however, the courts are looking pretty strong, particularly compared to a Congress that refuses to take their duty to interpret the Constitution seriously.

In the latest “Understanding America: What is the Proper Role of the Courts?,” Heritage Senior Legal Fellow Robert Alt gives an example of how a “weaker” Congress leads to a “stronger” judiciary involving the very law at issue in Citizens United:

When Congress was considering the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act—popularly known as McCain-Feingold—which imposed numerous restrictions on election-related speech, its Members delivered speeches acknowledging that provisions of the Act were likely unconstitutional. That should have ended the debate.

But some Members surprisingly went on to state that questions of constitutionality were for the Supreme Court, not Congress, to decide, and that Congress should pass the legislation because it was too important not to enact. This was a flagrant abdication of Congress’s role in determining the constitutionality of legislation.

In short, Members of Congress failed in their duty to uphold the Constitution and tossed that responsibility to the Supreme Court — a poor way to run a constitutional government. The Court’s power here is only a snapshot of increasingly customary and destructive tendencies toward judicial activism.

The effects of liberal judicial activism are regrettably widespread.  Alt writes:

The federal courts have awarded the federal government power to regulate matters well beyond its constitutional authority. The courts themselves have taken over school systems and prisons for decades at a time, created new rights found nowhere in the Constitution, whittled away at constitutional rights (like property rights) that they apparently dislike, and asserted that they have the authority to decide questions concerning how to conduct the War on Terror that are constitutionally reserved to Congress and the President.

Americans should be concerned about the increasingly powerful judicial branch. With politicized appointments and repeated judicial failures to adhere to the Constitution as it is written, the public must demand action from the political branches.  Specifically, Americans must insist that the President and Congress do their duty by passing and signing only laws which are consistent with the Constitution’s original public meaning — and that they appoint and confirm only judges who check their personal agendas at the door.

H/T News You May Have Missed

Michelle Obama’s warning to gun owners

By  via The Daily Caller (10/11/11)

Kasey’s Note: It is NOT just the Presidency at stake in this coming election, but the US Supreme Court is in danger of having a liberal majority.  Just look at the Ninth Circuit Court in Northern California and tell me you aren’t scared!

Nearly three years into President Obama’s first term in office, Michelle  Obama finally said something with which I can agree.

At a recent fundraiser for President Obama’s re-election campaign in  Providence, Rhode Island, the first lady told her audience:

“We stand at a fundamental crossroads for our country. You’re here because  you know that in just 13 months, we’re going to make a choice that will impact  our lives for decades to come … let’s not forget what it meant when my husband  appointed those two brilliant Supreme Court justices … let’s not forget the  impact that their decisions will have on our lives for decades to come.”

This was music to the ears of the small, affluent crowd of admirers who  cheered and applauded. But to gun owners, Michelle Obama’s remarks should sound  like a warning bell, alerting us to the danger ahead should Barack Obama win  re-election and get the opportunity to alter the current make-up of the Supreme  Court.

When Americans flock to the polls in 13 months, we will not simply decide  which direction our country should take over the next four years. Rather, we  will decide whether or not our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear  arms will survive over the next several decades.

Currently, the Second Amendment clings to a 5-4 pro-freedom majority on the  Supreme Court. Just one vote is all that stands between the America our  Founding Fathers established and a radically different America that Barack Obama  and his supporters envision.

If you want to read something scary, take another look at the minority  opinions in the Supreme Court’s landmark Heller and McDonald  decisions that struck down Washington, D.C.’s and Chicago’s unconstitutional gun  bans. In the Heller dissent, four justices concluded that the Second  Amendment does not guarantee an individual right to own a firearm, nor does it  protect our right to defend ourselves, our families, or our property. In McDonald, the same four justices argued that the 5-4 Heller decision should be reversed.

If these four justices had just one more vote on their side, their opinion — that the Second Amendment should not exist in today’s modern society — would be  the law of the land today. And assuredly, the anti-gun activist wing of the  court knows how close they are to gaining the upper hand. As Justice Ruth Bader  Ginsburg told a Harvard Club audience in 2009, she looks forward to the day when  a “future, wiser court” overturns 5-4 decisions like Heller.

Praying for the health of five justices is not a sound legal strategy for  ensuring that our Second Amendment freedoms survive the relentless legal assault  that gun-ban groups are waging in courtrooms across America. We need a president  who will nominate sound, originalist nominees to the high court — nominees who  will preserve the freedoms our Founding Fathers enshrined in our  Constitution.

If President Obama gets the opportunity to tilt the balance of the Supreme  Court in his favor, we’re unlikely to see another pro-gun victory at the Court  in our lifetime. Even worse, the 5-4 majorities in Heller and McDonald will be in serious jeopardy of being reversed, effectively  eliminating the Second Amendment.

NRA members, gun owners and all freedom-loving Americans should heed Michelle  Obama’s warning. We must spend the next 13 months working to make sure her  husband doesn’t get four more years to destroy American freedom for generations  to come.

Chris W. Cox is the Executive Director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) and serves  as the organization’s chief lobbyist.

Amicus curiae brief challenging constitutionality of Obamacare filed by watchdog

By Jim Kouri via The Examiner

Obamacare is taking the nation on a forced march to a medical nightmare, say many experts.

Obamacare is  taking the nation on a forced march to a medical nightmare, say many experts.

A top “Inside the Beltway” group that investigates, exposes  and prosecutes government corruption filed an amicus curiae brief on February 13,  2012, with the United States Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of  the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare (United  States Department of Health and Human Services, et al., State of Florida, et  al.).

The Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for the Obamacare case on March 26, 27 and 28,  2012.

With its amicus curiae brief the non-partisan Judicial Watch maintains that the “individual mandate” provision of Obamacare, which requires every American  citizen to purchase health care insurance or pay a penalty, is unconstitutional,  whether considered under Congress’ commerce power or taxing power:

Petitioners are trying to defend a provision in an act passed by Congress  that exceeds its enumerated powers. Though Congress enacted this provision under  the Commerce Clause, Congress’ power under the  clause is not broad enough to compel Americans to engage in commerce by  purchasing a particular product.

Though Petitioners try to rescue the provision by arguing that it is valid  under Congress’ taxing power even if it is invalid under Congress’ commerce  power, a provision of an act that is not a tax may not be construed as a tax  merely to save it from being declared unconstitutional.

The watchdog group further argues that if the Supreme Court affirms  the constitutionality of the so-called individual mandate, “it must be willing to hold that  Congress’ powers under the Commerce clause are plenary and unlimited, for there  remains no principled way to limit Congress’ power if it is stretched as far as  Petitioners (the Obama administration) ask.”

Demonstrating the importance of the legal battle over Obamacare, the  Supreme Court will hear five-and-a-half hours of oral argument, a rare allotment  of time in the court’s modern era.  The Supreme Court’s scrutiny will focus  on the constitutionality of the Obamacare individual mandate. The court will  also consider whether other components of Obamacare could take effect even if  the individual mandate is ruled unconstitutional, among other issues.

In a December 14, 2010, editorial published in The Washington Post Attorney General Eric  Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius argued that the  individual mandate is essential to Obamacare: “Without an individual  responsibility provision (or mandate), controlling costs and ending  discrimination against people with preexisting conditions doesn’t work.”

“The President’s socialist healthcare overhaul is an affront to the U.S.  Constitution’s provisions for limited government,” said Judicial Watch President  Tom Fitton. “The time has come for the U.S. Supreme Court to put an end to  Obamacare once and for all.”

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President Obama and Justice Ginsburg on America’s “Rather Old Constitution”

By Paul  Kengor via Townhall

English: West face of the United States Suprem...

I’ve gotten some very interesting emails regarding President Obama’s mandate commanding Roman Catholics (and many evangelical Protestants) to violate their consciences by providing mandatory contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing pharmaceuticals. The emailers noted that Obama’s action will force Catholics to challenge the president in court, particularly given that bishops are saying they will not comply with the law. It could mean another constitutional showdown over “Obama-care,” one that could likewise end up in the Supreme Court. Imagine: “The Catholic Bishops v. Obama.”

What a fitting capstone to the Obama presidency. And imagine that a majority of professing Roman Catholics elected this man in November 2008.

If this issue goes to the high court, I wouldn’t bet my money on Obama, even with the two new “pro-choice,” pro-Roe liberals he added to the bench: Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Even the most “progressive” Supreme Court justice cannot avoid that old freedom-of-religion thing in the First Amendment.

All of that is remarkable enough. But I find it especially ironic given two other fascinating current news item relating to the Constitution:

Last week, President Obama did an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer. Obama expressed frustration at his inability to be the “transformational political figure” Americans elected. The “change agent” lamented that this was the fault of the American Founders—who Obama refers to as “men of property and wealth”—and their Constitution. Obama told Lauer:

What’s frustrated people is that I have not been able to force Congress to implement every aspect of what I said in 2008. Well, it turns out our Founders designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about change that I would like sometimes. But what I have been able to do is move in the right direction. And what I’m going to keep on doing is plot away, very persistent.

Ah, that old Constitution again.

Obama is quite correct. His primary obstacle is the Founders’ system of separation of powers and checks and balances. His problem is a Congress and Supreme Court that is empowered to say, “No, Mr. President, that isn’t constitutional. You can’t do that in America.”

Well, Obama’s mandate to the Catholic Church could be the next such challenge, again impeding his self-perceived rise to transcendent political greatness. A Democrat-controlled Congress approved Obama-care, but the Supreme Court now must scrutinize its provisions. That’s the court’s duty.

That brings me to the second news item:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave an interview to Egyptian television. Ginsburg will likely be the next justice to step down. Once Obama replaces her with a much younger pro-Roe judge, this nation will have Roe v. Wade for another 39 years. In the interview, Ginsburg advised Middle East democrats on drafting a constitution. She did not, however, recommend the U.S. Constitution. Ginsburg stated:

I can’t speak about what the Egyptian experience should be, because I’m operating under a rather old constitution. The United States, in comparison to Egypt, is a very new nation; and yet we have the oldest written constitution still in force in the world…

I would not look to the U.S. Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012. I might look at the constitution of South Africa. That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, and had an independent judiciary… It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done. Much more recently than the U.S. Constitution, Canada has a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It dates from 1982. You would almost certainly look at the European Convention on Human Rights. Yes, why not take advantage of what there is elsewhere in the world?

Actually, why not take advantage of what’s in the U.S. Constitution? The paradox in Ginsburg’s statement is her dismissal of the U.S. Constitution because it’s “rather old;” in fact, “the oldest written constitution still in force in the world.”

Well, why is it so old and still in force? Because it was done right. It is based on timeless values and virtues and universal rights that work; that are true. It has been amended less than 30 times in 220-some years. It is the most stable, successful, remarkable constitution in history, bringing together a vast array of peoples and assimilating them into history’s most prosperous, awe-inspiring nation—a nation that spent the 20th century winning freedom for other nations, so those nations could produce democracies and constitutions. The U.S. Constitution is the perfect model, at once both beautifully broad and specific.

And among the things it got right are separation of powers and checks in balances. Ruth Bader Ginsburg and President Obama may be learning that again very soon—compliments of Obama-care and its constitutional assault on the consciences of religious believers.

KASEY’S NOTE:  I have a question for the current temporary occupant of the White House:  Why is ‘birth control’ a right and life isn’t?!?