Prosecute the torture.

April 5, 2012

How Will They Unweave This One?

From The Trib, today:
U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jerry Smith in Houston has given President Barack Obama's Justice Department until today to file a three-page, single-spaced brief documenting Attorney General Eric Holder's recognition of "the authority of the federal courts through unelected judges to strike acts of Congress or portions thereof in appropriate cases."

The order came in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of yet another ObamaCare mandate. The Supreme Court last week heard arguments regarding the constitutionality of the law's "individual mandate."

Those arguments didn't go well for the administration. Which prompted the president to openly question the legitimacy of the judiciary while engaging in revisionist history: "I am confident 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."
Scaife's braintrust described Obama as a "president who knows not the Constitution, not scholarship and certainly not history."

When we're through, we'll know who doesn't know the Constitution, scholarship or history.

But before we go any further, let's see exactly what the President said.  In a joint press conference with President Calderón of Mexico and Prime Minister Harper of Canada, the President was asked:
After last week’s arguments at the Supreme Court, many experts believe that there could be a majority, a five-member majority, to strike down the individual mandate. And if that were to happen, if it were to be ruled unconstitutional, how would you still guarantee health care to the uninsured and those Americans who've become insured as a result of the law?
To which he answered in part (I am omitting the more political parts and focusing on the legal parts):
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.
And then:
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. And I'd just remind conservative commentators 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.
Look at what he's saying. He's saying that there's enough precedent for the individual mandate to be considered constitutional and he's confident that the Supreme Court will follow precedent.  It's in a jab to "conservative commentators" that he mentions "unelected" judges and "judicial activism."  He said that it's been an ongoing conservative criticism of the judiciary that to paraphrase "unelected judges ignore the will of the people" and he's confident this court won't do that - in a sense he's playing by the "judicial activism is bad" card so favored by the political right.

But in the alternative universe that is the right wing media, that's a constitutionally illiterate slap on the judiciary.

I supposed if we looked deeply enough we'd see a some sort of criticism from Scaife's braintrust for this very similar presidential quotation:
For the judiciary, resisting this temptation is particularly important, because it's the only branch that is unelected and whose officers serve for life. Unfortunately, some judges give in to temptation and make law instead of interpreting. Such judicial lawlessness is a threat to our democracy -- and it needs to stop.
George W. Bush said that to the (Scaife funded) Federalist Society in 2004.

We'll find that criticism at the Trib, right?

Right?

I'll be back in a few days.  Carry on and don't let them bullshit you.

16 comments:

Heir to the Throne said...

To a progessive
I am confident 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."
is the same as
some judges give in to temptation and make law instead of interpreting. Such judicial lawlessness is a threat to our democracy -- and it needs to stop
Overturning a unconstitutional law is the same as creating a law using the court that could not be passed in the Congress.

Ol' Froth said...

So, Heir do you feel that the individual mandate is unconstitutional?

Heir to the Throne said...

OF
so what is the limit on what the Government force you to buy?

Funny to see Dayvoe was mindlessly quoting Media Matters.
Media Matters Throws Up Smoke Screen To Defend Obama

EdHeath said...

HTTT, is forcing people who own cars to buy auto insurance unconstitutional? Is forcing people who want to vote to obtain particular types of government identification cards unconstitutional?

Are you saying you are in favor of judicial activism, as long as the law being struck down was passed by a Democtratic controlled Congress, and signed by a Democratic President? Or is it that you just think slavery should be brought back? That people who make under $100,000 (or all women) should not be allowed to vote.

Conservative Mountaineer said...

Aaahh, the old 'auto insurance' strawman agrument. Right on cue.

Let's see... I assume the liberals would not go bat-shit crazy if a Republican Congress and Republican President would say.. "You must buy a gun. We'll set up a system whereby those who can afford to buy more guns pay more fees so that the poor can afford a gun." /snort

Conservative Mountaineer said...

While the right to bear arms is not in the Constitution, it is in the Bill of Rights... something that cannot be said for health *insurance*. You liberals.. Show me the language.

EdHeath said...

You know, CM, Obamacare as you conservatives contemptuously call it (or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, if you actually had been brought up right) came in large part from a plan from the Heritage Foundation. Why would the Heritage Foundation have developed a health care/insurance reform plan? Maybe because we pay more per patient yet have worse outcomes than any other industrial nation. Yet, because there wasn't health insurance in 1787, millions of Americans can't have health insurance, millions have and will die unnecessarily, millions have and will declare bankruptcy because they got sick, millions of widows or widowers have and will declare bankruptcy due to the bills left after their spouses die.

Your idea of an ideal society is the one that existed in 1787: African Americans are slaves, woman can work or vote, the poor can't vote. Oh, and thanks to you anti-science conservatives, at your age you are probably dead since doctors can't aren't allowed to get past leech technology.

EdHeath said...

And of course, as usual, you dodged the question of auto insurance.

But you brought up the old guns and the Second Amendment comment once again. 'cause you got nothing else.

Heir to the Throne said...

Ed
Here is your answer to the auto insurance strawman.
You don't have to drive a car.

have worse outcomes than any other industrial nation
Are you citing life expectancy as one of the the worse outcomes?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy

You know that US has a greater amount of Minorities driving life expectancy down.

Hey look the superior healthcare of Mexico is lower on the life expectancy list.

Ol' Froth said...

Its true that you don't have to drive a car, but there WILL come the day when you WILL need to go to the hospital. That's the difference. Everyone at some point in their life will require medical care.

So, anyone want to tell me if they think the individual mandate is unconstitutional? Flat out yes or no? And yes, there is a reason I'm asking that.

Heir to the Throne said...

OF
Here you go.
Yes Individual mandate is unconstitutional.
The Federal government should not be able force you to buy a product.

Ol' Froth said...

OK then Heir, thanks for answering...so, how do you feel about the Republican plan to privatize Social Security? Is that constitutional, or unconstitutional?

EdHeath said...

HTTT, doesn't the Ryan budget privatize Medicare? Which means all Americans over 65 will have to buy insurance from private insurance companies.

As for life expectancy, again we spend the most of any nation on health care per capita, and we are number 36? France, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Denmark ... maybe we should learn from Countries who get better outcomes at lower cost per patient.

You are actually blaming the cost of health care on hoodies? You are that racist?

So Mexico's life expectancy is lower, their cost per patient is also much lower than ours. Sounds like a conservative wet dream to me.

EdHeath said...

Aren't Republicans forcing liberty on people at the expense of their lives?

(Actually aren't Republicans allowing people to go bankrupt and/or die so that the rich can keep even more of their money and do less for the country?)

Ol' Froth said...

ARGH!! Ed, you sprung my trap before I could get HTTT to tumble in!

EdHeath said...

Now I have to gnaw my own leg off.

Was that Generalissimo Franco in that movie ... I forget.