kelincihutan: (Simon going mad)
[personal profile] kelincihutan posting in [community profile] right_angles
In reading the news articles lately, I would almost say that a good portion of the left side of the nation is shocked--shocked, they tell us--that the Supreme Court has any kind of power at all. Most of us are content to await the Supreme Court to finish doing precisely the job they Constitutionally exist for, but apparently the idea that the High Court exists to determine the constitutionality of one statute or another--as opposed to creating new ones out of whole cloth when somebody couldn't get something through Congress--comes as news to some people.

First there's Obama himself, who claimed that "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 that "an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law is a good example [of judicial activism] and I'm pretty confident this court will recognize that and not take that step." (Ums, ers, pauses, and filler words removed.) As if a seven-vote passage in the House is a "strong majority" or something. And since is grasp of recent history is so shaky, I suppose it's unsurprising that his comprehension of the Constitution--which must, on such a scale, be considered as old as dirt--and the history of the Supreme Court, is even worse. Apparently someone got with him later, as he did try to walk back from some of the more outrageous bits.

Then there's this article from The Atlantic urging Obama to run "against the Supreme Court." The article makes cases against two potential objections to this, neither of which--interestingly--are "What could he possibly accomplish by running against the only branch that doesn't get elected whist trying to be elected to the only branch that is uninvolved in amending the Constitution?" While I agree with the author in their conclusion that the Supreme Court is not above criticism or politics, they seem to think that Obama has any kind of ability to do anything to them.

But that's not all. The Atlantic also reminds us "You're confusing the poor Europeans!" The Daily Beast wants us to know that "Obama didn't really say anything that remarkable! And besides, Regan and FDR criticized the Court, too, so it's okay!" Not to mention Media Matters helpfully pointing out to everyone, "There's no precedent for striking down legislation under the commerce clause for the last seventy-five years, and that's ages ago so it doesn't count!" And this is just the tip of the enormous hysterical iceberg. There's lots more.

Sometimes I wonder if anyone has read the Constitution at all.

September 2012

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