William F. Buckley famously provided an example of “relativism” as:
“the equivalent of saying that the man who pushes an old lady into the path of a hurtling bus is not to be distinguished from the man who pushes an old lady out of the path of a hurtling bus: on the grounds that, after all, in both cases someone is pushing old ladies around” — William F. Buckley, Miles Gone By: A Literary Autobiography
[For the record, it was Greg Gutfeld on the April 3rd edition of “The Five” on the Fox News Channel, who adapted that particular Buckley analogy to ObamaCare and “judicial activism.”].
When Obama and other liberals try to frame a Supreme Court decision – particularly when that decision has not even been rendered and the grounds of that decision have not even been provided – as “judicial activism,” it is beyond dishonest.
Liberal commentator Ruth Marcus hits on this “disservice” to justice:
I would lament a ruling striking down the individual mandate, but I would not denounce it as conservative justices run amok. Listening to the arguments and reading the transcript, the justices struck me as a group wrestling with a legitimate, even difficult, constitutional question. For the president to imply that the only explanation for a constitutional conclusion contrary to his own would be out-of-control conservative justices does the court a disservice.
Again, the SCOTUS not only hasn’t issued its ruling yet, but they most certainly haven’t provided their grounds for their ruling!!! For Obama to dictate to the Supreme Court that “if you rule against me, you are an unelected and therefore illegitimate and discredited body, but if you rule for me, then you can go back to being legitimate again,” does profound and disturbing injury to our constitutional republic founded upon the separation of powers. And Barack Obama ought to live in infamy for that act of treason against the Constitution of the United States of America that he falsely swore to uphold and defend.
What is “judicial activism,” stripped of the delusional relativistic spin that Democrats want to apply to pervert something that has so often outraged conservatives??? The answer is that it is inventing concepts not found in the Constitution whatsoever – such as “penumbras and emanations” used to justify Roe v. Wade. EVEN RUTH BADER GINSBURG HAS SAID THAT ROE V. WADE WAS TERRIBLE LEGAL REASONING!!! And the spirit of judicial activism can be summed up in famous liberal justice Thurgood Marshall, who expressed the essence of his judicial philosophy as follows:
“You do what you think is right and let the law catch up.”
THAT is what judicial activism is. “You do what you think is right” (substitute your own will in place of the law) “and let the law catch up” (ignore the law altogether because you are re-creating it and what it said prior to your imposing your will on it frankly doesn’t matter to you one iota). Considering a law and seeing glaring issues of unconstitutionality and then striking down that invalid law is NOT “judicial activism.” It is what the Supreme Court is SUPPOSED TO DO and what the founding fathers DESIGNED IT TO DO.
Chief Justice John Roberts had an interesting point to make about his judicial philosophy when he was going through the nomination process:
John Roberts: “I had someone ask me in this process — I don’t remember who it was, but somebody asked me, you know, ‘Are you going to be on the side of the little guy?’ And you obviously want to give an immediate answer, but as you reflect on it, if the Constitution says that the little guy should win, the little guy is going to win in court before me. But if the Constitution says that the big guy should win, well, then, the big guy is going to win, because my obligation is to the Constitution. That’s the oath.”
Contrast that with Thurgood Marshall’s “I impose my own will on the law and force the Constitution to say whatever I happen to want it to say at any given moment” view.
Some articles I’ve written hit at some of the VERY legitimate constitutional questions raised by Supreme Court Justices:
And just to add insult to that injury to the U.S. Constitution there’s the fact that there is the headline “CBO: ObamaCare Price Tag Shifts from $940 Billion to $1.76 Trillion” and the even more shocking fact of “Another Little ObamaCare Surprise: How About A SEVENTEEN TRILLION DOLLAR Funding Gap?”
Everything – and I mean EVERYTHING – that Obama has said about ObamaCare and the Supreme Court has been a demonstrable lie. Founding Ideals has gone after some of what Obama has said:
“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,”
The law passed by a very narrow majority (220-215 in the house with 39 Democrats voting against it). That certainly wasn’t a strong majority. The program was so divisive that massive protests were held in opposition to the bill and its passing energized the nascent Tea Party. Even today a majority of Americans oppose Obamacare.
[Further, it passed in the Senate by such a tiny necessary majority that the Scott Brown election – with Scott Brown running on the promise that he would be the “41st vote” to stop ObamaCare – threw a huge monkey wrench into the Democrat campaign to ram it through and necessitated all kinds of procedural gimmicks such as “to deem it passed.”]
“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.”
There is no precedent where the Federal government has forced people to purchase a good or service from a private company.
“That doesn’t even speak to the 30 million people who stand to gain coverage once it’s fully implemented in 2014.”
A more honest answer:
The CBO’s estimate is that 20 million people that will lose coverage because the perverse economic incentives encourage employers to drop coverage for their employees. No one knows what the net gain will be. (Based on other Obama success stories like Cash for clunkers, Solyndra, etc – I predict that the number of net newly covered individuals will be much less than 20 million)
On April 3rd, in a question and answer, Obama said:
OBAMA: Um, we have not seen a court overturn a law that was passed by Congress on a[n] economic issue like health care that I think most people would clearly consider commerce. A law like that has not been overturned at least since Lochner, right? So we’re goin’ back to the thirties, pre-New Deal.
Again, that is simply FALSE. In FACT the Supreme Court has struck down at least TWO laws that had been passed on the basis of the same “commerce clause” that was used as the grounds for ObamaCare. In 1999, in States vs. Morrison and in 1995, in United States vs. Lopez, a broad interpretation of the commerce clause and expansive federal powers under the guise of regulation “economic issues” were struck down by the Supreme Court. Which is to say that Barack Obama not only as a former lawyer, but as a “constitutional scholar,” is openly lying to the American people.
The Supreme Court has struck down on average provisions of two laws every single year. What Obama said is beyond ridiculous.
In the 1973 case of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court quite literally struck down the laws in all fifty states and wrote the new law by itself. And for the same liberals who celebrate that law to demonize a Supreme Court for striking down a law that clearly extends the commerce clause beyond ANYTHING that the founding fathers envisioned is itself demonic.
during the Q&A, the moderator is the chairman of Associated Press, Dean Singleton, who said, “Mr. President, you said yesterday it would be unprecedented for a Supreme Court to overturn laws passed by an elected Congress. Yet that’s exactly what the court’s done during its entire existence.”
Which gets us back to the fact that overturning ObamaCare would hardly qualify as “judicial activism.” It is simply the Supreme Court’s job to consider a law brought before them and compare it to the Constitution to see if said law is supported by the U.S. Constitution.
Barack Obama is a liar without shame, without honor, without integrity. That is a fact.
Justice Antonin Scalia said something interesting in a debate with ACLU president Nadine Strossen about the idea that liberal “judicial activism” would one day come back to haunt liberals:
Scalia: Someday, Nadine, you’re going to get a very conservative Supreme Court —
26:57 Strossen: — I think that day has come! (laughter) —
26:58 Scalia: And you’re going to regret what you’ve done.
I’m to the point where I actually hope that right-wing justices rise up and do unto the left as the left has done unto us for the last eighty years. So here’s to hoping for some right-wing judicial activism to re-balance the scales that have tipped so far away from our Constitution that it’s not even funny. We’re far past the point of being able to negotiate with liberals to fix the problems that will necessarily implode us and leave us a bankrupt banana republic.
P.S. The infamous Supreme Court “wheat” decision from 1942 that ObamaCare defenders keep citing is one of the things that desperately needs to be overturned if we’re ever going to actually have anything to do with the Constitution again.