Obama's Supreme Court Comments Fire Up Right And Left

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President Obama's comments on Monday that he's confident that an "unelected" Supreme Court would not take the "unprecedented" step of overturning Congressionally-approved health care reform have ignited a firestorm among legal scholars, political pundits and commentators on the left and the right.

The administration has had to clarify the remarks, and explain its view of judicial power to a Texas judge who demanded clarification from the Justice Department.

The New York Sun editorial board called the remarks "outrageous," while liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd blasted the high court as "run by hacks dressed up in black robes."

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley writes that the flap over the comments poses a "serious risk" to the legal position of the administration:

 It is simply unfair to characterize a vote against the law in advance as judicial activism — a term that is often used by people whenever a court rules against their view of the law. To put it simply, it was a cheap shot and beneath a president.

Moreover, it was unwise at this time. This comment is not going to appeal to any of the justices, particularly not Justice Kennedy. The Administration needs Kennedy’s vote and he previously voted to strike down two federal laws on the federalism grounds — the very judicial activism described by the President.


  • Jonathan Turley, George Washington University law professor, he also writes the blog Res Ipsa Loquitur

This segment aired on April 5, 2012.


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