On Monday, April 2, 2012, just days after the Supreme Court heard arguments about the Constitutionality of parts of the legislation known as “Obamacare”, President Obama made the following public comments:
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 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.
First of all, for the Supreme Court to overturn a law would not be unprecedented or extraordinary. That is part of their job.
Secondly, the law WAS NOT passed by a “strong majority” – the votes were 224 for and 206 against (source). That’s only 52% for versus 48% against, with over 10% of the Democrats (and 100% of the Republicans) voting against the bill!
Thirdly, Obama besmirches the Supreme Court by calling them “an unelected group of people”, thereby questioning their integrity and authority to review a case like this, suggesting that such actions would only take place as a result of “judicial activism”. Of course, the Supreme Court is “an unelected group of people” – they’re supposed to be unelected so that they can be impartial (in theory) because they never have to worry about being re-elected. Their job is to interpret the Constitution without any bias whatsoever.
Obama makes it sound as if a law can’t be overturned once it had been approved by the Congress. That’s simply not the case!
President Obama: Did you forget your elementary school social studies class that first taught you about the “Separation of Powers”? Remember the executive, legislative and judicial branches?? Remember that the framers of the Constitution created this separation of powers so that no single branch can take over the control of the country? You’ve already commented that the Constitution was “too restrictive” – now you’re trying to imply that it’s not the Supreme Court’s place to overturn a law that was passed by Congress?? THAT IS EXACTLY THE SUPREME COURT’S JOB when the law is UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!
This was just Obama’s way of getting his “message” to the members of the Supreme Court that might succumb to his influence without having to pick up the phone and actually make a call.