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Opening Arguments

A healthy disagreement

I've been complaing for years about the control over us exercised by "nine unelected people who serve for life," even when there has been a conservative majority on the Supreme Court. (See here, for example.) It's nice to now have some high-profile company:

President Obama hosted a North American summit with Canadian Prime Minister Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon today at the White House.

During this summit, the President commented on the recent Supreme Court hearings on his signature healthcare law.

Obama remains 'confident' that the law will be upheld and felt he had to remind 'conservative commentators'  that for four years they complained of 'judicial activism' and that an 'unelected group of people' would overturn a 'duly constituted and passed law' , a scenario he compared his healthcare fight to.

Of course the main compaint of most of those conservative commentators has been the court's disregard for the Constitution, and Obama's preemptive complaint is that the court might take note of Congress' disregard for the Constitution. It isn't "judiicial activism" for the court to decide whether a law meets constitutional muster -- that's exactly what it's supposed to do. We may disagree over the court's application of constitutional principles, but let's not get so petulant about it.


Tue, 04/03/2012 - 11:47am

I agree the Supreme Court should decide whether a law is constitutional. But you have to admit that the current Supreme Court doesn't do that. They have become partisan politicians. You and I both know how the justices, with the possible exception of Kennedy, are likely to vote. Look at the Bush v. Gore decision, which couldn't have been more wrong. The Constitution clearly gives the job of settling disputed elections to the House of Representatives. The Supreme Court simply may not call a presidential election, but that's precisely what they did. And they did it along the usual party lines, with most of those voting for Bush were appointed when Bush was either president or vice president. It was an outrage. Obviously, had the 2004 election gone to the House, which at the time had a Republican majority, the outcome would have been the same. The five conservative justices should have been impeached, but of course that can only be done by the (Republican) House. The current court is easily the most "activist" in my lifetime. The right to appoint justices has become one of the most important considerations when electing a president. One could make the case that Justice Kennedy is the most politically powerful man in the country. I don't think this is what the Founders intended.