Attorney General Holder Pours Water on Flames Raised by Obama Remarks on SCOTUS

Posted on April 6, 2012


The President briefs the bunny on how things should go for Easter. The bunny looks, well, baffled.

A firestorm errupted after President Obama seemingly degraded the powers of the Supreme Court thus drawing attention to the checks and balances of the three branches of government.  He had said, in part:

“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’d 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. Well, this is a good example. And I’m pretty confident that this court will recognize that and not take that step.” — At a news conference Monday with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. [full article here]

He did not pass over the issue of SCOTUS power in relation to “elected officials” in Congress.  He again emphasized it.  It echoes the scolding the President gave members of the Supreme Court who attended his State of the Union speech in 2009:

“The power of the courts to review the constitutionality of legislation is beyond dispute,” Holder said.

Read the letter (PDF)

Carney: President Obama knows the law

Toobin: Obama’s comment is appropriate

Obama taking on the courts?

CNN Explains: Health care reform

His personal involvement in crafting the response signaled the issue’s hot-button importance within the administration four days after Obama made controversial remarks that advised the Supreme Court not to take an “unprecedented” step by overturning the health care reform law.

Obama and the White House have since attempted to clarify the president’s initial comments, which were in response to a reporter’s question about the Supreme Court’s three days of hearings on the health care law last week.

However, Holder’s letter made clear that the substance of Obama’s remarks were in line with the administration’s recognition that the high court has the power of judicial review.

“The President’s remarks were fully consistent with the principles described herein,” concluded Holder’s letter. [CNN]

The Administration forgets that Obama has a long record of feeling he can pretty much take care of situations his way.  In the Gates matter in Cambridge and then again in the shooting of the young black man in Florida, Obama determined to speak out in favor of the alledged victims prior to all of the facts having been gathered and a court trial determining the guilt or innocence of the defendant.  This is going over the boundary.

Now, to again take on SCOTUS, he is laying himself open to attacks that feature him as a dictator.