Although there was no such outcry when an openly gay judge in California ruled that a voter-approved ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional, President Barack Obama is accusing the U.S. Supreme Court of judicial activism due to fears that they may overturn his health care reform law.
The AFP is reporting that the president issued a challenge yesterday to the “unelected” Supreme Court not to take the “extraordinary” and “unprecedented” step of overturning his landmark health reform law.
Speaking during a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderone, Obama said: “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.”
As political pundits were quick to point out, the president’s statement was a bit lean on facts.
” . . . (W)ho is he kidding by asserting that Obamacare ‘passed by a strong majority’?” writes Conn Carroll, Senior Editorial Writer at the Daily Beast. “Every American knows that Obamacare only became law after the administration bribed every last Democratic holdout and pulled every trick in the legislative book. As a result, Obamacare has been wildly unpopular ever since it became law.”
Carroll called the president’s attack on “an unelected group of people” pretty rich, “considering that the only way his health care law plans to reduce health spending is by empowering 15 unelected bureaucrats to set wage and price controls for the entire health care industry.”
Falling back on what many believe will be his campaign narrative if the law is struck down, the president warned that without the law, several million children would be deprived of health care and millions more adults with pre-existing conditions would also be deprived of treatment.
” . . .(T)his is not an abstract argument,” he said. “The law that’s already in place has already given 2.5 million young people health care that wouldn’t otherwise have it. There are tens of thousands of adults with preexisting conditions who have health care right now because of this law.”
The Affordable Care Act has been politically toxic in America since its passage with strong majorities consistently polling against the bill, its high cost and the amount of government intrusion it would impose on individual lives.
However, if the court upholds the law, and Obama wins reelection in November, the legislation will likely stand for years, as it will be fully implemented by 2014, two years before his second term draws to a close.
For this reason, Republicans presidential candidates have all vowed to repeal ObamaCare if elected.
During an interview with Fox News on Monday night, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) laughed about Obama’s comments.
“Isn’t this wonderful to have a liberal talking about judicial activism?” he asked.
He added that he found it puzzling the president was concerned the Supreme Court “might apply the Constitution to the bill he passed.”
“The purpose of the Supreme Court is to make sure that Congress does not pass laws that are in violation of the Constitution,” Romney said. “So judicial activism is not following the Constitution. Judicial activism is departing from the Constitution.”
The Supreme Court is expected to hand down its decision before the conclusion of its current term, which will end in June.
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