Obama Threatens Supreme Court, Shows Incomprehension of Federalism

Perhaps it’s time someone explained the concept of federalism to President Obama. Or even encouraged him to read the Constitution he swore to protect when he entered office. Yesterday, during a press conference, President Obama stated that the Supreme Court overturning his Affordable Care Act would be an ‘unprecedented’ move by the ‘unelected’ members of the Court. His justification for warning the Court from overturning the bill- it was popular in Congress. These comments are just one episode in the ongoing saga of the President’s bizarre logic and incomprehension of the machinations of the American political system.


Obama stated that overturning the legislation would be unprecedented because it was passed by a majority of the democratically elected Congress. The Supreme Court adjudicates on legislation that is going into effect. In order for this to occur, the majority of Congress has to approve legislation. Bills can’t be approved by a minority of Congress. They simply die on the floor of the chamber. They are not brought before the Supreme Court to have their Constitutionality decided. Therefore, every bill that the Supreme Court scrutinizes has been approved by a majority of Congressional members. The Affordable Care Act is not an exception. This is not unprecedented- this is a policy that has been in places since the Constitution was ratified in 1788.


As to the Supreme Court being unelected, this is half –truth. Judges are first nominated by the president, and then vetted and approved or disapproved by the Senate. Last time I checked, the Senate is democratically elected by the people. They are supposed to represent the voices of their constituents. So, while Supreme Court justices may not be directly elected by the people, in theory, the people’s voice is still present in the process. Interestingly, when Newt Gingrich talked about changing Supreme Court rules to make judges directly accountable for their voters, he was crazy and had no respect for the Constitution. Apparently, the same standard doesn’t apply to Obama.


Correct me if I’m wrong, but popular opinion, Congressional or public, has absolutely no influence on how the Supreme Court adjudicates. Rather, they are there to decide if a piece of legislation is Constitutional in application. It doesn’t matter if every citizen in the country wants the individual mandate (over two thirds of citizens don’t), if the power to enforce a policy is not granted to the government through the Constitution, the Supreme Court has a responsibility to overturn it. It’s that simple. So, Obamacare’s popularity in Congress should have no bearing on the Court’s decision.


And that’s how federalism works. The Supreme Court is not directly answerable to the people purposely to isolate them from the turbulent emotions of public opinion. It is Congressional members who are supposed to take the views of their constituents into account and legislate accordingly. The Supreme Court is there to reign in their actions, not to mirror public opinion. That’s what’s outlined in the Constitution, and that’s how the federalist system works. If Obama actually read the Constitution, or the words of the Founders that he so despises, he would know this. But then he wouldn’t have the scapegoat of judicial activism to blame the failure of his key legislation on. Poor Barack.



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Katherine Revello

A recent graduate of the University of Maine, where she majored in journalism and political science, Katherine Revello is an aspiring political commentator. Her focuses include theory, the philosophy of money and populism. Currently, she is a graduate student at Villanova University. She is the founder of The Politics of Discretion, a blog dedicated to advancing her philosophy of discretionism. Follow her on Twitter: @MrsWynandPapers

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  1. Obama’s idea of separation of powers: The Exec branch is different, in that the Legislative + the Judicial branches CAN be kicked in the nuts.

    Also, article says Obama swore to uphold + defend the Constitution. I don’t remember seeing that — oh, that’s right — now I remember, the actual swearing in TOOK PLACE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS — remember???

  2. No, Obama is just showing us who he really is, and he’s doing it with impunity because he knows no one of consequence will actually do anything to him. You know it must be nice to know that you can commit the most extreme crimes in the land and right in front of everyone and you won’t get into any trouble whatsoever. But he’s doing and saying whatever he wants to, to whoever he wants to because he knows no one will do anything to stop him, critisize him, correct him, or repremand him, arrest him for treason like he needs to be, or embarrass him in front of the President of Mexico, or anything else.

    He has gotten away with so many crimes that he would have to serve four lifetimes to serve all the time from all the different charges. I say he needs to be forced by law to show all his records, send military with him who won’t take any crap or double talk from him, no tricks because I would send the Congressman and his staff, the other former lawmakers who’ve charged him with the military just to make sure that they aren’t getting fakes again like he did his birth certificate for Trump, and then charge him with Treason, but since it will be shown he’s a illegal alien, I want him deported to Kenya where he belongs. Make sure he or his wife steal anything from the White House like the Clinton’s did, and send him back to Kenya, have his wifes citizenship revoked, and deport her to Kenya, and the same for the two girls! Just humiliate the absolute hell out of him and tell him that none in his family are ever allowed into the United States for the rest of their lives, I don’t care where their kids want to go to college, like his old Al Mamatta(?)(I don’t know and don’t care), Harvard! He thinks he has connections there, but the only people who are there he knows are all Communists!!

    And that’s who he is showing us who he is in this affair!! For all of you who can’t see it, He’s A Communist Dictator!!

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