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Skip to comments.Obama Plays ‘Judicial Activism’ Card
Posted on 04/03/2012 5:01:08 AM PDT by CHRISTIAN DIARIST
This past February, a federal District Court judge in San Francisco declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. Not a peep was heard from President Obama.
The same month, a federal judge in the Middle District of Louisiana struck down a Bayou State law barring convicted sex offenders from using Facebook and other social media. There was nary a discouraging word from the president.
Then, also in February, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Oklahoma cannot enforce an amendment to its state constitution prohibiting state judges from basing decisions on Koranic or international law. POTUS was mute.
Well, yesterday, Mr. Obama finally decided to speak out on judicial activism.
Not about the outrageous court decisions in San Francisco, Louisiana and Oklahoma, mind you, but about the U.S. Supreme Courts forthcoming decision on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a/k/a Obamacare).
Id just remind conservative commentators, the president said, that, for years, what we have 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, the president, added, this is a good example. And he all but threatened the High Court that is, its conservative majority that he would spend much of his re-election campaign bashing them if they dare to overturn Obamacare, the central legislative accomplishment if it can be called that of his presidency.
But Mr. Obama is in no position to play the judicial activism card.
Not when he said nothing about the unrestrained, politically-motivated judge in San Francisco who found DOMA unconstitutional, notwithstanding that the 1996 law was approved by an overwhelming, bipartisan majority of Congress (in contrast to the narrow, Democrat-only majority by which Obamacare became law).
Not when he said nothing about the activist judge in Louisiana who struck down the duly constituted and passed state law that reasonably aims to prevent convicted sex offenders from using social networking sites to find under-age prey.
And not when he didnt call out the unelected 10th Circuit, which overruled an Oklahoma state constitutional amendment approved by 70 percent of voters in the Sooner State, who want their state court cases decided by state and federal law, rather than foreign or other law.
So President Obama really isnt opposed to judicial activism. Hes just gnashing his teeth that the all-too-common practice by liberal judges and liberal courts may come home to roost this upcoming June with a decision by the High Courts conservative majority to overturn Obamacare.
Obama and the left are attempting to co-opt the term “judicial activism” by altering its meaning. When conservatives began complaining about it, probably in the early 1970s, it meant that the Court was legislating from the bench. The most obvious (and important) example is Roe v. Wade. Abortion wasn’t favored by many states, and never would have been legislated. So, the liberal-dominated Court of that era used a spurious “right to privacy” combined with “emanations and penumbras” to make abortion the law of the land.
If the Supremes should strike down Obamacare, “judicial activism,” as the phrase is commonly understood in the paragraph above, is not the issue. In Roe v. Wade, the Court effectively produced legislation from the bench. In the Obamacare case, the Court is doing (or should be doing) its defined duty by ruling on whether a law is Constitutional. But, as all good Alinskyites are aware, if you control the language, you control the debate.
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