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Obama is unprecedented in setting precedents as Federal Appeals Court orders explanation

Let me get this straight, President Barack Obama thinks it would be unprecedented for the Supreme Court to find a law unconstitutional, right? In particular, he was speaking about the Supreme Court and its consideration of Obamacare and its mandate requiring Americans to purchase health insurance.

Maybe Obama should have visited the Web site: Digital History. It has a page listing laws struck down by the Supreme Court, including the 1803 Marbury v. Madison case where the Supreme Court ruled that “A law repugnant to the Constitution is void.”

Personally, I like Barron v. Baltimore, 1833, where the Supreme Court ruled “that the Bill of Rights was intended to protect individuals against infringement of their rights by the federal government …” Seems to me that Obama should have considered that ruling before he began pushing Obamacare.

Here are some of my other examples of the Supreme Court v. federal statutes, laws or federal officials, including the president:

• 1935 – Schechter v. United States: court unanimously invalidated the National Industrial Recovery Act “on grounds it delegated excessive authority to the president …”
• 1952 – Youngstown Sheet & Tube v. Sawyer: court rules “6-2 that President Harry Truman exceeded his authority when he seized major steel companies to avoid a strike … during the Korean War.”
• 1958 – Kent v. Dulles: court rules “the right to travel is protected by the 5th Amendment … the State Department could not refuse to issue a passport to artist Rockwell Kent …”
• 1971 – New York Times v. United States: the court denies “the government’s request for a court order barring publication of a secret Pentagon history of the Vietnam War.”
• 1974 – United States v. Nixon: the court “orders President Richard Nixon to turn over to a special prosecutor subpoenaed tapes relating to the Watergate break-in.”

Of course, throughout this history of Supreme Court rulings, time after time, the court has ruled on laws passed by states, as well. But, most importantly, the court has established a clear precedent of challenging the authority of presidents, congress, state legislatures and more based on one simple question – is it constitutional?

For me, I find it difficult to understand why the court would have to point that out to our elected officials in Washington, D.C. After all, they were elected through the constitutional process and their authority is ultimately based in the constitution. So, clearly, it is not without precedent for the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of laws.

What is unprecedented, as far as I can see, is for a president to suggest that the Supreme Court is acting based on “judicial activism” when it is clear that the consideration of Obamacare is based on the constitution.

It seems Obama must understand this and he must equally understand that the justices understand this. Therefore, the only explanation for Obama’s statements is that it was intended for public consumption.

How many people will hear what Obama said and shake their heads while saying, “Tsk, tsk, tsk.” And, how many of those people will hear a true explanation of the matter. Judicial activism occurs when a justice rules without concern for the constitutionality of the matter.

Of course, it’s also unprecedented for a president to so boldly lie to the American people by suggesting that Obamacare “was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”

What strong majority? It was passed after months of arm twisting, bribes and, ultimately, use of the Nuclear Option, otherwise known as reconciliation.

But what I suspect is truly unprecedented is the idea that a Federal Appeals Court would order the Justice Department to fully explain whether “the administration believes judges have the power to strike down a federal law.” And the only thing I can think of that’s more unprecedented than that is the idea that the same president is reputed to have taught constitutional law.

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