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Obama publicly calls-out Supreme Court

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Re: Obama publicly calls-out Supreme Court

Postby Huckleby » Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:21 am

jonnygothispen wrote: So maybe the only gamble worth taking is turning up the heat in advance as long as it's followed by more heat.


As Kenny Rogers said, you got to know when to hold and when to fold. The Supreme Court is largely immune from political pressure. The president certainly can't effectively apply "heat" directly to the Court.

Devil is in the details. I totally agree with the president attacking the Supreme Court's taking away health care from 30M people on partisian lines. But the heat should be on Republican politicians, remind voters that election have consequences. By seeming to attack the court institutionally before they've rendered a decision, Obama loses some of the aura of his bully pulpit.
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Re: Obama publicly calls-out Supreme Court

Postby pjbogart » Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:22 pm

I'm not sure if this story has any legs, from the left or right, but I did see one followup story that I thought echoed some of the comments I made yesterday.

John Jeffries, the former dean of the University of Virginia School of Law and constitutional law professor, told Yahoo News in an email that he finds Smith's behavior "odd."

"I know and respect Judge Smith...But I am surprised to see a request to the Justice Department asking them to explain their views on judicial review," said Jeffries, a former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell. "My position would be that judicial review is judicial review, whether you like it or not."

Other scholars concurred. University of Chicago Professor Geoffrey Stone told Yahoo News in an email that Obama wasn't actually questioning judicial review, but was cautioning the judges to remember the other branches of government. "Judge Smith's response was, in my view, quite inappropriate," he said. "It was an unmistakably political act that was well beyond the proper bounds of the judicial role."

And Vanderbilt Law Professor Brian Fitzpatrick, a former clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia, told Talking Points Memo that though he doesn't think Obama's bellicose statements are particularly accurate, "the president is a politician. He's allowed to be cute. Federal judges are supposed to be above that."

But the attorney general under George W. Bush, Michael Mukasey, defended Smith on Fox News Wednesday. "When the president calls [judicial review] into question, the court has, it seems to me, every obligation to sit up and take notice," Mukasey said, according to the Hill.


Jerry Smith’s Obama rebuke questioned by legal experts
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Re: Obama publicly calls-out Supreme Court

Postby Huckleby » Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:44 pm

I think that judge needs a stay at a rest home. That was nutty.

For a brief and excellent discussion of struggles between supreme court & president:
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/law/jan- ... 04-04.html
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Re: Obama publicly calls-out Supreme Court

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:02 am

Maybe it's just time we get over the delusion that Justices are non-partisan. If they truly were then PJ wouldn't have any reason to make this comment:

pjbogart wrote:Both Kennedy and Scalia are currently 76 years old. Thomas is 64. It's conceivable that two or three of these conservative justices will retire in the next four years which makes Election 2012 all that much more important.


Federal justices at any level, are selected by partisan presidents and approved by partisan senators. Why do we keep pretending that their politics are not going to be part of their actions? Have you ever watched a confirmation hearing? The Senate isn't suffering under any such delusion.
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Re: Obama publicly calls-out Supreme Court

Postby Huckleby » Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:16 am

Francis Di Domizio wrote:Why do we keep pretending that their politics are not going to be part of their actions?

The two law professors in that discussion I linked to got to the core of this question.

Of course everyone makes judgements through ideological prism. That bias becomes a greater factor when the court deals with language in constitution that is general.

Two very conservative judges in appeals court decided that the mandate and health care law are constitutional. Ideological bias doesn't always carry the day.
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