Quotes of the day

posted at 8:31 pm on April 7, 2012 by Allahpundit

“The president’s preemptive attack on the court was in direct reaction to Obamacare’s three days of oral argument. It was a shock. After years of contemptuously dismissing the very idea of a legal challenge, Democrats suddenly realized there actually is a serious constitutional argument to be made against Obamacare — and they are losing it.

“Here were highly sophisticated conservative thinkers — lawyers and justices — making the case for limited government, and liberals weren’t even prepared for the obvious constitutional question: If Congress can force the individual into a private contract by authority of the commerce clause, what can it not force the individual to do? Without a limiting principle, the central premise of our constitutional system — a government of enumerated powers — evaporates. What, then, is the limiting principle?…

“Democrats are reeling. Obama was so taken aback, he hasn’t even drawn up contingency plans should his cherished reform be struck down. Liberals still cannot grasp what’s happened — the mild revival of constitutionalism in a country they’ve grown so used to ordering about regardless. When asked about Obamacare’s constitutionality, Nancy Pelosi famously replied: ‘Are you serious?’ She was genuinely puzzled.

“As was Rep. Phil Hare (D-Ill.). As Michael Barone notes, when Hare was similarly challenged at a 2010 town hall, he replied: ‘I don’t worry about the Constitution.’ Hare is now retired, having been shortly thereafter defeated for reelection by the more constitutionally attuned owner of an East Moline pizza shop.”

***

“Is Obama’s reference to ‘unelected’ justices an ‘attack’? If so, it’s pretty tame stuff indeed. Obama is characterizing the conservative line that that judicial activism by unelected judges is a bad thing, and arguing that overturning Obamacare would be an example of what conservatives themselves decry. Obama is mainly making an argument about legal precedent here — he’s pointing out that historically, the court has deferred to Congress as a democratically-elected institution in deciding whether to overturn laws, and saying he hopes the Court does the same again.

“I’m not defending Obama’s claim that overturning the law would be ‘unprecedented’ — it wouldn’t — but as ‘attacks’ go, this is pretty weak sauce. And it’s a bit surprising to hear so much whining about it, given the attacks on ‘activist’ judges conservatives have waged for years.

“If you really want to hear an ‘attack’ on the court, go check out F.D.R.’s 1937 address, in which he accused the Court of wanting to banish the nation to a ‘No-Man’s Land of final futility.’ Or check out his Fireside Chat about his court-packing scheme, in which he warned that it was time to “save the Constitution from the Court’ and accused the courts of operating in ‘direct contradiction of the high purposes of the framers of the Constitution.’”

***

“Just about every player in connection with the President’s remarks about the Supreme Court seem to me to be acting oddly or imprudently.

“What a terrible idea for the President to charge the Supreme Court with an ‘unprecedented, extraordinary step’ of judicial activism if it strikes down parts of the health care law. It was not a bad idea because it constituted bullying of the Court. It was a bad idea – at least from the President’s perspective – because it makes it harder for the Justices to rule in favor of the President’s position. After his very public criticism, a vote to uphold the law by the Justices who sharply questioned the law at oral argument will invariably be seen as cowing to the President – an appearance, I am confident, the Justices very much want to avoid. In other words, by questioning the Justice’s independence, the President made it harder for the Justices whose votes he needs to act in his favor. That, I suspect, is why the President has tried to walk back his remarks…

“And how silly for the Fifth Circuit panel to ask the Justice Department to brief whether the Obama Administration believes that courts have the right to strike down a federal law. It is obvious that the President and DOJ believe courts have that power. And in any event that power in no way depends on the beliefs of the President or DOJ. The request for an answer on the question, based on a presidential remark not at issue in the case, seems like a political intrusion by the court into a political debate.”

***

“As a brilliant constitutional lawyer deeply devoted to the rule of law, [Obama] has nothing but respect for the critical function that judicial review performs in preserving the American system of constitutional government. Efforts to divine a contrary theory in his remarks were strained at the outset and have grown only more untenable.

“The ‘unprecedented, extraordinary’ step he noted the justices would be taking if they were to overturn the Affordable Care Act was, of course, not the step of exercising judicial review, as the court has done ever since Marbury v. Madison in 1803, but the step of second-guessing congressional judgments about how best to regulate a vast segment of the national economy. No one in the world — certainly none of the justices — can have been surprised to learn that Obama believes his signature domestic achievement fully complies with the Constitution and ought to be upheld — or that the Supreme Court has a decades-old tradition of treading lightly when major regulations of interstate commerce come before it…

There was no disrespect in the president’s entirely correct observation that precedent and historical practice alike would lead a suitably cautious court to uphold rather than overturn his signature first-term achievement in providing health insurance to millions of Americans. The fact that health care reform has represented a pressing issue for the nation over the course of a century would indeed make a decision to strike down the law all the more jarring. But the notion that the president’s recognition of that fact somehow crossed the Rubicon in our separation of powers by seeking to diminish the court’s independence is patently absurd.”

***

“If the president was so concerned about a court overturning a duly constituted law passed by a democratically elected Congress, why was he urging a small group of unelected judges to strike down DOMA, a measure that won passage by a far greater margin than Obamacare?

“The answer is, of course, that the administration is making a political argument for its positions, not a legal one. And perhaps counterproductively, the president’s decision to bring up Obamacare’s history in Congress could end up reminding the public of the tangled circumstances of its passage. Even with a huge majority in the House, Democrats barely passed the bill in the face of bipartisan opposition. And in the Senate, Obamacare succeeded as the result of a set of freakish circumstances that allowed Democrats to pass an unpopular measure into law.

“Those circumstances included the wrongful prosecution of a Republican senator (Ted Stevens), resulting in his seat going to a Democrat; the defection of another Republican senator (Arlen Specter) to the Democrats; and a change in one state’s laws (Massachusetts) to allow a Democratic governor to immediately appoint a Democrat to succeed the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and give the Senate a 60-vote Democratic supermajority. And then there were the policy payoffs to some Democratic senators who were undecided about the bill. Even then, Democrats held a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate for just 134 days before Massachusetts elected a Republican senator, Scott Brown, who ran specifically on the platform of stopping Obamacare. But in those 134 days, Democrats managed to pass an unpopular bill into law without a single vote to spare.”

***

“John Roberts has to know and see all this. He has to know that Fifth Circuit Judge Jerry Smith, who asked federal prosecutors for a homework assignment in the wake of Obama’s remarks—a brief stating the Justice Department’s position on judicial review, that had to be at least three pages, single-spaced!—is making conservatives look silly and cheapening the bench. And he has to know that the court’s reputation will suffer an immense blow if it overturns the mandate. It will be seen by a large majority—even a lot of people who weren’t crazy about the law—as completely political. Remember, they didn’t have to take the case in an election year in the first place. They could have put it off. But the court said it must do this now. If it then overturns the ACA, it will look and smell like a political hit job to many Americans. And the court would be saying to America, ‘We know what you think, and we don’t give a damn.’…

“The court already—after Bush v. Gore and Citizens United in particular—has one leg dangling off the cliff. If it is going to be nakedly political in its decisions, it will invite political blowback. And if it gets pushed off the cliff, then who or what is our final arbiter in America? The great irony of the conservative moral absolutists is that they have ushered in—by arguing that nothing is above or beyond politics, that all the institutions Americans used to respect were in fact infested with liberal biases and presumptions—the greatest period of relativism in American history. We no longer universally respect anything. There is no reason the court should be immune from that. If the ACA is gutted, it will be liberals who will seek revenge on the court, but remember that it was conservatives who opened the door to pure politicization in the first place.”

***

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Oops, did I just fire a shot in the “war on women?”

Flora Duh on April 8, 2012 at 8:40 AM

lol

As a woman..I approve. ;)

bazil9 on April 8, 2012 at 8:48 AM

CW on April 8, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Awww…that would explain where a few nuts went. Didn’t know the hammer has been a swinging.

Happy Easter CW.

bazil9 on April 8, 2012 at 8:51 AM

lol

As a woman..I approve. ;)

bazil9 on April 8, 2012 at 8:48 AM

lol

I recognized the symptoms because I’ve seen them. In myself. ;-)

And that Mr. Vice President is a pre-existing condition in women – not pregnancy you demwit!

Flora Duh on April 8, 2012 at 8:56 AM

demwit!

Flora Duh on April 8, 2012 at 8:56 AM

I am so stealing that.

dogsoldier on April 8, 2012 at 8:58 AM

dogsoldier on April 8, 2012 at 8:58 AM

Please do, with my blessing. :-)

Flora Duh on April 8, 2012 at 9:02 AM

I recognized the symptoms because I’ve seen them. In myself. ;-)

And that Mr. Vice President is a pre-existing condition in women – not pregnancy you demwit!

Flora Duh on April 8, 2012 at 8:56 AM

LOL, I have a handful of years till those symptoms begin.Hopefully!

Out of college, I worked at a psychiatric clinic. I can’t diagnose the issue. ;)

Beautiful morning today in Florduh isn’t it? I am hitting the beach after Easter brunch.

bazil9 on April 8, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Remember, they didn’t have to take the case in an election year in the first place. They could have put it off.

Ah yes, it would have been far better for the SCOTUS to wait a year or so, and allow the federal government to waste many billions more of Americans’ tax dollars setting up state insurance exchanges and all the many federal bureaucracies mandated by Obamacare, than for the SCOTUS to hear the case now. After all, Americans have money to burn, and nothing is more important to this country than Obama’s re-election campaign. Get your priorities straight, SCOTUS!

If it then overturns the ACA, it will look and smell like a political hit job to many Americans. And the court would be saying to America, ‘We know what you think, and we don’t give a damn.’…

Hahaha. Yet more brilliance from this stool. The SCOTUS isn’t supposed to give a damn about what the American public thinks. That’s why they have lifetime tenure — so that they won’t be influenced by public passions the way politicians are.

AZCoyote on April 8, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Beautiful morning today in Florduh isn’t it? I am hitting the beach after Easter brunch.

bazil9 on April 8, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Bright beautiful blue sky and 60 degrees with a slight breeze. Getting ready to go to my daughter’s restaurant for breakfast, then I’ll probably spend the afternoon on the porch enjoying this gorgeous weather the Lord has blessed us with. This evening it’s off to my other daughter’s house for Easter dinner.

Wishing everyone here a Happy Resurrection Day!

Flora Duh on April 8, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Hahaha. Yet more brilliance from this stool. The SCOTUS isn’t supposed to give a damn about what the American public thinks. That’s why they have lifetime tenure — so that they won’t be influenced by public passions the way politicians are.

AZCoyote on April 8, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Not to mention the fact the demwits in congress had exactly that attitude when they crammed ObamunistCare down the country’s throat.

dogsoldier on April 8, 2012 at 9:24 AM

Flora Duh on April 8, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Sounds like a wonderful Easter day.

I gotta quit chatting and reading threads here..gotta drag myself to the shower.

Good seeing you Flora, don’t be a stranger-many of us miss your posts!

Happy Easter again. Until we meet again… :)

Later.

bazil9 on April 8, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Some of you need to realize that this comment section is not your personal chat room. Many, many people come to this site to read about politics, and enjoy reading comments related to the articles. Some of you regulars feel the need to great each other, say g’night, share personal stories and generally behave as if you are in some kind of chat room. I’m sure most people dont care to have to scroll through all your inconsiderate chit chat. It is getting old, and you guys really need to stop and be more respectful of others who read this site. This comment section is not your personal chit chat hotline.

bluegill on April 8, 2012 at 6:26 AM

Well, I was going to say, because it’s Easter morning, that I have set up a nice buffet next to the orange juice and coffee (which is hot and ready to go). I was going to say, that there is bacon, sausage and biscuits and gravy and I think there are even some grits, too, over at the warmers. I was going to say, there is an omelet station over on the other side (Hi Jean-Claude! *waves*) if anyone would like a made to order omelet with a whole bunch of fixin’s. And, of course, I was going to say, there are doughnuts, bagels (I think some cream cheese and lox today, too), fruit and toast over in the usual place. I was going to say, Happy Easter and help yourselves but…

Aw, what the heck, Happy Easter and help yourselves to some breakfast! You too, little fish, you are looking rather green this morning.

Fallon on April 8, 2012 at 9:34 AM

President Straw Man was never a constitutional lawyer or a professor of constitutional law. He did some guest lecturing to get street cred with the media. If he had gone to medical school but never practiced medicine and claimed to be a brain surgeon, would the media allow him to do their surgery? I doubt it. He is am empty sham of a person living as a legend in his own mind on our dime.

Kissmygrits on April 8, 2012 at 10:08 AM

so sick of hearing citizens united and bush v gore. cu leveled the playing field for unions and corps, but fair to a liberal means the playing field has a severe tilt their way. when the field is “fair”, liberals lose. and bush v gore is a moot point since every recount including hanging chads and pregnant chads had bush winning.

phillysfinest on April 8, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Some of you regulars feel the need to great each other, say g’night, share personal stories and generally behave as if you are in some kind of chat room. I’m sure most people dont care to have to scroll through all your inconsiderate chit chat. It is getting old, and you guys really need to stop and be more respectful of others who read this site. This comment section is not your personal chit chat hotline.

bluegill on April 8, 2012 at 6:26 AM

Morning, sunshine.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoOX_W5J-o0&feature=related

arnold ziffel on April 8, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Aw, what the heck, Happy Easter and help yourselves to some breakfast! You too, little fish, you are looking rather green this morning.

Fallon on April 8, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Happy Easter Fallon. Like your posts and your blog. I am a cook also and consider cooking to be kind of an art form.

Sorry Bluegill, too homey of a post?

arnold ziffel on April 8, 2012 at 10:55 AM

And President SmartPower receives an education in the Separation of Powers:

The 5th Circuit Court’s insult to Obama
Lawfareblog.com

“In other words, by questioning the Justice’s independence, the President made it harder for the Justices whose votes he needs to act in his favor.”

http://tinyurl.com/7sxeshs

ChicagØbama can’t intimidate the CO-EQUAL branch of government like he does the Congress.

CNN
“As a brilliant constitutional lawyer deeply devoted to the rule of law, [Obama] has nothing but respect for the critical function that judicial review performs in preserving the American system of constitutional government.
http://tinyurl.com/7kly6pa

That is soooooo predictable. The part-time “lecturer” at America’s version of “The Frankfurt School” (i.e. Marxists) discovers that there really are rules, and a body of four+ intellectuals will ensure that The Won can keep his “sharp elbows” to himself.
What a maroon. Slappy will soon be confronted with the real world that exists beyond the perennially filthy, corrupt Chicago politics.
He should have known he was in trouble when even the affirmative-action appointess Sotomayer didn’t appear sympathetic to Ø’Bumbler, the thug-in-chief. Intimidation doesn’t always succeed, eh?
LOL

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on April 8, 2012 at 10:55 AM

bluegill on April 8, 2012 at 6:26 AM

Bluegill, don’t be a spoisport. As lond as its Not Dr.Tesla i’ll read anybodys anything.

Gerry-mittbot-needs more things to do

gerrym51 on April 8, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Flora Duh on April 8, 2012 at 6:12 AM

Some of you need to realize that this comment section is not your personal chat room. Many, many people come to this site to read about politics, and enjoy reading comments related to the articles. Some of you regulars feel the need to great each other, say g’night, share personal stories and generally behave as if you are in some kind of chat room. I’m sure most people dont care to have to scroll through all your inconsiderate chit chat. It is getting old, and you guys really need to stop and be more respectful of others who read this site. This comment section is not your personal chit chat hotline.

bluegill on April 8, 2012 at 6:26 AM

….hey fishhead!…I’m a newbie and I say this from the bottom of my bowell…SUADASTFU…BE-YOTCH!

KOOLAID2 on April 8, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Some of you need to realize that this comment section is not your personal chat room. Many, many people come to this site to read about politics, and enjoy reading comments related to the articles. Some of you regulars feel the need to great each other, say g’night, share personal stories and generally behave as if you are in some kind of chat room. I’m sure most people dont care to have to scroll through all your inconsiderate chit chat. It is getting old, and you guys really need to stop and be more respectful of others who read this site. This comment section is not your personal chit chat hotline.

bluegill on April 8, 2012 at 6:26 AM

Thank You.
Wading through all of the chat room silliness first thing in the a.m. is tiresome.
A few people should share a private room.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on April 8, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Sorry, but the fact that someone has had a HotAir account for years doesn’t give them license to treat this comment section as their chat room. Too many of these old timers think they own the place. They need to take their boring banter about totally off-topic subjects to Facebook chat. There is no tenure standing/rank among registered posters, and it’s probably time that some of these people were told to knock it off. Besides, most HotAir readers don’t have accounts, and I’m sure they don’t care to wade through all the junk about random people’s musical tastes, etc. It reminds me of those people who shout while talking on their mobile phones without regard for the people around them.

bluegill on April 8, 2012 at 6:59 AM

…dead fish!…I know you don’t have a Facebook account…you would need to have some friends and you’re too miserable of a person…but, some of us might try to get along with you if every post did not have ‘be-yotch’ written all over it!

KOOLAID2 on April 8, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Karl Magnus on April 8, 2012 at 11:48 AM

…Dude! You’re from Michigan!…we’re mellow…not catty…and that’s probably govenor Gran-mole you’re talking to!

KOOLAID2 on April 8, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Aw, what the heck, Happy Easter and help yourselves to some breakfast! You too, little fish, you are looking rather green this morning.

Fallon on April 8, 2012 at 9:34 AM

…her chocolate bunny was a laxitive!

KOOLAID2 on April 8, 2012 at 12:03 PM

bluegill on April 8, 2012 at 6:59 AM

Bluey, big girls don’t cry.

OkieDoc on April 8, 2012 at 12:13 PM

bluegill on April 8, 2012 at 6:26 AM

Go cry in the car.

tom daschle concerned on April 8, 2012 at 6:23 PM

I recommend that we all be banned and start over. Just so these two will be happy on Easter.

Some of you need to realize that this comment section is not your personal chat room. Many, many people come to this site to read about politics, and enjoy reading comments related to the articles. Some of you regulars feel the need to great each other, say g’night, share personal stories and generally behave as if you are in some kind of chat room. I’m sure most people dont care to have to scroll through all your inconsiderate chit chat. It is getting old, and you guys really need to stop and be more respectful of others who read this site. This comment section is not your personal chit chat hotline.

bluegill on April 8, 2012 at 6:26 AM

Thank You.
Wading through all of the chat room silliness first thing in the a.m. is tiresome.
A few people should share a private room.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on April 8, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Bmore on April 8, 2012 at 7:34 PM

For now here is a tip you two skip all comments between the time QOTD is posted and when you make your first comment. Think that should work for everyone involved?

Bmore on April 8, 2012 at 7:36 PM

bluegill on April 8, 2012 at 6:26 AM

figures…

Gohawgs on April 8, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Nothing about Obamais is as he represents. He is a complete fraud. If he is the smartest man in the room, hang on. Obama fatigue is advancing steadily.

StevC on April 9, 2012 at 11:46 AM

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