Obama’s Supreme Court threats: playing with fire while doused in gasoline

In the wake of White House’s defense of Obamacare before the Supreme Court, it’s hard not to conclude that a scary percentage of Democrats are willing to tear the country apart if it serves their political purposes. I’m not predisposed to leveling such serious charges, but the president’s broadside on the Supreme Court, coupled with those by his surrogates on the airwaves, leaves me no choice. Politico reports:

President Barack Obama has joined a growing number of Democratic lawmakers, left-leaning commentators and progressive activists who are warning the Supreme Court on the health care law: Don’t you dare overturn it.

Obama made an unusual pre-emptive strike Monday that previews the Democratic strategy if the high court nixes all or major parts of his signature domestic achievement. His volley, coming less than a week after the oral arguments wrapped up and while the justices are still deliberating, injects a high-level dose of politics into the most anticipated ruling since the court settled the 2000 presidential race.

His message was simple: The Roberts Court is on trial.

“I’d just remind conservative commentators that for years, what we’ve 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,” Obama said at a news conference. “Well, this is a good example. And I’m pretty confident that this court will recognize that and not take that step.

First of all, he’s wrong. Conservatives have never complained about judges overturning “a duly constituted and passed law.” Conservatives are against judges making law through their rulings, or approving of laws that are unconstitutional. The job of the justice is to uphold the constitution, and striking down law that violates the constitution is not ideological. President Obama’s analysis of the situation is 180 degrees from reality.

This guy was a constitutional lawyer? How is that even possible? According to his logic, any law that is “duly passed” is constitutional. It’s nonsensical reasoning and completely irrelevant to the issue at hand, which is whether or not the government can force you to engage in commerce so that they can then control it. An individual mandate is anathema to limited government, and for a sitting president to suggest that the highest court in the land would invalidate such a monstrosity for petty political purposes is disgusting and dangerous. Justice Kennedy stated that an individual mandate would fundamentally alter the relationship between the federal government and the citizenry, and he was right. But according to Barack Obama, such an observation resorts to judicial activism. Perhaps this is why:

[Obama] urged the court to consider the “human element,” saying that “people’s lives are affected by the lack of availability of health care.” Millions of young adults and senior citizens have already benefited from the law, and millions more will gain access to health insurance when it takes effect completely in 2014, Obama said.

Again, the president appeals to emotion, knowing full well that the “human element” he speaks of is irrelevant to the constitutionality of the individual mandate. If the government passed a law tomorrow that it could randomly confiscate the wealth of anyone it wanted, so that it could then turn around and give it to the homeless, there would still be a “human element,” there would still be millions of lives affected—and it would still be unconstitutional.

It is not unheard of for a Supreme Court justice to change his mind on a case after deliberation. This little stunt of Obama’s could backfire on him badly. His reckless rhetoric could change a 5-4 vote to 6-3. I’m still interested in seeing how Sotomayor votes, since she asked a few rather pointed questions that suggested that she would be open to siding against the mandate.

President Barack Obama and Democrats are playing with serious fire when they portray the court as nothing more than a bunch of political hacks with lifetime appointments. There are at least five of them who try and figure out what the original intent of the Founding Fathers is that’s embedded in the constitution. There are four others who tend to find that “specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance.”

Confused? Let Mark Levin explain:

Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know what emanations from penumbras are. Young lawyers across America had to pull out their dictionaries when reading [Griswold v. Connecticut] for the first time. A penumbra is an astronomical term describing the partial shadow in an eclipse or the edge of a sunspot — and it is another way to describe something unclear or uncertain. “Emanation” is a scientific term for gas made from radioactive decay — it also means “an emission.”

In order to get the outcome they want when a piece of legislation directly violates the constitution, liberals are forced to find “penumbras from emanations.” They must twist themselves into intellectual pretzels, as Donnald Verrilli attempted to do during his time in front of the Court.

The president miscalculated what the Supreme Court’s response to Obamacare would be, and I think he has miscalculated what the American people’s response will be to his current rhetoric. The president has lit a match, not even realizing that he’s also doused himself in gasoline. It will be interesting to see whether he chooses to blow that match out or inadvertently immolate himself.

Donald Verrilli’s Obamacare suicide mission.

U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli was sent to defend the indefensible before very smart people, like Justice Scalia and the eight other Supreme Court justices. Now Verrilli is going to be blamed for something that was a lost cause to begin with.

Listening to the the Supreme Court coverage of Obamacare for the last two days has been a pure joy for anyone who loves the constitution. The reason is simple: the Obamacare mandate is blatantly unconstitutional, and there’s nowhere to hem and haw and hide once you get to the Supreme Court. It’s one thing to yell and scream on cable news; it’s one things to play semantics in The New York Times or the Washington Post; and it’s another to stand before nine Supreme Court justices and have to be bring your A-game in front of the entire country. Word on the street is that U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli wasn’t even fit for a high school debate club’s B-team. I disagree, because you can’t defend the indefensible. It didn’t matter what game he brought, because the Obama administration gave him an impossible task.

Here’s the analysis, from CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin:

“This law looks like it’s going to be struck down. I’m telling you, all of the predictions including mine that the justices would not have a problem with this law were wrong. … I don’t know why he had a bad day … He is a good lawyer, he was a perfectly fine lawyer in the really sort of tangential argument yesterday. He was not ready for the answers for the conservative justices.”

Really? He was fine on the first day? I suppose, if you consider getting laughed at by everyone in the room to be “fine.”

Here’s the deal: Verrilli has been asked to simultaneously define something as a “tax” and a “penalty.” The Obama administration asked him to twist into an intellectual pretzel to get this thing into the end zone, and that’s tough to do.

The Obama administration has to thread a difficult needle. U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli argued [Monday] that the penalty for non-compliance with the mandate did not function as a tax for the purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act [because the Fourth Circuit of Appeals ruled othewise]. [And Tuesday], he’ll have to argue that it does operate as a tax, and thus is a constitutional exercise of the congressional power to levy taxes.

Justice Samuel Alito asked Verrilli whether he could point to another case in which courts identified something as not a tax for the purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act while still ruling it was a constitutional exercise of taxing power. Verrilli could not name any.

U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli was sent on a suicide mission, and he should be pissed off. The left will place the blame on his shoulder’s when the Supreme Court rules that the Obamacare mandate is unconstitutional. All they need to do to find the real culprit is to look into the mirror.

Justice Scalia is not a stupid man, and he’s not afraid to tell that to anyone who walks into the courtroom. After Justice Kagan had to spoon feed talking points to Verrilli to help him get through the ordeal, I would be shocked if the Court didn’t strike down the mandate.

Again, today was a beautiful day if you love the constitution.

Related: My response to the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare.