Diary

Obama Sent To Blackboard

Must write “I must not tell lies” 100 times!

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit has directed the Obama administration to clarify its position on Marbury v. Madison (H/T: Ace of Spades HQ):

In the escalating battle between the administration and the judiciary, a federal appeals court apparently is calling the president’s bluff — ordering the Justice Department to answer by Thursday whether the Obama Administration believes that the courts have the right to strike down a federal law, according to a lawyer who was in the courtroom.

The order, by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, appears to be in direct response to the president’s comments yesterday about the Supreme Court’s review of the health care law. Mr. Obama all but threw down the gauntlet with the justices, saying he was “confident” the Court would not “take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”

It was passed on partisan lines late on Christmas Eve in defiance of nationwide protesters and with the support of many legislators who had been bribed or bullied into supporting it, in fact.

…The panel ordered the Justice Department to submit a three-page, single-spaced letter by noon Thursday addressing whether the Executive Branch believes courts have such power, the lawyer said.

I must not tell lies.
I must not tell lies.
I must not tell lies.
I must not tell lies.

Three-page, single-spaced? Legal documents are not normally executed single-spaced. This is the court putting the administration on notice.

The panel is hearing a separate challenge to the health care law by physician-owned hospitals. The issue arose when a lawyer for the Justice Department began arguing before the judges. Appeals Court Judge Jerry Smith immediately interrupted, asking if DOJ agreed that the judiciary could strike down an unconstitutional law.

The DOJ lawyer, Dana Lydia Kaersvang, answered yes — and mentioned Marbury v. Madison, the landmark case that firmly established the principle of judicial review more than 200 years ago, according to the lawyer in the courtroom.

Smith then became “very stern,” the source said, suggesting it wasn’t clear whether the president believes such a right exists. The other two judges on the panel, Emilio Garza and Leslie Southwick–both Republican appointees–remained silent, the source said.

Smith, a Reagan appointee, went on to say that comments from the president and others in the Executive Branch indicate they believe judges don’t have the power to review laws and strike those that are unconstitutional, specifically referencing Mr. Obama’s comments yesterday about judges being an “unelected group of people.”

President Obama’s characteristic arrogance will get him in trouble if he can’t tone it down when speaking about the federal judiciary.

Ace points out:

As Allah noted, as reminded by @baseballcrank, Obama is currently inviting the courts to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, passed by truly solid democratic majorities, and still popular law. He has instructed his lawyers to not defend the law against challenge (Congress, I believe, has petitioned to intervene to defend the law).

So no, he doesn’t really believe the courts can’t strike down laws.

He’s just lying for political effect, as usual.

(Cross-posted from Thoughts of a Regular Guy.)