Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Obama Supreme Court intimidation tactic

by Roger Bissell

Roger Bissell
Commenting on the President's insinuation that overturning Obamacare would be an illegitimate use of the Supreme Court's authority, Rep. Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said: "Nothing could be more appropriate for the Supreme Court to decide than whether a bill is constitutional or not. It is not unprecedented at all for the Supreme Court to declare a law unconstitutional; they do that on a regular basis, so it's not unprecedented at all. What is unprecedented is the president of the United States trying to intimidate the Supreme Court."

 I agree with everything except Rep. Smith's last sentence. Actually, it is NOT unprecedented for a U.S. President to try to intimidate the Supreme Court. FDR did it in the 1930s when the Court overturned his attempt to convert the US to a Mussolini style fascist economy VIA the NIRA. Roosevelt threatened to "pack" the Court by nominating enough extra puppet Justices that the Court could no longer defy his and Congress's wishes. The Court got the message, even though packing didn't happen. They caved on many significant economic freedom cases after that. A truly chilling effect, where even the threat was enough to destroy the Court's role as a check and balance.

And now, when at long last the Court seems about to reassert itself in the face of a grotesquely unconstitutional healthcare law, another overreaching, statist POTUS tries to intimidate them. Unprecedented? Unfortunately not. Just more of the same power-grabbing, threat-waving tactics of a Chief Executive who defies the Constitution and defiles his oath of office.

Roger Bissell is professional musician and writer living in Antioch, Tennessee. He was founder and chairman of the Nashville Tax Alternatives Committee and a founding member and former chairman of the Tennessee Libertarian Party.

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