Photo: Flickr / Joe Gratz
Obama came out swinging yesterday, saying that if the Supreme Court struck down his health care law, it would be an “unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”Well, apparently some members of the Judiciary aren’t happy about that.
According to Jan Crawford of ABC, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered Obama’s Justice department to answer by Thursday whether the Administration believes that the courts have the ability to strike down a federal law:
Overturning a law of course would not be unprecedented — since the Supreme Court since 1803 has asserted the power to strike down laws it interprets as unconstitutional. The three-judge appellate court appears to be asking the administration to admit that basic premise — despite the president’s remarks that implied the contrary. 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.
Here the Court is trying to humiliate the president, perhaps as retaliation against his over-the-top rhetoric about the role of the judicial branch of government.
Think of a teacher asking a haughty trigonometry student to explain how addition works in front of the whole class.
It is a juicy power play.
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