Want to see something funny?
Tea Party GOP Senator Jim Demint has blasted Barack Obama for bullying the Supreme Court over the Obamacare hearings.
Here’s a portion of a report from The Herald of South Carolina:
In Rock Hill, DeMint criticised President Barack Obama for being inexperienced and attacked the health care law now under review by the U.S. Supreme Court for trying to “force people to buy things they don’t want.”
DeMint called Obama a “bully” for recent comments he made against the highest court and said the president and his administration “believe Americans are stupid.”
But in reality, Jim DeMint has gone far beyond rhetoric in criticising the Supreme Court. He has, in fact, co-sponsored a bill that would have severely limited the power of the Supreme Court and prompted Congressional review of Supreme Court decisions.
Here is a list of co-sponsors of the Congressional Accountability for Judicial Activism Act of 2004, which would have allowed Congress to overturn a Supreme Court decision by a two-thirds vote in both chambers. DeMint was a major co-sponsor along with former Kentucky Rep. Ron Lewis. Here’s the text of the summary:
Authorizes Congress, if two thirds of each House agree, to reverse a judgment of the United States Supreme Court: (1) if that judgment is handed down after the date of the enactment of this Act; and (2) to the extent that judgment concerns the constitutionality of an Act of Congress.
The bill was designed because of what Lewis and the co-sponsors felt were recent “activist judicial rulings.” That included a recent Massachusetts Supreme Court decision that prohibiting gay marriages was discriminatory.
“America’s judicial branch has become increasingly overreaching and disconnected from the values of everyday Americans,” Lewis said in a 2004 press release. “The recent actions taken by courts in Massachusetts and elsewhere are demonstrative of a single branch of government taking upon itself the singular ability to legislate. These actions usurp the will of the governed by allowing a select few to conclusively rule on issues that are radically reshaping our nation’s traditions.”
The funny thing is, the bill had no chance of passing, primarily because it was incredibly unconstitutional and because the Supreme Court would have taken the step to strike it down if it ever got passed.
“The Supreme Court would immediately say it’s unconstitutional because the Supreme Court gets the last word on the constitutionality of laws,” University of Southern California law professor Erwin Chemerinsky told the Associated Press in 2004.
Earlier this week, Obama had some strong words for the Supreme Court. As part of that press conference at the Rose Garden, he noted how the main criticisms of the high court from conservatives have been in certain cases of activism:
“And I just remind conservative commentators that for years what we have heard is that 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. Well, this is a good example. And I’m pretty confident that this court will recognise that and not take that step.”
Here’s to reminding everyone: It’s only judicial activism if you disagree with the decision.
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