Tag Archives: scotus

‘Revolutionary Fervor’ In America

In the wake of today’s historic Supreme Court ruling upholding the key provision in President Obama’s health care act, opponents are spending little time lamenting their loss, vowing to repeal the massive law and help channel a “revolutionary fervor” among voters that will sweep Democrats from office in November.

The head of the Republican Attorney’s General Association declared “the battle isn’t over,” and a veteran conservative activist says that if America thought tea party anger over Obamacare was reflected in the 2010 polls, wait until this fall.

“The 2010 Tea Party wave election was all about the average American’s anger over the individual mandate and the oppressive big government that it represents,” explained Richard A. Viguerie, chairman of ConservativeHQ.com.

“The Supreme Court’s narrow decision upholding the individual mandate has raised that anger to a revolutionary fervor that will sweep President Obama and many other Democrats from office,” he asserted.

Viguerie said Democrats “have now been put in the position of doubling down on the Big Brother mandates and oppressive big government policies that led to their historic defeat in the 2010 congressional elections.”

“The more Democrats defend the individual mandate, the more seats in Congress Democrats will lose,” he said.

Viguerie said it’s worth noting that Obama and the Democrats lost today on the heart of the mandate, the argument that the Constitution’s Commerce Clause could force Americans to buy health insurance.

“But the mandate was upheld on the issue the Democrats were trying to hide: It is a massive tax increase on the American people,” he said.

Viguerie vowed the 63 seats Democrats lost in the House in 2010 “are just the beginning.”

Michael A. Needham, CEO of the nonprofit Heritage Action for America, said in a letter to supporters that the nation’s “system of checks and balances ensures the Supreme Court’s misguided decision will not be the final word on President Obama’s government takeover of healthcare.”

“We still oppose Obamacare,” he wrote, “and conservatives are still united around fully repealing President Obama’s government takeover of our health care system. Today’s decision is not the end of the fight, it is the beginning!”

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To Obama, legal precedents are all about politics

In 1996 Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act by huge bipartisan votes — 342 to 67 in the House and 85 to 14 in the Senate. President Bill Clinton signed the measure into law.

Now, the Obama administration says DOMA, which permits states to refuse to recognize gay marriages from other states and also creates a federal definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, is unconstitutional. In Boston on Wednesday, Stuart Delery, an attorney for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, urged the First Circuit Court of Appeals to find DOMA violates the Constitution by discriminating against gays and lesbians. “I’m not here to defend [the law] on any standard,” Delery told the court.

What was striking about Delery’s request that a federal court strike down DOMA was that just a day or two before, President Obama railed at the very notion that a federal court would strike down any law passed by Congress.

“I’m confident that the Supreme Court will 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,” Obama said Monday about the arguments over Obamacare before the nation’s highest court. The danger presented in the health care case, the president continued, is that “an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.”

Obama immediately ran into a barrage of questions. How can the Supreme Court overturning a law be “unprecedented” when the court has done it more than 150 times in U.S. history? And does the president even recognize the court’s authority to rule on the constitutionality of laws passed by Congress?

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McConnell to Obama: Back off SCOTUS

The Republican backlash against President Barack Obama’s health care-SCOTUS remarks shows no sign of subsiding.

In a noon speech today to the Rotary Club of Lexington, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell continued the GOP counteroffensive, telling the president to “back off” the Supreme Court.

“The President crossed a dangerous line this week. And anyone who cares about liberty needs to call him out on it. The independence of the Court must be defended,” McConnell (R-Ky.) said, according to the prepared text of his speech released by his office. “So respectfully, I would suggest the President back off. Let the Court do its work.”

Obama predicted Monday that the High Court would uphold the Democratic health care law. Repealing it, the president said during a Rose Garden news conference, would amount to judicial activism on an “unprecedented, extraordinary” scale.

“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. “Well, this is a good example. And I’m pretty confident that this Court will recognize that and not take that step.”

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Obama warns Supreme Court

US President Barack Obama on Monday challenged the “unelected” Supreme Court not to take the “extraordinary” and “unprecedented” step of overturning his landmark health reform law.

Though Obama said he was confident the court would uphold the law, the centerpiece of his political legacy, he appeared to be previewing campaign trail arguments should the nine justices strike the legislation down.

In a highly combative salvo, Obama also staunchly defended the anchor of the law — a requirement that all Americans buy health insurance — as key to giving millions of people access to treatment for the first time.

“Ultimately, I am confident that the Supreme Court will 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,” Obama said.

Pointed comments from Supreme Court justices last week during three days of compelling hearings have convinced many commentators that the court, expected to rule in June, will declare the law, dubbed ObamaCare, unconstitutional.

Such a move would electrify the White House race, puncture Obama’s claims to be a reformer in the grand political tradition, and throw the US health care industry into chaos.

Obama noted that for years, conservatives had been arguing that the “unelected” Supreme Court should not adopt an activist approach by making rather than interpreting law, and held up the health legislation as an example.

“I am pretty confident that this court will recognize that and not take that step,” Obama said during a press conference in the White House Rose Garden with the leaders of Canada and Mexico in his first comments on last week’s hearings.

Obama’s comments will be seen as a warning shot to the court, one of the three branches of the US government, and could draw complaints from critics that he is trying to influence the deliberations.

The health care case is the most closely watched Supreme Court deliberation since a divided bench handed the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush over Al Gore, and could have far reaching political implications.

Obama also argued there was a “human element” to the health care battle, as well as legal and political dimensions.

He said that without the law, passed after a fierce battle with Republicans in 2010, several million children would not have health care, and millions more adults with pre-existing conditions would also be deprived of treatment.

Opponents of the health care law argue that the government has overreached its powers by requiring all Americans to purchase health insurance.

But supporters say that the government is within its rights to regulate the health industry as it has the power to oversee commerce across state borders.

Without the mandate, they say, the costs of insuring an extra 32 million Americans would be prohibitive to the private health insurance industry.

The Affordable Care Act is highly polarizing in US politics as the election approaches and Obama is yet to get a political dividend for the huge expenditure of political capital required to pass the legislation.

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