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June 9, 2009
Obama administration believes in a unitary executive when it comes to takeovers
They are arguing that the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to rule on TARP according to Lyle Denniston at SCOTUS Blog:
The Obama Administration argued Monday that no court, including the Supreme Court, has the authority to hear a challenge by Indiana benefit plans to the role the U.S. Treasury played in the Chrysler rescue, including the use of "bailout" (TARP) funds. The Indiana debt holders, U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan wrote, simply have no right to raise that issue, thus putting it out of the reach of the courts.
The government's brief opposing a plea to delay the Chrysler sale can be downloaded here. The main case at the Court is Indiana State Police Pension Trust, et al., v. Chrysler LLC (application 08A1096). (The other filings in the Chrysler proceeding before the Court, and this blog's weekend coverage, can be found at this link.)
All of the legal filings expected in the Chrysler case are now before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as Circuit Justice, and thus she or the full Court could now act on the three applications to postpone the sale of most of the auto company's assets to a new company representing a combination with Fiat, the Italian auto company.
The piece was written before Ginsburg issued a stay late yesterday afternoon that did indeed temporarily block the sale of Chrysler.
But the argument used by Obama's SG - that the Supreme Court have "no right" to rule on their power grabs is wishful thinking. History has demonstrated that the high court will rule on anything and everything it sees fit to judge and presidents have very little to say about it.
But it is revealing that the administration would use this line of argument - that only the executive is competent to judge these matters - when they spent an entire presidential campaign criticizing the preceding administration for doing exactly the same thing on national security matters.