With SCOTUS ready to rule on Obamacare and the Arizona immigration statute, the Washington Post reminds us that this has been an absolutely horrible year for the president at the Supreme Court:
At least so far, 5-to-4 decisions that have divided the court along ideological lines have split fairly evenly between wins for liberals and for conservatives. And there has been a string of high-profile losses in which the government has failed to win the vote of a single justice - liberal or conservative.
The court was unanimous in rejecting the government's arguments that federal discrimination laws protect employees of religious organizations who perform some duties central to the group's faith.
The justices in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC for the first time recognized a "ministerial exception" to workplace discrimination laws. They dismissed the government's view that the fired employee's claim should be viewed as if she worked for a labor union or social club protected by the First Amendment's guarantee of free association.
"We cannot accept the remarkable view that the Religion Clauses have nothing to say about a religious organization's freedom to select its own ministers," Roberts wrote.
In United States v. Jones, the government argued that it did not need a warrant to attach a Global Positioning System device to a suspected drug dealer's car and monitor his movements for a month. The court again disagreed unanimously, although the justices split on whether Antoine Jones's constitutional rights were violated when the device was put on his car or whether the government's surveillance compromised his privacy rights.
And in Sackett v. EPA, the court rejected the argument that property owners accused of violating the Clean Water Act do not have the right to quickly challenge those allegations in court.
It is a case in which the administration was defending a decades-old EPA enforcement technique upheld by lower courts. It was not indicative of any activism by the Obama environmental regime; Mike and Chantell Sackett's plan to build an Idaho lake house was stopped when George W. Bush was president.
Constitutional scholar Ilya Shapiro at the Cato Institute says that the Obama administration's "outlandish claims of federal power" have resulted in the court rejecting many of their cases.
Barack Obama has always seen the Constitution as an impediment to implementing "social justice." He is getting a first hand look at just how right he is on that score.