March 1, 2011
There is a malodorous wind wafting its way from the White House. It bodes ill for the fate of the US judiciary and the Republic of these United States.
The whiff of gunfire was obvious when President Obama publically dressed down the Justices of the Supreme Court during his State of the Union address, saying to his captive audience, "With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the supreme court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests -- including foreign corporations-to spend without limit in our elections...I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people. And I'd urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems."
The fight between Obama and the courts was on. Much more was to follow.
This would not be the first time an American president found himself at odds with the judiciary, including the Supreme Court. In fact, the august Supreme Court may be in jeopardy in a way it has not been since Franklin Roosevelt, whom Obama deeply admires and seeks to imitate, tried to pack the court in 1937.
At that time, angered over its decisions vitiating his favorite programs, FDR threatened to completely remake the Court's image and its constitutional mandate in order it become more amenable to his legislative agenda. The President's fireside chat on the subject left no doubt in his listeners mind he was impatient with the judiciary.
He said, "Last Thursday I described the American form of government as a three-horse team provided by the Constitution to the American people so that their field might be plowed. The three horses are, of course, the three branches of government - the Congress, the executive, and the courts. Two of the horses, the Congress and the executive, are pulling in unison today; the third is not."
The howls of rage that met his attempt to get the "third horse" in tandem with the other two branches of government eventually forced FDR to back down.
A similar assault on the judiciary would wait until another day.
That day has come.
Obama has already indicated his hostility toward court decisions he doesn't like, but more than verbal hostility has transpired since Obama's State of the Union speech, which found an obviously roiled Judge Alito mouthing responses to the president's antagonistic and historically unprecedented dress down of the high court.
Indications are the high court, along with the entirety of the judicial branch of government, may be facing more than a verbal showdown as the Obama administration is determined by any and every means to salvage its end goals, particularly its health care plan, from the counterattacks of the judiciary.
As the whole world knows, recently Justice Roger Vinson of the U.S. District Court in Pensacola ruled the individual mandate central to the implementation of Obama Care is illegal. If Justice Vinson's ruling stands, it would make the 2,700 page, $938 billion health reform bill null and void.
"Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void. This has been a difficult decision to reach, and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications."
Vinson's ruling, along with one which was delivered by Judge Henry Hudson in Virginia, means it is probable that the U.S. Supreme Court will make the final decision about the constitutionality of ObamaCare. So far the auguries do not bode well for its fate.
Regardless, it has been noticeable that the Obama administration has paid no particular mind to the Vinson decision. On the contrary, the WH has ignored the ruling, proceeding as if it never happened, hell bent on continuing the implementation of Obama Care. As Mark Levin and others have noted, the president is in contempt of court by continuing to implement a law declared unconstitutional. In fact, while the rest of the real estate market languishes, the boom in Washington, D.C. continues unabated, due in a large part to the need for office space for the multitudinous agencies, some 159 in number, mandated by the health care bill.
It's worth noting the disregard for judicial rulings concerning the Health Care bill has been paralleled by the Obama administration's quiet ignoring of the judicial decisions overturning the moratoriums on drilling for oil.
But perhaps the most ominous sign the judicial branch of our government may be in danger of being entirely overridden by the executive branch of our government is the recent decision by the Department of Justice not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act on the grounds that part of the act is unconstitutional.
In one fell swoop, the Obama administration has abrogated to itself the role of the judiciary and has thereby announced to the judiciary the executive branch will decide whether or not to uphold the decisions of the courts, including the Supreme Court.
The Obama administration has basically executed a coup against the judiciary and due process of law by taking to itself the duties of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. For if the administration can decree a given law as unconstitutional without the evaluation of its constitutionality or non-constitutionality residing in the hands of the judiciary, the process of judicial review is unnecessary. Worse, the entire system of governmental checks and balances is completely wrecked. The executive branch would reign as supreme arbiter of law. Law would be what the executive branch deems law: law by decree, by fiat.
Further, the administration's refusal to defend an established law which has not yet been decreed unconstitutional by the courts means it may also refuse to obey the courts when and if it upholds Judge Vinson's decision, declaring Obama Care unconstitutional. It is not hard to see an administration which has declared one law unconstitutional; regardless of the fact the courts have not ruled it to be so, declaring the Health Care bill as constitutional regardless of what the Supreme Court rules.
And that may be the end game. Declaring the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and refusing to defend it may well be the presage for further defiance of the courts, as the Obama administration is determined not to allow its crowning achievement to be gutted by anyone or any entity, including the Supreme Court.
We have seen the Obama administration's defiance of the courts from the inception of his administration. From day one the president has ignored or openly opposed the restraints of the judiciary.
The ultimate battle will be enjoined should the Supreme Court declare Obama Care unconstitutional. When and if the administration chooses to defy the ruling of our most august judicial body, FDR's attempt to pack the court will seem a picayune maneuver compared to what will be an all out assault on the Republic, an assault which could conceivably send it to the graveyard of history.