Rise of the Petty Dictator
April 3, 2012
Many a constitutional scholar were left with their jaws hanging near their ankles following Obama’s press conference on the White House lawn yesterday, where he railed against Supreme Court, describing their potential to overturn his Obamacare as that of an “Unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constitutional and passed law.”
According to the President, it would be “unprecedented” for the Supreme Court to overturn his health care law. His preemptive strike against the Supreme Court should worry more people than opponents of Obamacare.
What is most amazing is that this statement comes from someone who purports to have taught Constitutional Law at University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. One might come to conclusion that Obama had someone else take his law exams, not least because the Supreme Court’s ability to overturn such legislation hasn’t been “unprecedented” since Marbury v. Madison in 1803.
Even more disturbing than his individual display of legislative incompetency, or the chief executive’s own summary ignorance of history, is an inability to grasp the over arching concept of separation of powers, also known as “checks and balances”, which is the keystone of an American constitutional republic. The Constitution does not explicitly say whether any branch of government should rule over another, but James Madison, in the Federalist Papers, did hint that “it is not possible to give to each department an equal power of self-defense. In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates.”