Obama and the Supreme Court

By L. Vincent Poupard | Yahoo! Contributor Network – Mon, Apr 2, 2012

COMMENTARY | President Barack Obama has warned the Supreme Court about the possible overturning of the federal health care overhaul, according to Fox News. It is not unprecedented for a president to make comments about what the Supreme Court is debating, but his comments point to something unprecedented. As a political scientist, I cannot think of a time when a president made comments to make people think he has no idea how the Constitution works.

Among his comments, President Obama stated how he did not understand how an “unelected group of people” could overturn a law passed by a majority of Congress. It is the job of the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution and see if particular cases before the justices uphold the content and context of the document. His Oath of Office included the words, “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” so he better have an understanding of the document he is sworn to protect and defend. The “how” he does not understand is the “how” it works.

President Obama went on to say, “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.” If the Supreme Court strikes down the health care law, it will not be an unprecedented move as the Supreme Court has struck down national laws since the court’s inception. I worry about a president who does not understand the history of the court system.

The second part of the previous statement scares me as well. The president pointed out how the health care law was passed by a majority of elected officials. I believe it would be a good idea for the president to familiarize himself with the classic “How a Bill Becomes a Law.” After reading, he should realize all bills need to be passed by a majority of Congress to become law. Can we trust a leader who does not apparently understand the system?

Finally, President Obama stated how the health care law is constitutional. I wonder how he can make this determination on his own as he proved in a few short sentences how he does not understand the content or context of the Constitution. Can we reelect a person who does not understand the basics of U.S. government?

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