White House tells Supreme Court what cases it should take?

March 15, 2011

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised; this is, after all, the same administration whose leader famously dressed down the Court live on national television during his State of the Union speech. No wonder his flunkies feel free to tell the court what cases it may take and when:

The Obama administration told the Supreme Court on Monday night it should stay away from a high-profile challenge to the 2010 health care law until after a lower court has had a chance to review the case.

Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal wrote, “there is no basis for short-circuiting the normal course of appellate review.” Katyal also says Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s case is problematic because he may lack sufficient standing to challenge the health care law.

The Supreme Court normally takes cases only after they’ve been reviewed at least once by appellate judges. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says that’s not appropriate in this instance.

In his filing last month, Cuccinelli said there’s a “palpable consensus” that the high court will ultimately have to pass judgment on the merits of President Obama’s health care law and should do so without delay. Furthermore, Cuccinelli argues that his case involves “pure issues of constitutional law” that appellate judges on the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will be unable to definitively resolve.

Maybe I’m just a stuffy old conservative, but it seems to me that the Court itself is competent to decide what cases it will take in which order, and when procedure will be followed and when it will be deviated from. Last I checked, it is a co-equal branch of the government and doesn’t need advice from another branch about how to handle its own affairs.

The subtext of this seems to me to be that Katyal and his bosses are worried that the initiative is against them since Judge Vinson’s devastating ruling against ObamaCare last April, even though that’s separate from Virginia’s case. Judge Vinson’s reasoning will surely be used in any number of amicus briefs filed when (not if) Virginia’s case goes to the SCOTUS, so perhaps the administration is hoping appellate review of Cuccinelli’s suit will give them some ammunition for later. Or maybe they’re playing a delaying game, hoping that, the longer ObamaCare is in force, the less likely the courts will be to overturn it.

To be honest, I’m not sure why they need to act arrogantly toward the court in this instance; it’s not as if they’ve shown any inclination to obey court orders so far.

via Doug Powers

UPDATE: I’ve been told by several lawyers on Twitter that this is a fairly standard filing, so, objection withdrawn. But the snark about obeying court orders stands.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


This just in: Harry Reid is an idiot

May 12, 2010

Via David Freddoso, we read in wonder as the Majority Leader of the United States Senate has an out-of-reality experience of almost Biden-esque proportions:

In a recent Senate floor speech, Democratic Leader Harry Reid likened Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan to another woman who sat on the court, Sandra Day O’Connor.

“One of my favorite Supreme Court Justices in recent years has been Sandra Day O’Connor, not because she’s a Republican, but because she was a good judge. I think one reason she was a good judge is she had no judicial experience,” Reid said on May 11, 2010.

Um, not quite, Pinky. From the same article:

In 1975, O’Connor was elected a judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court, where she served until 1979, when she was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals, according to her biography on the U.S. Supreme Court Web site. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominated O’Connor to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court.

Want to try again, Harry?

Dear Nevada, do the nation a favor and elect this woman.


A diminished, petty President

January 28, 2010

I was out last night and so missed President Obama’s State of the Union address. Thus, it wasn’t until late last night that I learned to my shock that he had directly criticized the Supreme Court over its decision in Citizens United (PDF) in front of a joint session of Congress (and the entire nation), with the Justices present. This is what Obama said:

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.  (Applause.)  I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities.  (Applause.)  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 Justices sat stony-faced while the Democrats stood to cheer, other than for Justice Alito, who shook his head and said “not true:”

It was an unprecedented humiliation for the Court to be called out like that in such a venue, a fit of pique beneath the dignity of a Chief of State. It was also, in my opinion, an indirect but substantial attack on the First Amendment, the provisions of which the Court had reaffirmed and defended in Citizens United. But, anyone who’s been paying attention knows Obama has a problem with free speech.

And the hypocrisy was breathtaking. The Obama campaign had accepted tens of thousands of dollars  in foreign and otherwise illegal campaign donations during the last presidential election cycle. To complain that the Supreme Court had now opened the doors to “foreign entities” should have provoked derisive laughter, not applause.

I was going to write a long rant about how dumb the President’s statement was, but William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection covers the ground much better than I:

The attack on the Supreme Court during the State of the Union was a window into Obama’s divisive soul. I have posted numerous times before about Obama’s need to identify and campaign against enemies. He did it during the campaign and he does it every day in office.

Last night it was (mostly) the bankers and Wall Street (which donated more money to his campaign than to Republicans) and the Senate Republicans who were his target. But it those were the only attacks, it would have been merely another typical political speech.

The attack on the Supreme Court exposes the intolerance of this President. The politician who campaigned and allegedly champions the rule of law actually has very little use for the rule of law when it does not advance his political agenda.

Read the whole thing and follow the links. It will be well-worth your time.

Is it 2012, yet?  Sigh

RELATED: Alito’s “Not True” Moment at Reason; Fausta, who provides quotes about why Obama was wrong and demagogic; neo-neocon; and Hot Air. Obi’s Sister calls the whole speech a FAIL.

UPDATE: The quote that summarizes it all:

This is either blithering ignorance of the law or demagoguery of the worst kind.

How about both?