• President Obama May Not Be the Best Constitutional Scholar

    barack obamaAs a graduate of Harvard Law School and former professor of constitutional law, President Obama has acquired a deep knowledge of legal history. Using that rich historical knowledge, Obama declared on Monday that the Supreme Court striking down a federal law like Obamacare would be "unprecedented."

    You know, "unprecedented," like when something has happened at least a dozen times before

    The Supreme Court routinely reviews laws passed by Congress and either upholds or overturns them. For Obama to suggest that such an action would be unique in American history is something of a head-scratcher. We could name numerous examples of the Supreme Court tossing laws passed by a "democratically elected Congress," starting with Marbury vs. Madison, in 1803.

    OK, but he didn't mean unprecedented unprecedented. Just unprecedented when it comes to important laws, like the ones he writes

    On Monday, Obama said, "Ultimately I am 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."

    The White House said that Obama's comment meant that, since the New Deal legislation, the Supreme Court has not declared unconstitutional any law dealing with a national economic issue…

    [Press secretary Jay] Carney added, "He did not mean and did not suggest that it would be unprecedented for the court to rule any law is unconstitutional—that's what the Supreme Court is meant to do."

    In his defense, this is an unprecedented use of the word unprecedented.

    Can't the President just settle this matter, once and for all, by issuing an executive order redefining the term unprecedented? That's what Bush did with "weapons," "mass" and "destruction."

    Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Barack Obama, Judiciary, Laws, PolitiFact, Supreme Court


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