In a recent press conference, Barack Obama suggested “overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress”, referring to the health care law, was “an unprecedented, extraordinary step”.
Even if that were true, what is not new is Obama’s latest court intimidation scheme.
For one, it’s not the first time he has brazenly lashed out at the Supreme Court. In his 2010 State of the Union Address, Obama blasted the Court after it struck down restrictions on McCain-Feingold campaign speech and expenditures as a violation of the First Amendment.
He even went so far as to mischaracterize the Court’s ruling in Citizens United with the entire nation watching, with the justices sitting right in front of him. He said, “the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections.”
That was when Associate Justice Samuel Alito famously mouthed the words, “Not true” to Obama’s assertion.
The ruling actually had nothing to do with foreign donations to candidates, nor did it lift the federal ban on corporate donations to candidates. It affected whether third party organizations in the United States could independently spend money electioneering during campaign periods.
But that didn’t stop Obama. He simply did not like the Court’s ruling, so he falsely painted the decision as some sort of foreign coup de tat.
Of course, this is not the first time a president has lashed out at the Court.
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