The Spectacle Blog

Barack Obama vs The U.S. Supreme Court

By on 1.27.10 | 10:45PM

He really did not like that ruling in defense of First Amendment freedoms did he? Has a president ever attacked The U.S. Supreme Court like that in such an august setting? Already, Fox News and CNN have made note of Justice Alito's lip movements that seem to say "not true." - A bit more reverential than Rep. Joe Wilson's editorial comments. 

There's a long and copious list of high court rulings that do not sit well with those of who favor some form of "originalist" jurisprudence and it's fine for the Supreme Court to figure into campaign talking points. But there is something unseemly about the president's very vociferous comments and what this says about the separation of powers.

President Franklin Roosevelt's attacks on the judiciary ultimately worked to his political disadvantage back in the 1930s. Burt Solomon, a long-time correspondent for National Journal, explores the history here in his very excellent book entitled: "FDR V. The Constitution," which now has a heightened relevance.

It looks like Obama will have at least one more shot at an opening on the high court as it now appears likely that Justice John Paul Stevens will step down. This will not shift the current ideological balance but it does mean that judicial philosophy should figure into the 2012 presidential campaign and perhaps this year's U.S. Senate races.

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