Obama surging against the Supreme Court
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Where previous generations of warnings emanated from lone wolves with their fax machines in dusty spare rooms, the current alarms are being issued by the likes of Investors Business Daily, First Amendment authority Nat Hentoff, New York Times best-selling author Robert Ringer and their equals.
"A second term free of electoral restraints [for Obama] may be a frightening prospect," IBD wrote in a commentary in the last week. "This is, after all, a president who has said he can't wait for Congress to act and will govern by executive order and regulations if necessary. He has questioned the Supreme Court's 'unprecedented' review of Obamacare."
The publication pointed out that the Obama administration already is in contempt of court - in a court dispute over its ban on oil drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.
When U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman ruled that the Obama Interior Department unconstitutionally imposed an offshore drilling moratorium, the agency "simply established a second ban that was virtually identical."
"Judge Feldman was not amused. 'Each step the government took following the court's imposition of a preliminary injunction showcases its defiance,' Feldman said in his ruling. 'Such dismissive conduct, viewed in tandem with the re-imposition of a second moratorium …. provides this court with clear and convincing evidence of its contempt,'" the editorial said.
The issue recently was brought into the headlines by comments from Judge Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News analyst who said, "I think the president is dangerously close to totalitarianism. A few months ago he was saying the Congress doesn't count. The Congress doesn't mean anything. I am going to rule by decree and by administrative regulation. Now he's basically saying the Supreme Court doesn't count. It doesn't matter what they think. They can't review our legislation.
"That would leave just him as the only branch of government standing," Napolitano said.
His comments came after statements from Obama that the US Supreme Court wouldn't take the "unprecedented" action of actually overturning the Obamacare law, even though that is exactly what courts do when justices determine the legislation is unconstitutional.
"I think he [Obama] has some problems with understanding the Constitution, or accepting limitations on his power," said Napolitano. "Look, they're equal branches of government, but with respect to what the law means and what the Constitution means, the court is superior to the president."
"No president in modern times has questioned [the Supreme Court's] authority. They have questioned the way the authority has been exercised," he said. "Not their right to make the decision.
"This is an extreme view of the Supreme Court and the Constitution, one that has not been articulated since Andrew Jackson was in the White House," he said.
Napolitano is the youngest life-tenured Superior Court judge in the history of the state of New Jersey. He tried more than 150 jury trials during his time on the bench from 1987 to 1995, including criminal, civil, equity and family cases.
For 11 years, he served as an adjunct professor of constitutional law at Seton Hall Law School, where he provided instruction in constitutional law and jurisprudence. Napolitano returned to private law practice in 1995 and began television broadcasting in the same year.
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