March 31st, 2012

The Obamacare case: challenging the Supreme Court’s legitimacy

The latest liberal meme is that if the Court rules against Obamacare it will be such an egregious case of conservative judicial activism that the Court will become illegitimate.

My question is: to whom? The 72% of the American public who already consider the mandate unconstitutional?

No, of course not. Those who’ll call the Court illegitimate are the liberal pundits and their followers who originally laughed at the entire idea of Obamacare’s unconstitutionality and cannot believe that any thinking person would disagree with them. And the fact that a Supreme Court decision overruling Obamacare might be very close—like so many controversial decisions in the current Court that is split 4-4-1 ideologically (that “1″ being Justice Kennedy, ever the pickle in the middle)—would be further evidence to liberals of this terrible Court illegitimacy.

Unless and until, of course, Obama’s re-election and appointment of a liberal justice makes decisions go reliably 5-4 for the liberal side. Or unless the current decision goes 5-4 for upholding Obamacare. Then the Court will be very very legitimate again.

[NOTE: The entire campaign about this legitimacy business has another goal: to intimidate members of the Court into voting the liberals' way. After all, who wants to be a bastard?]

36 Responses to “The Obamacare case: challenging the Supreme Court’s legitimacy”

  1. Curtis Says:

    Rule No. 1: Old men with tenure and about to die cannot be intimidated.

  2. Curtis Says:

    Wait wait wait wait wait one second. Wasn’t this the same tactic against birthers?

    The puss oozed out upon the American people from an illegitimate President–whose loyality is not to our Constitution, not to our people, not to our institutions, but to third world countries, to Islamic countries, to countries possessing less nuclear power than Amerca–we’ll we’ve had our fill of puss.

    Obama, it should be said, is a sour puss.

  3. George Pal Says:

    Left/liberals may take comfort that the illegitimization of the Court will conclude the concinnity of our three branches of government. The Executive branch went illegitimate when it abrogated its Constitutional duty to secure the borders (Mexico), protect its citizens (Arizona), and legally deal with illegal aliens. The Legislature went illegitimate when it passed a 2500 page bill without anyone having read it as well as the admission no-one could know what was in it until it was passed. The Legislature, in this round, takes the blue ribbon for ‘best in show bastard’ as its efforts most resemble passing satire in lieu of law.

  4. Curtis Says:

    con·cin·ni·ty   /kənˈsɪnɪti/ Show Spelled[kuhn-sin-i-tee] Show IPA
    noun, plural -ties.
    1. Rhetoric .
    a. a close harmony of tone as well as logic among the elements of a discourse.
    b. an instance of this.
    2. any harmonious adaptation of parts.

    You make a good point George, just express it in your words and not academic speak. To do so introduces their authority. And their authority lies in defining words.

    Our legislation has lost its legitimacy because it allows the executive branch to perform its major function: pass laws. The legislature thought it would control the executive through denial of funds, but the executive finds ways around this. Hence, dictatorship. And so the the legislative and executive branches do exhibit concinnity although it is a satanic concinnity and probably does not qualify for inclusion in that word.

  5. Occam's Beard Says:

    … The latest liberal meme is that if the Court rules against Obamacare it will be such an egregious case of conservative judicial activism that the Court will become illegitimate.

    Finally, a form of illegitimacy that liberals don’t like.

  6. Kurt Says:

    For some reason this post made me wish FredHJr was still with us; I’m sure I’d appreciate his perspective on this latest dishonest trickery from the left.

    All the dishonest demagoguery we’ve seen since the rise of “Occupy” (which was, as several pointed out, also the start of the Obama re-election campaign) is starting to make me angrier and angrier. We’ve had “Occupy,” endless race hucksterism, and now these protests in favor of Obamacare and complaints and handwringing that the court won’t do exactly what they want.

  7. Don Carlos Says:

    It may interest you all to learn the Department of Homeland Security has entered into a contract for up to 450 MILLION .40 cal bullets over the next five years. That’s Homeland ‘Security’, not the DOD.

    http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-03-28/news/31247765_1_atk-rounds-bullet

  8. neo-neocon Says:

    Kurt: I often wish FredHJr was still with us.

  9. holmes Says:

    So much of liberalism comes down to fitting in with the group and not soundness of argument. It’s no surprise that leading up to this case and now in the aftermath of the hearings the main argument is “You won’t be one of us elites anymore!”

  10. George Pal Says:

    Curtis,

    I hardly think the use of one rarely used word, concinnity, warrants a charge of academic speak. Whats’ next, a charge of ‘intellectualism’?.

    As defined by my pop-up dictionary, concinnity:

    concinnity |kənˈsinitē|
    noun rare
    the skillful and harmonious arrangement or fitting together of the different parts of something.

    Not only do I find the word, as defined, apposite… oops… befitting, but I like the sound of it and aim to make it less rare.

  11. Parker Says:

    “… egregious case of conservative judicial activism.. ”

    The MSM & leftist ‘intellectuals’ were foaming at the mouth when SCOTUS “selected” Bush in 2000 by stopping the endless and arbitrary recounts in a few Florida counties. Its always sour grapes any time the left loses a court decision, an election, or the drift of public opinion. They never admit there is something inherently deficient in their POV.

    George Pal,

    Thanks for expanding my vocabulary. Concinnity is now etch in my brain. I’ll try to use it on my more leftish neighbors sometime soon. We get along fine, if not exactly in concinnity, but I think they secretly think I’m lacking in education because I hold no PhD. ;-)

    Curtis,

    In my eyes government at the federal level lost all legitimacy about 20 years ago. Nothing new here, move along, and pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

  12. vanderleun Says:

    Another way of putting this was put another way by, I think, Richard at the Belmont Club: “Hummm, nice court you got here. Be a shame if something were to happen to it.”

  13. vanderleun Says:

    Url on that one is:

    http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2012/03/29/nice-court-you-have-there-it-would-be-a-shame-if-something-happened-to-it/

  14. texexec Says:

    Some if not most of our founding fathers didn’t like the idea of political parties and hoped they wouldn’t form. They assumed that the Supreme Court would be objective, non-partisan, and would rule on the law…not transform the law…that’s the job of the legislature and other bodies in case of amending the Constitution. Amending the Constitution was not taken lightly and was meant to be difficult.

    Nowadays, the Supreme Court is sort of like a Super Senate…it’s composition reflects the will of the people and changes slowly…but it IS partisan.

    I’m just glad that for now, it leans to the right a very small tad.

  15. rickl Says:

    In my eyes government at the federal level lost all legitimacy about 20 years ago. Nothing new here, move along, and pay no attention to the man behind the Iron curtain.

    FIFY.

  16. Parker Says:

    rickl,

    Thank you.

  17. T Says:

    texexec,

    Regarding SCOTUS, I’d like to see it lean to the right just one more “tad.”

  18. Occam's Beard Says:

    ,i.Regarding SCOTUS, I’d like to see it lean to the right just one more “tad.”

    Make that a whole bunch of tads.

  19. T Says:

    Occam’s Beard,

    Speaking for myself, I do not want to see the liberal voice on SCOTUS eliminated no more that I would want to see the conservative point of view disappear, or a one-party system from either direction in the U.S. IMO, the best decisions are made when one (in this case a justice) is forced to defend a viewpoint to the opposition; that necessitates the presence of an opposing view. It’s not unlike a scientist asked to defend his/her claims to skeptics. It’s annoying, pesky and troublesome. To paraphrase Churchill (Winston, not Ward) it’s the worst form of government except for all the others.

  20. Kurt Says:

    I’d agree with you about that Occam’s Beard! It’s funny how quickly one really awful decision can change your mind, but I used to be fairly philosophical about the Court and its rather open-ended way of approaching the Constitution. Although my personal theories about interpretation tended more to the conservative approach, I figured that if the Court moved left somewhat in its interpretation, it was no big deal as long as it reflected the views of the voting public at large. Then came the Kelo decision and I realized how mistaken I had been.

  21. T Says:

    Immediately after I wrote the above post, I cyber-sauntered over to HotAir.com to check entries. Talk about timing (mine or theirs?):

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tomchiversscience/100147703/why-liberals-need-conservatives-and-vice-versa/

    Curiously, this is the second time in two days that references to Jonathan Haidt’s research have surfaced in my blog visits after having been introduced to it sometime last year.

  22. T Says:

    Kurt,

    Make no mistake, I still wish for a conservsative SCOTUS majority, but I don’t want the court to be exclusivly conservative.

  23. Parker Says:

    “.. it was no big deal as long as it reflected the views of the voting public at large.”

    Ideally, courts should never be swayed by the views of the voting public at large. That is the rule of the mob, which is precisely the danger posed by pure democracy. SCOTUS should determine which party in any particular case has the rule of law, otherwise known as the Constitution, on their side. Precedence and transitory popular opinion need to be thrown out with the bathwater if the ‘baby’ is to be saved. The Constitution, despite what lawyers and pundits may say, is not so difficult to understand when filtered through the intentions of the founders as explained by the Federalist Papers.

    Bottom line, justice is blind or it is no justice at all. So popular opinion be damned. BTW, ask the family of George Zimmerman about what they think of ginned up popular opinion.

  24. texexec Says:

    I agree with those above who want SCOTUS to be slightly but firmly conservative.

    And I agree with Parker above that it shouldn’t reflect popular opinion. Our founders were pretty smart guys and they only wanted the House of Representatives to somewhat reflect current popular will (two year terms and directly elected).

    Everything else in their government structure is designed to slow that down or eliminate it, putting decisions in the hands of people who are supposed to be better informed, wiser, and more educated than the average person.

  25. betsybounds Says:

    Well I hate to disagree with such thoughtful opinions, but I think no small part of our problem right now is that too many decisions are in the hands of people who think they are “better informed, wiser, and more educated than the average person.” That certainly goes for the executive branch and its attendant bureaucracies and for a large percentage of the legislative branch; the federal judiciary is trending, through appointment bias, in the same direction. At some point the notion of a free, self-governing people either became, or will becomel a quaint anachronism, and what some see as the desirable nuances of conservative-liberal balance are lost. As rickl suggests, there’s a case to be made that our government has lost the basic legitimacy with which the Founders sought to provide it.

    It’s true that the SCOTUS members should have sound and solid legal educations and knowledge, and we’d like all judicial ideologies to come tempered with humility and leavened with ordinary (not common) understanding. And balance and moderate give-and-take are desirable. But what happens when you’re faced with the reality of a patient and dedicated group engaged in a multi-generation, long-march revolution towards socialist/communist tyranny? That’s what has happened in the media and the academy; it’s when the differences we’re talking about have ceased being the differences between conservatives and mere liberals.

    One hopes the PPACA decision is being made based on its constitutionality; if so, it will fall. Something the Court will NOT decide, though, and something we all must notice, is that it was passed by a radically leftist Congress and signed into law by a radically leftist president, in direct opposition to the generally known and widely expressed will of the people upon whom it is being imposed; it has become even more unpopular since its passage. So constitutionality aside, if this is allowed to stand, in what sense do we remain a self-governing people?

  26. betsybounds Says:

    A while back, when Nancy Pelosi was still Speaker of the House, a newsman asked her whether the PPACA was constitutional. She replied with, “Are you serious? Are you serious?” People have since made much of her incredulous answer/question. I have sometimes wondered what she really meant: Did she mean that the question she was asked was foolish because the act was so obviously constitutional? Or did she mean that the question she was asked was foolish because the act’s constitutionality doesn’t even matter?

  27. texexec Says:

    betsybounds:

    I doubt Pelosi gave all that much thought. She’s dumb as fence post but crafty as hell. All she really understands is winning and power.

    Concerning the “better informed, wiser, and more educated than the average person.” issue, I DID say that our founders structured our government in such a way that it was putting “decisions in the hands of people who are SUPPOSED to be better informed, wiser, and more educated than the average person.” (New emphasis mine.)

    I didn’t say it has actually worked out that way, especially in recent years.

    Still it’s the best system of government I know about and the way to guide it back into the right direction is to vote for Republicans for President and Congress in November, 2012.

    Plus, contribute to them and work for them as hard as you can.

  28. T Says:

    Please allow me to submit the following thought, related to, but not directly on-topic to this post:

    IMO this latest progressively manufactured nontroversy is another example of the liberal mindset of the past 90 years coming apart at the seams. Brien Farley refers to it as “photodegradation” in his American Thinker Essay,

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/04/light_of_liberty_less_than_flattering_to_progressivism.html

    and I think his thoughts are spot on. The 24/7 news cycle coupled with the internet means that it becomes increasingly impossible to say one thing while doing another (the Left’s preferred methodology, just look at Obama).

    When presented with the reality of their positions in the cold light of day, the left’s knee-jerk reaction is to demean the opposition opinion in an attempt to shoot the messenger, thus the thuggish essay of Bob Shrum linked by Vanderleun above (“Nice Court You Have There”).

    The tumult we experience today is, IMO, partly because this is the way it always has been (just hidden from view in the past more controlled media circumstances) but also the fact that we are seeing the left writhing in the throes of informational and opinion daylight that is being directed upon it. This is not unlike the classic Christopher Lee Dracula turning to dust with the first rays of the morning sun, and they will not dissolve quietly; who would? (Pardon the melodrama).

    Keep the good fight; the tumult means that we are winning even if only one local battle at a time; if the Left is winning, they condescend rather than vitriolicly protest. Don’t back-down and, as texexec notes above:

    “guide it back into the right direction . . . vote for Republicans for President and Congress in November, 2012.

    Plus, contribute to them and work for them as hard as you can.”

  29. Artfldgr Says:

    the illegitimacy gig is their realization that the appointments they just made didn’t buy them (automatically) what they wanted….

  30. T Says:

    The illigitimacy gig is also an excuse for refusing to comply with any decision the Left disagrees with. So much for their respect for the rule of law; but we already knew that, didn’t we?

  31. Ymarsakar Says:

    “It’s true that the SCOTUS members should have sound and solid legal educations and knowledge, and we’d like all judicial ideologies to come tempered with humility and leavened with ordinary (not common) understanding. And balance and moderate give-and-take are desirable. But what happens when you’re faced with the reality of a patient and dedicated group engaged in a multi-generation, long-march revolution towards socialist/communist tyranny?”

    More than one S Justice has noted that it would be better to make rulings based upon international, not American, law.

  32. betsybounds Says:

    Texexec, with all due respect, our Constitution says nothing whatever about any beyond-average education, wisdom, or informational qualifications or requirements for holding any federal office. There are certain birth and residency requirements specified, but beyond that, candidates are not even required to be able to read and write. People are of course free to speculate as to what unmentioned traits the Founders thought office-holders were SUPPOSED to possess. The Federalist Papers may have some assumptions along these lines; however, the idea of office holders needing to be better educated, more well-informed, or wiser than other citizens grew slowly and began to be regarded as essential only during the rise of the Progressive movement, when some people fell for the idea that what we needed in complex times was a rule by certain “experts.” I suggest THAT’S how we got the self-selected elite intelligentsia who now think they alone possess the requisite credentials for ruling this country. It has gained us little, and has arguably lost us a lot.

    I also think that, stupid as she may be, it’s entirely possible that Pelosi thinks the Constitution doesn’t matter.

  33. Parker Says:

    “I also think that, stupid as she may be, it’s entirely possible that Pelosi thinks the Constitution doesn’t matter.”

    Pelosi, like all leftists, abhors the Constitution. The rule of law is their enemy. They pay no attention to the whirlwind their lust for power will create.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-nJR15e0F4

    Likewise, Robespierre ultimately met his fate at the guillotine. He consumed himself. That is, in the long run, the fate of the left. Meanwhile, billions suffer from their vanity.

  34. Artfldgr Says:

    “Sonia Sotomayor: Clueless Fool or Demagogic Liar?” – moonbattery

    Yet Jason Lee gasps in amazement of how little she knows about the healthcare system she will vote to destroy:

    “What percentage of the American people who took their son or daughter to an emergency room and that child was turned away because the parent didn’t have insurance,” asked Sotomayor, “…do you think there’s a large percentage of the American population that would stand for the death of that child — (who) had an allergic reaction and a simple shot would have saved the child?”

    How about Supreme Court Justices that are not ignorant of the laws that already exist and who dont get their legal news from propaganda?

    nice minimum starting point, eh?

    “Since Sotomayor’s own brother is a doctor practicing in New York, it’s hard to believe she knows so little about medical care. Maybe she isn’t utterly clueless; the alternative is that she is a shameless demagogue lying to our faces. With progressives it is never easy to tell.”

  35. Artfldgr Says:

    thats ok…
    we are well already on the way to the thing i said.

    there isnt even the resistance a truck driver feels when a fly hits the front of his grill…

    Kari Norgaard – she has the answer to global warming problems (And other medical issues in our society)…

    Comparing skepticism of man-made global warming to racist beliefs, an Oregon-based professor of sociology and environmental studies has labeled doubts about anthropogenic climate change a “sickness” for which individuals need to be “treated”.

    Professor Kari Norgaard, who is currently appearing at the ‘Planet Under Pressure’ conference in London, has presented a paper in which she argues that “cultural resistance” to accepting the premise that humans are responsible for climate change “must be recognized and treated” as an aberrant sociological behavior.

    once they normalized deviancy
    they then (As hegelians) make deviancy out of normal behavior..

    and so, lysenkoism and its stuff is coming
    among other things like, disagreeing wiht the leader, and having adorno personality, etc

    notice her freudian slip..
    treated not as a psychological problem

    Political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_abuse_of_psychiatry_in_the_Soviet_Union

    i am still trying to figure out if this will come before or after the after birth abortions and using ebola to cut population levels?

  36. Artfldgr Says:

    In the Soviet Union, systematic political abuse of psychiatry took place. Soviet psychiatric hospitals were used by the authorities as prisons in order to isolate hundreds or thousands of political prisoners from the rest of society, discredit their ideas, and break them physically and mentally. This method was also employed against religious prisoners and most especially against well-educated former atheists who adopted a religion. In such cases their religious faith was determined to be a form of mental illness that needed to be cured. Formerly highly classified extant documents from “Special file” of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union published after the dissolution of the Soviet Union demonstrate that the authorities of the country quite consciously used psychiatry as a tool to suppress dissent

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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