Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Schools Obama Lawyer About Overturning Laws
In the escalating battle between the administration and the judiciary, a federal appeals court apparently is calling the president’s bluff — ordering the Justice Department to answer by Thursday whether the Obama Administration believes that the courts have the right to strike down a federal law, according to a lawyer who was in the courtroom.
The order, by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, appears to be in direct response to the president’s comments yesterday about the Supreme Court’s review of the health care law. Mr. Obama all but threw down the gauntlet with the justices, saying he was “confident” the Court would 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.”
Obama’s mouth appears to have put his administration in a situation where they lose either way. If the DOJ says yes, courts can strike down laws, then they make Obama look either dishonest or clueless, or both. If the DOJ says no, the courts can’t, they put themselves in a real bind if a future Republican administration and Congress pass a law they don’t like.
But what do you expect from a guy who doesn’t even know how many states there are?