With so much of our individual liberty resting on the foundation of the U.S. Constitution – and yet with most of human history having been littered with not-so-benevolent dictators like Chavez – we should both expect that powerful leaders will want to overreach in to our lives, and be vigilant to call fowl when they do. Unfortunately, it seems that most Americans are shocked by President Barack Obama’s contemptuous remarks about the Supreme Court last week, as the court review his signature “healthcare reform” law. Worse still, it seems that very few Americans recognize the President’s behavior is problematic.
Of course, President Obama is not the first White House occupant to desire more power than the Constitution allows. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, angered when the Supreme Court overturned some of his “new deal” (read “big government”) programs that he believed were unquestionably necessary to save the country, famously began maligning the Justices of the Supreme Court, publicly labeling them the “9 Old Men.” And as a means of overcoming the “separation of powers” obstacle, he proposed to “reform” that old, antiquated Supreme Court system by adding up to six new justices – justices that he could select and appoint!
Of course, FDR didn’t get his way. The Congress rejected his court reform legislative proposal, and the American people took a dim view of Roosevelt trying to circumvent the Constitution.
But that was the America of 1937. Today, it’s not difficult to imagine that President Obama could curry the favor of millions of Americans, if he chose to campaign against the Justices who may vote to overturn his all-important “Obamacare” law.
Who would stand with Obama in this type of Constitution-bending effort? Start with the entire AFL-CIO. Then add the entire “occupy” movement, and the burgeoning “99% Spring” uprising, and the prevailing powers of the Democrat Party. Put them all together, and you’ve got a critical mass of Americans who neither care nor understand a wit about history, “limited government,” the U.S Constitution, or the Separation of Powers. They want “stuff” – “free” healthcare, education, or whatever – and they want raw power in Washington to deliver that stuff, and to do so by whatever means.
“9 old men.” That pejorative description wouldn’t apply with the makeup of today’s Supreme Court. But we should all prepare for President Obama to take direct aim at, say, 5 or 6 “old” white men – men who are too strictly adhering to an old Constitution that was written by old white men – should the Supreme Court dare to think differently about the President’s healthcare reform law. And the President’s party won’t dare to question this tactic. But who will?
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.