Donald Lambro

And there are no restrictions on the court's purview. Indeed, it says, "The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States."

And what's this business about "unprecedented" if the court should strike down Obamacare? That's what the court has done in countless cases throughout our history, striking down laws that violate the Constitution -- from Marbury v. Madison in 1803 to anti-free speech laws in campaign finance reform.

Maybe Obama skipped his law class on the day it took up the Supreme Court's decisions in 1936 when it struck down 16 pieces of New Deal legislation. At least President Roosevelt had the decency to wait until he had won re-election before attacking the court on that one.

Obviously, the president knows full well that the court under Chief Justice John Roberts has overturned a lot of laws in some major cases.

There was the historic ruling striking down the handgun ban in the District of Columbia in which the court said the Constitution's "right to keep and bear arms" means exactly what it says.

There was the deconstruction of much of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms that imposed severely unconstitutional restrictions on political freedom of speech.

And there was the decision in the Citizens United case that corporations were just like people and should be free to contribute money to the candidates of their choice.

That ruling really stirred the president's ire in his 2010 State of the Union address. In an unprecedented public display of presidential petulance, with the embarrassed robed justices sitting before him, Obama charged the court had "reversed a century of law" that would "open the floodgates for special interests" to influence the outcome of political campaigns. Justice Samuel Alito could be seen mouthing the words, "Not true."

Obama's feigned outrage didn't last long. His campaign set up a super-PAC to accept business contributions from Wall Street and the like that his fundraising handlers hope will push his total contributions to the $1 billion mark.

Still, Obama's outburst, months before the court will hand down its health care ruling, was a rarity in presidential posturing.

"Though past presidents have occasionally inveighed against judicial activism, legal analysts and historians said it was difficult to find a historical parallel to match Obama's willingness to directly confront the court," The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

This was a performance dripping in politics, and Obama was preaching to the choir to energize his party's base at a time when polls show voters aren't very enthused about their choices in this election.

The nearly $2 trillion health care law is widely unpopular, especially the mandate that forces uninsured Americans to buy health insurance they do not want or cannot afford.

Obama says he expects the court will uphold the law, and the White House says there is no "Plan B." They had better get one soon, because this mandate is going down.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.