After President Obama's joint press conference this week with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, when Obama said the Supreme Court turning over ObamaCare would be "activism" by "unelected" Justices, he has some explaining to do. Now, not only are members of Congress calling on Obama to clarify his remarks, but the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals is firing back. The court has issued an order to the Obama Administration demanding an explanation as to whether the President believes the courts have the constitutional right to strike down legislation.
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."
Not surprisingly, Obama was fibbing when he claimed the overturning of legislation would be "unprecedented."
Overturning a law of course would not be unprecedented -- since the Supreme Court since 1803 has asserted the power to strike down laws it interprets as unconstitutional. The three-judge appellate court appears to be asking the administration to admit that basic premise -- despite the president's remarks that implied the contrary. The panel ordered the Justice Department to submit a three-page, single-spaced letter by noon Thursday addressing whether the Executive Branch believes courts have such power, the lawyer said.
Meanwhile, Newsweek is calling for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justices should they overturn ObamaCare.