Crisis Brewing? Fifth Circuit Federal Appeals Court Demands Obama's DOJ Clarify His Remarks on Healthcare Mandate
April 4th, 2012
By Barry Secrest
In an interesting move, the judicial branch of the US appears to be firing back at the White House for the President's recent and largely unprecedented remarks concerning the impending healthcare mandate case at the Supreme Court.
We all know, very well, that Obama's greatest talents are largely concentrated within his jawbone appendage. But has his singular skillset sparked a judicial crisis of sorts? In the following report in which Shannon Bream of Fox News contributed, we can see that the Federal Appeals Court has taken issue with Obama's extreme rhetoric:
A three-judge panel for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday ordered the Justice Department to explain by Thursday whether the administration believes judges have the power to strike down a federal law.
A source inside the courtroom, who did not want to be identified, confirmed the incident to Fox News.
A letter from the court instructs the Justice Department to provide an explanation of "no less than three pages, single spaced" by noon on Thursday.
But it didn't end there. According to CBS news, a report filed by Jan Crawford points to an escalating battle between the White House and the judiciary:
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."
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.
According to Crawford, a separate but related healthcare mandate case was being tried when a Lawyer from the Justice Department, in the course of his arguments before the court, apparently bridged the gap in such a way that actually forced the Appeals Court Judge to interrupt as follows from Crawford's report:
Appeals Court Judge Jerry Smith immediately interrupted, asking if DOJ agreed that the judiciary could strike down an unconstitutional law. The DOJ lawyer, Dana Lydia Kaersvang, answered yes -- and mentioned Marbury v. Madison, the landmark case that firmly established the principle of judicial review more than 200 years ago, according to the lawyer in the courtroom. Smith then became "very stern," the source said, telling the lawyers arguing the case it was not clear to "many of us" whether the president believes such a right exists.
The other two judges on the panel, Emilio Garza and Leslie Southwick--both Republican appointees--remained silent, the source said. Smith, a Reagan appointee, went on to say that comments from the president and others in the Executive Branch indicate they believe judges don't have the power to review laws and strike those that are unconstitutional, specifically referencing Mr. Obama's comments yesterday about judges being an "unelected group of people."
The thing to remember, within all of this, is that while Obama may seem to believe that he is the supreme potentate with regard to US procedure in all things, the truth speaks to a far different picture. The US has, in fact, three separate branches of government, each being fully equal in power to the other, so that a balance of power continually exists, on behalf of the people.
With the President's recent rhetoric in challenging the American people on the basis of Class, Race and even economic welfare, Obama has apparently decided to take one step further and now challenge an equal branch of the US government.
Not yet a crisis, but the President has pushed things painfully close and his desperation appears to be at apex. Incidentally, the US Supreme Court in its history has actually overturned over 1,539 laws in total, which is a thing that Obama, apparently is unfamiliar, despite his "alleged" credentials as a Constitutional law expert.