Oh Yes he did: President Obama calls out Supreme Court

Much is being written about President Obama’s first State of the Union address. I didn’t hear the whole thing, but thanks to the miracle of the interwebs, video clips are up. One has already caught my eye.

First some background. Here is an overview of the Court’s stunningly activist decision in Citizens United, which struck down key components of campaign finance reform. As a result of the decision, corporations may directly give to campaigns from their treasuries because corporations have expansive First Amendment rights. It’s a bizarre ruling that attributes to fictional entities rights that were never intended.  The holding of Citizens United appears to give all corporations these overbroad First Amendment rights, even those controlled by foreign interests that might be hostile to our national interests.

So in the State of the Union, President Obama questioned the Court’s Citizens United ruling. Here is what he said:

“With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections.”

This video clip gives a much better feel than the text.  The video cuts to the Court members sitting somberly as members of Congress give a standing ovation. Better, it shows Justice Alito shaking his head and quietly mouthing what looks like, “It’s not true.” To Justice Alito’s credit, he’s no Joe Wilson, as he didn’t shout or interrupt.

So what are we to make of this? Keep in mind that Obama was a law professor before he entered politics. He showed as much with his reference to separation of powers that acknowledges the fundamental constitutional roles of the three branches.  Take note, as well, that the State of the Union is a power and prerogative of the President. U.S. Constitution, Art. II, Sec. 3.

While I’m no pundit or close watcher of presidential pageantry, it seemed remarkable to me that he was using the State of the Union to call out the Court.  The words may look light and bland, but insitutionally, this is closer to the old Saturday Night Live Point-Counterpoint routine with Dan Ackroyd and Jane Curtin:

Nice to see that the President calling the Court out on this. It’s a dreadful decision by an activist majority hell bent on allowing corporations to run amok.

David Sugerman

3 thoughts on “Oh Yes he did: President Obama calls out Supreme Court

  1. While I am not a liberal, I did vote for Obama and I sincerely hope that he turns around and does what is best for the country and the majority of it’s citizens. Moore is right about Obama using what he has while he has it. The Republicans have found a common enemy for themselves and a good portion of the whites in America, and that enemy is Obama. They couch it in several terms, but it all boils down to racism. I never thought I’d live to see white Americans revert to racial attitudes that I thought were dead, but we can’t deny what has happened. I remember my Dad and uncles changing partys back in the 60s because of the Civil Rights Act, and I remember why. It’s the “southern stratagy” all over again, but this time on a national scale. It makes me sick to hear people who I thought were open-minded Christians say the things they say. It makes me ashamed to be considered one of them.

  2. I hope the Dems lose the house in November. I don’t hate them or anything i just think that government works best when both parties have some power. In my lifetime I think the Government was working best during Reagans and Clintons presidencies and were at its worst during Obamas and Bush II’s.When one party controls everything it seems like its most corrupt and usually the other party sells its soul to the Devil to get back in power.

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