MANHATTAN, July 31, 2013 — While President Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act survived by a 5-4 Supreme Court majority, the number of decisions his administration has lost before the court by 9-0 votes is staggering.
These votes have come down against various agencies, from the EPA to the Agriculture Department. The First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments have all been cited. Obama has had his arguments on domestic and foreign policy roundly rejected. While all presidents sometimes hit a wall against the Supreme Court, the frequency of the 9-0 decisions against Obama should give people pause. Two of the justices, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, were hand-picked by Obama to serve on the high court.
Why does this keep happening? Here are three explanations:
1. Perhaps Obama considers himself a constitutional dictator. He has dreams of ruling with an iron fist like Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. Only last week he praised Vietnam murderer Ho Chi Minh as the second coming of Thomas Jefferson.
Under this theory, Obama simply has utter contempt for the rule of law. He sees the Supreme Court as irrelevant, and expects them to just rubber stamp his agenda. When they don’t, he attacks them in his State of the Union speeches and on the campaign trail. Sometimes he gets a justice to cave, as Chief Justice John Roberts is perceived to have done by upholding Obamacare. Other times Obama’s hardball approach causes the court to harden against him. This leads to him becoming more intransigent, and the cycle continues.
2. Obama simply is not that well versed in constitutional law. This is a fancy way of saying that maybe Obama is not as bright as his supporters think he is.
His supporters point out that he was the head of the Harvard Law Review, but election to such positions is as much a popularity contest as a reward for merit. Obama knows how to campaign, and as a young man possessed a likable, easygoing non-threatening style. The desire for increased diversity could have also played a role in socially promoting him. His grades have been kept under seal.
He was a “professor of Constitutional law,” but that should also be taken with a grain of salt. He was an adjunct ― an academic part-timer ― not a tenure-track professor. He may or may not have ever had his articles published, since his time as a professor also seems to be under seal. Colleagues of his have described him as a lightly regarded lecturer who was uninspiring and unimpressive to them and his students. When somebody loses before the U.S. Supreme Court in a 9-0 ruling, the best and brightest legal minds are dismissing the merit of the arguments before them. There seems to be a wide chasm between what the law actually is and what Obama wants it to be.
3. Obama is deliberately trying to overload the system. By sending everything and anything to the court, no matter how flimsy the argument, it bogs down the high court. They only take a certain number of cases per year, and overloading their docket keeps other cases the Obama administration fears more from ever reaching the Supreme Court’s docket.
Obama has used this tactic with some success at the legislative level. By overloading Congress with everything from climate change to healthcare to education to immigration to various other priorities, his congressional opponents are on the defensive. Facing a multi-front war, some Obama priorities get blocked, but others slip through into law.
The first explanation would make Obama evil. The third one would make him a genius. While hardened partisans on both sides may cling to these equally false narratives, the second explanation makes the most sense.
Obama considers himself an expert on virtually everything, and has repeatedly shown ignorance and a lack of depth on topics out of his narrow scope of learning.
This does not make Obama a “dummy.” That would be the other extreme of the intellectual spectrum. Perhaps he is just what most people are: average, a mediocre man with a winning smile.
This type of man can win a popularity contest twice by capturing just enough voters. Yet trying to convince nine legal scholars at the highest level is another ballgame entirely. Obama just may not be up to that difficult a challenge.
The 9-0 losses speak for themselves.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
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