In continuous search of wisdom, I am wondering anew this day. Is there anything wrong with the following presidential exhortation?
“Last Thursday I described the American form of Government as a three horse team provided by the Constitution to the American people so that their field might be plowed. The three horses are, of course, the three branches of government — the Congress, the Executive and the Courts. Two of the horses are pulling in unison today; the third is not. Those who have intimated that the President of the United States is trying to drive that team, overlook the simple fact that the President, as Chief Executive, is himself one of the three horses.
It is the American people themselves who are in the driver’s seat. It is the American people themselves who want the furrow plowed.
It is the American people themselves who expect the third horse to pull in unison with the other two.
I hope that you have re-read the Constitution of the United States in these past few weeks. Like the Bible, it ought to be read again and again…
But since the rise of the modern movement for social and economic progress through legislation, the Court has more and more often and more and more boldly asserted a power to veto laws passed by the Congress and State Legislatures in complete disregard of this original limitation.
In the last four years the sound rule of giving statutes the benefit of all reasonable doubt has been cast aside. The Court has been acting not as a judicial body, but as a policy-making body…
We have, therefore, reached the point as a Nation where we must take action to save the Constitution from the Court and the Court from itself. We must find a way to take an appeal from the Supreme Court to the Constitution itself. We want a Supreme Court which will do justice under the Constitution — not over it. In our Courts we want a government of laws and not of men.
I want — as all Americans want — an independent judiciary as proposed by the framers of the Constitution. That means a Supreme Court that will enforce the Constitution as written — that will refuse to amend the Constitution by the arbitrary exercise of judicial power — amendment by judicial say-so. It does not mean a judiciary so independent that it can deny the existence of facts universally recognized.”
There has existed much vocal ruckus in regard to the healthcare law. With last week’s hearing before the Supreme Court, the ruckus has evolved into a political jockeying in regard to how the high court will soon rule. Please know that the Intramuralist is no expert in regard to the law’s constitutionality; however, as is no secret, I am hesitant to support any legislation that mandates purchase simply because we breathe.
Nonetheless, after his turn at the jockeying, Pres. Obama has been criticized this week, with many suggesting he is “attacking” the court — that he does not respect the court’s authority because they are unelected — and that overturning the act would be unprecedented. Obama has been fairly vocal in his confidence that the judicial branch will not nor should not overturn a bill that Congress and the President agreed upon, even if by partisan means.
Friends, I don’t know Obama. I don’t know if he’s attacking the court or not. I don’t know his heart nor all his motives nor if he really believes that the judicial branch isn’t “pulling in unison” with the rest of the country. I do believe politics serve as a significant motivation for him, as Obama consistently utilizes strong rhetoric to seemingly sway public opinion (an indigenous tactic of multiple politicians, regardless of party affiliation).
But let’s remember that attacking the Supreme Court — as questionable and unwise as it may seem — is nothing new.
The above words were said by Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Power impacts perspective. Might be good. Might not.