Obama's Officious Opinions
On Tuesday afternoon, in a stunning rebuke of President Obama, Judge Jerry Smith of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decided he had heard enough of the president’s incessant hyper-partisan rhetoric challenging the independence of the federal judiciary. Judge Smith, who was appointed to the court by Ronald Reagan, “referring to statements by the president in the past few days to the effect…that it is somehow inappropriate for what he termed ‘unelected judges’ to strike acts of Congress…” said that Obama’s comments “have troubled a number of people who have read it as somehow a challenge to the federal courts or to their authority…. And that's not a small matter.”
He then ordered the Justice Department to respond to the court by noon on Thursday with a letter (minimum three pages, single-spaced) explaining with specificity the DoJ’s position on “judicial review, as it relates to the specific statements of the president, in regard to Obamacare and to the authority of the federal courts to review that legislation.” (Audio of the relevant portion of the hearing can be found here [2.7MB], and audio of the full hearing here [29MB].)
My grandmother -- and yours -- reminded us that if we don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. My basketball coach -- and yours -- reminded us not to give the opposition extra motivation by predicting victory before a game, with the importance of that advice being proportional to the importance of the game.
Barack Obama, already the most overexposed president in American history, could learn from a political version of those bits of wisdom: if you don't have anything to say that can help you, at least don't say something that can hurt you, particularly before one of the most important events of your presidency -- in this case the Supreme Court's decision on Obamacare.
The President has made a habit of offering his opinion where it is not only unneeded but also exposes the president to unnecessary political risk.
Please read the entirety of my article for the American Spectator here:
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