Wall St. Journal: “We were half-joking yesterday when we asked if Barack Obama slept through his Harvard Law class on Marbury v. Madison, the 1803 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court first asserted its power to strike down unconstitutional laws. It turns out it’s no joke: The president is stunningly ignorant about constitutional law.”
Obama tried to explain his previous statement that it would be “unprecedented” for the Supreme Court to rule Obamacare unconstitutional by saying:
“Well, first of all, let me be very specific. Um[pause], we have not seen a court overturn [pause] a [pause] law that was passed [pause] by Congress on [pause] a [pause] economic issue, like health care, that I think most people would clearly consider commerce. A law like that has not been overturned [pause] at least since Lochner, right? So we’re going back to the ’30s, pre-New Deal.”
The Wall St. Journal column also says:
“But in citing Lochner, the president showed himself to be in over his head. . . . In Lochner the court invalidated a state labor regulation on the ground that it violated the ‘liberty of contract,’ which the court held was an aspect of liberty protected by the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause. . . . Lochner, which was effectively reversed in a series of post-New Deal decisions, did not involve a federal law–contrary to the president’s claim–and thus had nothing to do with the Commerce Clause, which concerns only the powers of Congress. It’s appalling that any president would have the effrontery to lecture the Supreme Court about a pending case. It’s astounding that this president, who was once a professor of constitutional law at an elite university, would do so in such an ignorant fashion.”
For more about the President’s ignorance and false statements about the Lochner case read the 2011 article called “Barack Obama on Lochner” in which the author describes nine mistakes the constitutional law professor made describing the Lochner case. Makes you wonder how Obama passed con law at Harvard.
See also “Barack Obama, Constitutional Ignoramus” that says:
“I’m grateful for the favor Obama did for us yesterday of exposing his extreme constitutional ignorance, with his comments on how it would be ‘unprecedented’ for the Court to strike down a law passed by a ‘strong majority’ in Congress. (As if a House margin of seven votes is a ‘strong’ majority.) True, he walked back the comment today, but surely because his statement was not merely indefensible but outright embarrassing to his media defenders.
I’ve been growing weary of hearing people mention that he’s a ‘constitutional scholar,’ since he never published a single thing on the subject either as editor of the Harvard Law Review or as a member of the faculty at the University of Chicago Law School. But hey—he taught constitutional law, didn’t he?