Chief Justice stands up to White House bullying

As described in this blog on January 28th following President Obama’s state of the union address, the spectacle of a president deliberately and uncivilly criticizing the justices of the US Supreme Court who just days before had rendered a decision with which Mr. Obama disagreed, even as they sat politiely in front of him in the House chamber, was uncalled for and beneath the decorum which a president ought to practice.  This display of presidential bullying was made worse when, at the president’s implied prodding, Democratic House and Senate members stood, encircling the seated justices, and applauded the president’s ill-conceived — and, incidentally, inaccurate – remarks concerning the Court’s recent campaign finance law opinion.

Now, in answer to a question posed to him by a student at the University of Alabama School of Law on March 9th following a speech he delivered at the school, Chief Justice John Roberts politely but pointedly responded to the awkward position in which he and his colleagues were placed during the state of the union by President Obama and members of the president’s party who were present. 

The chief justice answered the student’s inquiry about the incident, first by indicating that criticism of the high Court’s decisions by the president or anyone else, is never out of place.  In our society, as Mr. Roberts noted, people have a right to criticize judges the same as they do members of the other two branches of government.

However, and as the chief justice also  stated quite clearly, criticizing the Court in that forum and in that manner raises serious questions about whether it makes sense for the justices to even bother attending such speeches in the future.  He summarized the situation as “troubling.”  He also accurately described modern states of the union speeches as nothing more than “political pep rall[ies].” 

The White House, preferring consistency to accuracy, once again, shortly after the chief justice’s March 9th remarks, continued to mischaracterize the Supreme Court’s decision that was the subject of the president’s lashing out at the Court on January 28th.

So far in this match between the Court and the White House, it’s “Advantage, Supreme Court.”

134 comments Add your comment

funny

March 12th, 2010
11:20 am

So yall support giving corporations unlimited free speech but think the president can’t speak on it? Interesting concept. LOL.

DannyX

March 12th, 2010
11:30 am

Every single national poll on the issue shows overwhelming disapproval of the decision, 80-85% of the American public

Obama expressing disbelief with the decision during his SOTU is being frowned upon by a very small minority. Most of us were cheering him on.

Encore!

Bravo!

Rational Person

March 12th, 2010
11:35 am

The Court’s decision was obscene. He should have taken them outside and slapped them around a little. Well, he should have had the Secret Service do it.

Gavel Grab » Friday Media Summary

March 12th, 2010
11:37 am

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution/The Barr Code: The Barr Code Chief Justice stands up to White House bullying Bob Barr – 3/12/2010 [...]

DAVID: AJC -Truth Detector

March 12th, 2010
11:48 am

LETs FACE IT……THIS COMMUNITY AGITATOR LOVES TO Rant….Rant…Rant

DAVID: AJC -Truth Detector

March 12th, 2010
11:49 am

YOU LIBERALs…..Every HEARD OF SEPARATION OF POWERS…NO…LIBERALS are IGNORANT……

kitty

March 12th, 2010
12:06 pm

face reality, folks. our country has been sold to the highest bidder. The SCOTUS decision was actually truthful for once. We are owned by big business and those with money. They are the “people”. We are just trained show animals that come when called.

I will be upset with Obama stating this simple fact in his SOTU speech when the right wingers actually get upset with Reagan for criticizing other SCOTUS decisions until then too dang bad.

HDB

March 12th, 2010
12:33 pm

Point is: the President, as does ANY American citizen, has the right to make his opinion known. President Obama made his known in the SOTU!! Since previous Presidents have critized the Court in numerous venues, why come down on this President….unless something OTHER than his policies are driving the debate!!

retiredds

March 12th, 2010
12:42 pm

Bob, just checking in. Still looking for your answer to my post @ 10:12 AM.

Swede Atlanta

March 12th, 2010
12:51 pm

Criticism of the Supreme Court in State of the Union addresses is nothing new. This has been done by both Republican and Democratic presidents. While I personally would have preferred the matter be raised in a less direct manner, the decision consolidates the influence that powerful monied interests have over our elections and political process.

Our political system is in crisis. Legislation is nearly impossible to pass with the Senate filibuster rule intact. Divisions between the two parties are stronger than ever. Elections are historically a rubber stamp for incumbents that have generally done little for the “common good”. Elections are about who can raise the most money. Candidates, especially in the House, believe their one job is to get re-elected. It is impossible for a 3rd party to make meaningful inroads into the political process. I could go on and on.

I disagree with this decision. While corporations have had significant influence over elections in the past, that involvement was at least to some degree contained. This ruling opens the floodgates. I don’t think we will see widespread intrusion. What I see is when there is a single candidate that might be key to passing important legislation, these monied interests will use their influence and deep pockets to favor or disfavor a candidate for commercial gain.

Swede Atlanta

March 12th, 2010
12:57 pm

TINSTAAFL

Corporations are not people. They are legal fictions created to facilitate commerce. The Founding Fathers didn’t say anything about granting rights to corporations. They were concerned about a government that could deprive its citizenry (i.e. people) of rights of men that were articulated during the Age of Reason.

Corporations could disappear tomorrow if the people will it. They have no rights. Their very existence is only at the will of the people through their elected representatives. If all the states eliminated their corporate statutes, these “entities” would cease to exist as a legal matter.

Byron Mathison Kerr

March 12th, 2010
1:02 pm

Argh! I just had another carefully crafted response fail to post — with additional attempts yielding the dreaded “Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!” error message. Bob, would you please report this to web support? The comment number is 12055. I had the same thing happen a while back on Cynthia Tucker’s blog. She reported the problem, and my comment was eventually posted. Thanks.

HDB

March 12th, 2010
1:03 pm

Respect: 8:16am – “The next time a corporation commits a crime, I’ll be expecting them to serve jail time, none of this limited liability shenanigans”

This is a key point; corporations have LIMITED liability, so they themselves have placed LIMITS as to what they can or can not do! Isn’t it hypocritical to grant unlimited power to an entity that has purposely limited itself against liabilities???

Miffed

March 12th, 2010
1:07 pm

Obama is not perfect. He’s human, and could not resist venting his frustration over the resistance to his administration coming from every quarter.

Hillbilly Deluxe

March 12th, 2010
1:10 pm

“Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!”

Suggestion: Copy the post before you post it. If the situation that just happened to you happens again, change one word and repost it. Sometimes that works but sometimes it’s never going through no matter what you do. They’re never going to fix it

Jefferson

March 12th, 2010
1:13 pm

The robes lost, Bob you got it wrong.

Byron Mathison Kerr

March 12th, 2010
1:29 pm

To Hillbilly Deluxe, March 12th, 2010, 1:10 pm:

Thanks for replying. I had a copy of my comments. I changed the beginning and resubmitted them at your suggestion. Well… I did not get the error message, and the post got a new comment number in the URL. But it still does not show up. Pesky little bug! :-(

joan

March 12th, 2010
1:30 pm

The Justices may come to the next State of The Union speech, but I sure won’t. I can’t stand that petulant, arrogant a-h, we have as our President. I am well and truly ashamed that the diminished level of education and morality in this country led us to elect such an unqualified narcissist. The only way he will be re-elected is to pass the amnesty bill and build up his voter base of rag tag indigents h..bent on getting all they can from the sweat of other people’s brows.

Jefferson

March 12th, 2010
1:37 pm

Feelings can be mutual.

Swede Atlanta

March 12th, 2010
2:25 pm

Joan, are you expecting to be invited to the next SOTU? I am impressed. I doubt I will ever get an invite but if I got one, regardless of who the President is, I would go as this is part of our national tradition.

The SOTU is constitutionally mandated, They will go on whether you attend or not. Personally I don’t get much out of the televised photo op. Democrat and Republican alike use it like a campaign appearance. I would prefer getting real facts about the “state of our union” and a clear presentation of the administration’s proposal.

I am curious though about the basis for your comment about passing an amnesty bill for indigents that survive on the sweat of other people’s brows.

The President did recently say that there is a need to look at Immigration. I can’t imagine any proposal that doesn’t contain some form of “amnesty” or path to citizenship. It isn’t practical to try to deport every undocumented foreigner. Further several respected studies that have been done on the role undocumented workers play in our society reveal that they are net contributors to the economy. Without the low-skilled and low-wage workforce fresh fruits and vegetables, construction, etc. would be much more expensive. Many of them pay social security and other taxes including local sales and federal and state income taxes. But when you net out what they may use of public services against the wage gap between what they are paid for their work and the “market” rate, the U.S. economy comes out the winner.

Eric

March 12th, 2010
2:34 pm

Obama was expressing the will of the people, at this point in time, and I’m glad he did it. Any amendments will take a long time–too long in fact–and the citizenry needed a voice against further corporate control. Court’s criticism was well-deserved.

Dusty

March 12th, 2010
3:37 pm

Thank you, Bob Barr, for supporting the Supreme Court against bullying by the president. The fact that any president would resort to such action only confirms their lack of ability. Obama just doesn’t know any better. His advisors don’t either as they are the ones who write his speeches. We get a continual display of inexperience, poor and partial politics, twisted agreements, and always the prevalent odor of left-bent socialism. Americans don’t like it and are saying it in every way possible. The unhappy clamor is unmistakable. .

ugaaccountant

March 12th, 2010
4:49 pm

“the U.S. economy comes out the winner.”

This isn’t what I’d call winning

funny

March 12th, 2010
5:04 pm

still waiting for yall to bash all of the Reps who have called the Roe v. Wade justices “activists”….

joan

March 12th, 2010
6:18 pm

Those so-called undocumented workers are illegal aliens, and what they contribute to the economy does not pay for what they take from it. Go to any local emergency room, check it out. Go to any local school. If you have 10 illegals renting the same apartment, highly unlikely they are contributing much to the economy. They are low paid, yes, and so pay very little in taxes (if they pay at all). Most likely they take cash from the fools ready to put their gardens above the national interest.

Scout

March 12th, 2010
10:03 pm

One of the first things a budding dictator likes to do is to try to demean and diminish the court system.

Scout

March 12th, 2010
10:41 pm

I’m going to do what my brother always does and when I get to the appropriate blank on my Census form this year I will put “Confederate-American”.

Tired of BS

March 12th, 2010
10:57 pm

HDB….. don’t you go throwing the race card out. Good grief, I hope you can do better than that.

Scout

March 12th, 2010
11:25 pm

Headline: “BROWNSVILLE — The Zapata County sheriff Thursday was questioning why a Mexican military helicopter was hovering over homes on the Texas side of the Rio Grande.”

WE DON’T NEED NO STINKING BADGES !

Miffed

March 13th, 2010
8:21 am

The Right is still manned by reactionary over-compensators. Every single pundit is trying to write Thomas Paine over every single event. Conservatives better pray Obama doesn’t lift his dog by the ears. That would make Beck self-flagellate on his show. (Why not? He’s already self-flatulating). Look, it’s almost Easter, can’t Beck reenact the Passion in an elevator with a plate of boiled cruciferous vegetables? Cruciferfy Him!! (sorry).

I’m only thinking of the ratings….

Scout

March 13th, 2010
9:22 am

Headline: ” Washington (CNN) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CNN Friday that Israel’s announcement of new settlement construction in disputed territory in East Jerusalem was “insulting” to the United States.”

I guess this means we will now end all further contruction on stolen Cherokee land (after a treaty and a ruling by the Supreme Court that President Jackson ignored) between the Chattahoochee River and Chattanooga?

Scout

March 13th, 2010
9:30 am

“There is little use for the being whose tepid soul knows nothing of the great and glorious emotion, of the high pride, the stern belief, the lofty enthusiasm, of the men who quell the storm and ride the thunder.”

President Theodore Roosevelt

Mrs Nettles English 101 Class

March 13th, 2010
12:35 pm

Too wet for golf today.

I liked Barr’s piece today. Chief Justice Roberts is a decent man.

The whole world was watching as Obama advanced arguments against a decision already made. Justice Roberts lit up the internet about it. Answering questions after a speech at the University of Alabama on March 9th, Roberts admitted that all supreme court decisions deserve public scrutiny, but insisted that Obama fouled when he re-opened the issue during his speech. Robert’s endearingly-frank disclosure of his own embarrassment at the president’s ill-timed arguments complied with the decorum that Obama had rejected.

A gentlemen addresses a wrong and nobody got bullied. I like that.

I like that real good.

Number1ninja

March 13th, 2010
1:03 pm

I love how a rather innocuous comment is seen as some sort of vicious attack by the same phony “conservatives” who make their living comparing Obama to the anti-Christ. Yeah, that’s not ironic at all.

Number1ninja

March 13th, 2010
1:10 pm

And all the parsing and rationalization in the world cannot make a corporation=an individual human, nor make money=speech. Not only were the corporatists using judicial activism, they were twisting reality itself.

Scout

March 13th, 2010
2:21 pm

Number1ninja :

Are you o.k. there buddy? “Sonar to bridge, sonar to bridge ……. range ….. mark”

somewhereinga

March 13th, 2010
4:31 pm

Ragnar: “think Chief Justice Robert’s rebuttal was better form than the error-filled broadside by the classless and clueless “Constitutional Law Professor”

What were those errors that the President made in his statement?

somewhereinga

March 13th, 2010
5:14 pm

Get Real:”Obama is the most arrogant president ever. His so-called State of the Union Address should be called the Teleprompter Address!”

Tell us, Get Real, George Bush had 8 State of the Union addresses. In which of them did he NOT use a teleprompter? Did you ever complain about them? Did you ever complain that his daddy used a teleprompter or that Ronnie used them when he read his speeches? Did you ridiccule Palin for reading off the palm of her hand? Or is your redicule directed exclusively at Obama for doing the same thing everyone else does?

Scout

March 13th, 2010
6:24 pm

somewhereinga:

I may be wrong but I think I read somewhere the other day that Obama’s actual “press conferences” (where you have to answer tough questions off the cuff) are way, way down as compared to other presidents. What’s with that? If I am wrong, I will stand corrected.

That said …….. what disgusts me are his (or anyone else’s) far left liberal policies.

As I also read the other day, average liberal and conservative Americans today have less in common than our ancestors who fought against each other in the War Between the States. Think that one through as it doesn’t bode well for the future. We are increasingly becoming two countries.

Numner1ninja

March 14th, 2010
10:46 am

“Are you o.k. there buddy? “Sonar to bridge, sonar to bridge ……. range ….. mark”

Wow, that’s a very compelling rebuttal, unfortunately in adult debate we are constrained by having to make a point.

somewhereinga

March 14th, 2010
10:54 am

Scout: Unfortunately, for you, anything to the left of Rush (or Adolph Hitler) is “far left”. There is no middle ground. You are like Boehner and McConnell. It’s ALL my way or nothing! Take a look at the bias in your postings and tell me that you are not part of the problem.

Take for instance the Healthcare bill. Even though (as I understand it) over 100 of their ideas have made it into the bill, Republicans are not satisfied. At the “summit” each of them parroted the same thing. We want to start over with a “new sheet of paper”. “a new piece of paper”, “a blank piece of paper”, “a new piece of paper” etc. They have to have EVERY one of their ideas in the bill. NOT just most of them or ALMOST all of them…and even then, if there is even ONE Democratic idea in the bill, they will vote against it! Obama has repeatedly offered to work with Republicans but they have always replied with “It’s our way or nothing!” To them, THAT is working together!

Bob Barr smoked Monica's cigar

March 14th, 2010
12:29 pm

Bob Barr, you have been disrespectful to every dem President. You defend the right to “free speech ” for big corporations and their special interests… but no free speech for the PRESIDENT ?
Screw you and the rest of the crybaby republicans. You destroyed America with your policies.
Now when Obama tries to clean up YOUR MESS, you whine !??! F the F off…all of you!!!

Jeff in ATL

March 14th, 2010
12:30 pm

All this feigned outrage from the right. Where was all the outrage when Ronald Reagan criticized Supreme Court decisions during the State of the Union address? And Regan did it twice.

Oh, that’s right — he was a Republican.

More hypocrisy from the right: when a Republican criticizes the Supreme Court during the State of the Union they’re quiet; when a Democrat criticize the Supreme Court during the State of the Union, it’s pretty much the worst thing that’s ever happened.

Reality Train

March 14th, 2010
12:37 pm

He also accurately described modern states of the union speeches as nothing more than “political pep rall[ies].”

Truer words have not been spoken throughout this entire debate. The State of the Union address is a worthless exercise of political self-gratification. This is non-partisan criticism. The GOP and Democrats have both trivialized this address; members of both parties act like trained seals, clapping and whooping whenever “their guy” makes a point or sitting stone-faced on their hands if “their guy” does not happen to be at the podium. Disgusting. Haven’t watched one from start to finish in years and won’t so long as they resemble pep rallies.

skegee51

March 14th, 2010
12:37 pm

WHY is it that we ALWAYS let LOSERS become EXPERTS on topics in AMERICA.If his opinion had any validity he would have been elected President?Romney,Barr,Palin,Huckabee,McCain,all losers and could not communicate their agendas,BUT ARE NOW EXPERTS…..WAKE UP AMERICA…THESE ARE LOSERS,THAT MAKE THIS COUNTRY LOSERS ALSO!!!!!!!!!

The Census Forms are HERE!!

March 14th, 2010
12:41 pm

I have no idea why, but I received a census form in the mail that required ME to list the number of commenters on Bob Barr’s blog.

I want to run the totals by you guys first, in the interests of accuracy. If you detect an error, please contact Bob Barr who will inform me at our ex-cia softball team practice.

I counted 9 droolers, 56 blatant spewers, 6 spitting-dittoheads, 89 projectile prattlers, and 54 mealy-mouthed word mincers.

I think that’s everyone.

Pop-up!

Chris Murphy, Atlanta, GA

March 14th, 2010
12:57 pm

So some think Obama “bullied” the Supreme Court?? He voiced what many Americans think, and to their faces, which many of us wish we could, too.

screwbarr

March 14th, 2010
1:02 pm

Barr continues to be the racist he has always been. If you can’t get elected for anything continue to criticize and try to roadblock anything that may be positive. Should’nt expect anything more from the racist losers from the state of Georgia. No one cares about your comments, that’s why your’e not in and elected position.

Bob Barr smoked Monica's cigar

March 14th, 2010
1:25 pm

Bob Barr is just another of the MANY republican closet queens ! Toe tapping, bathroom stall homosexing, boy page molesters, and ALL of them say gay marriage is a threat and voted against it.
Seems it’s a threat to their precious institution of “marriage” Republicans are all the same. Hypocrites, closet queens and thieves. How do you know a republican is lying? Their mouth is moving… or their keyboard is in use.

The Census Forms are HERE!!

March 14th, 2010
1:33 pm

Okay, good enough, add one to the M-word total.

bwa