"President Obama used conservative arguments against judicial activism to urge justices to uphold the law," a teaser headline on the bottom of today's Washington Post front page notes, directing readers to page A4 for the story by staffer David Nakamura.
Nakamura dutifully opened his story noting that Obama said in a Rose Garden press conference yesterday that if the Court overturns ObamaCare in the HHS v. Florida case, that it would "amount to an 'unprecedented, extraordinary step' of judicial activism." Yet nowhere in the 18-paragraph story did Nakamura lay out exactly how Obama's argument was conservative in nature nor did he cite a single conservative constitutional or legal expert to agree with Obama.
What's more, Nakamura failed to note how Republicans and conservatives would object that striking down the individual mandate -- an unprecedented abuse of federal government power to compel Americans to buy a service from a private contractor -- is legitimate given the Court's authority to toss out legislation that passes beyond the Constitution's limits on federal power.
In its section on the federal courts, the 2008 Republican Party platform notes that (emphasis mine):
Republicans will insist on the appointment of constitutionalist judges, men and women who will not distort our founding documents to deny the people's right to self-government, sanction federal powers that violate our liberties, or inject foreign law into American jurisprudence.
The individual mandate, conservatives and Republicans argue, is a classic violation of individual liberty through the overextension of federal power. What's more, it's difficult to argue that the Framers of the Constitution intended that federal regulation of commerce would include the mandating of commercial transactions by private parties as ObamaCare envisions.
Yet at no point in President Obama's rebuke of the Court yesterday did the former constitutional law professor lay out how exactly he believes the individual mandate is constitutionally valid or conservative in nature. Indeed, all the chief executive did was gripe that his signature legislative achievement would be tossed out by the Court despite having been "a duly constituted and passed law."