On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams accused a federal judge of bringing politics into the judicial process simply by ordering the Justice Department to explain controversial comments President Obama made against the Supreme Court: "Politics are ideally supposed to stay out of the nation's courtrooms, but that's not what happened this week in a federal courtroom in Texas."
In report that followed, correspondent Pete Williams proclaimed: "The political controversy spilled into a Texas federal court, where the rules are designed to filter out politics, interrupting arguments about a challenge to part of the Obama health care law." Williams noted how Judge Jerry Smith "put a Justice Department lawyer on the spot" to explain the President's attack on the court system and made sure to point out that Smith was "a Reagan appointee."
For decades, Republicans have railed every four years against the Supreme Court and its perceived liberal activism to spur conservatives to elect presidents who will appoint like-minded justices. Now strategists in both parties are suggesting this could be the Democrats’ year to make the court a foil to mobilize voters.
The reason tea partiers carried signs saying "Read the Constitution!" was that we were hoping people would read the Constitution.
Alas, we still have Rick Santorum saying Obamacare is the same as what he calls "Romneycare"; the otherwise brilliant Mickey Kaus sniffing that if states can mandate insurance purchases, then we're "not talking about some basic individual liberty to not purchase stuff" (no, just the nation's founding document, which protects "basic individual liberties" by putting constraints on Congress); and the former law professor, Barack Obama, alleging that a "good example" of judicial activism would be the Supreme Court (in his words, "a group of people") overturning "a duly constituted and passed law."
Charlie Rose boosted two of the left's talking points about Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. Rose asked Republican Senator John McCain, "Does Mitt Romney have to redefine himself...against the charges that he's out of touch, and that by endorsing the Ryan budget, it is a prescription for American decline?"
Rose also highlighted how McCain and President Obama both slammed the Court's Citizens United decision. But the Arizona Republican clarified that "I agreed that it was a bad decision, but certainly...I never questioned that they didn't have the right to do that. Apparently, the President doesn't read the Constitution the way some of us do."
Liberal pundits, journalists, and yes, the president of the United States seem to be in a full-blown panic about the prospects of ObamaCare going down in flames when the Supreme Court rules on HHS v. Florida in two months. Doing so would be the sort of judicial activism that conservatives decry, President Obama complained ludicrously earlier this week.
But have no fear, liberals, for law professor and Daily Beast/Newsweek contributor David R. Dow -- who previously wrote a book defending judicial activism -- has your solution. The Yale-educated lawyer suggests that President Obama's congressional defenders could try something last attempted in 1805: the politically-motivated impeachment of a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Here's how Dow opened his April 3 Daily Beast post:
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd is clearly beside herself over the possiblity the Supreme Court might strike down ObamaCare.
"This court," she wrote Wednesday, "is well on its way to becoming one of the most divisive in modern American history...It is run by hacks dressed up in black robes...[M]irrors the setup on Fox News":
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose rolled over and deferred to chief Obama flack David Axelrod and his talking points defending the President's Monday rant against the Supreme Court and its deliberation on his health care law, along with its attacks on Mitt Romney. Rose tossed softball questions at Axelrod, such as, "Tell me what he [Obama] is saying when he talks about judicial activism."
The anchor even boosted Hillary Clinton as a possible 2016 presidential candidate for Democrats during his interview with the Obama aide: "[Nancy Pelosi] said her candidate is Hillary Clinton. She hopes Hillary Clinton will run....Do you expect that she'll be a nominee in- will be a candidate for president in 2016?" [audio available here; video clips below the jump]
On Friday's Daily Rundown on MSNBC, anchor Chuck Todd asked about the sour outlook for ObamaCare: “There’s a lot of panic at the White House, to be frank. They really thought this wasn’t going to be that hard of a case....Now they’re biting their fingernails. Should they be biting their fingernails?”
NPR’s Nina Totenberg responded: “Yeah, they should be biting their fingernails." Totenberg insisted that everyone thought this was constitutional, a "piece of cake." But the Bush appointments were "very, very, very conservative." This is not the first time she's loaded the "very" boat:
The New York Times has previously reported on the dangers of the arcane problem of "epistemic closure," whereby the conservative movement (but evidently not the liberal one) suffers from "a kind of closed-mindedness in the movement....a high-toned abbreviation for ideological intolerance and misinformation."
Speaking of which...In Wednesday's edition of the weekly online chat at nytimes.com among columnists David Brooks and Gail Collins, posted under the heading "Moral Arguments," the more liberal Collins unwittingly provided Exhibit A of ideological intolerance, liberal-style.
On Wednesday's Morning Edition, NPR's pro-ObamaCare shill Julie Rovner predictably lined up backers of the contested law. Rover again cited the Kaiser Family Foundation and failed to mention their liberal leanings. She also turned to a former Clinton administration official, without identifying her as such, and played five total clips from liberals, versus only two from a conservative.
The correspondent hyped the "the potential impact on the relationship between the federal government and the states" if the Supreme Court struck down the controversial legislation, and that "virtually any program in which the federal government gives money to the states with conditions attached" could be at risk.
There was some strange poll placement in Tuesday's New York Times, which led with "New Poll Finds Drop In Support For Afghan War." Yet the paper buried a story from the same poll, showing people are strongly against ObamaCare, on page 17. Given that the Supreme Court is now arguing the issue, wouldn't it have been more timely for the Times to lead off with or at least front its ObamaCare findings?
Leave it to the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Propagandists, to cover for Barack Obama's Uncle Omar, formally known as Onyango Obama. Today, Uncle Omar was given a slap on the wrists so light it's hard to imagine he even felt it.
Today's AP cleanup in Massachusetts arrives via Denise Lavoie, whose principal contribution to the spin is to tell readers that Uncle Omar is "appealing a deportation order," when in fact he ignored an order for 19 years until his arrest for "operating under the influence" in August of last year. Excerpts, including the "say as little as possible" headline, follow:
Charlie Rose boosted New York Times's staff "conservative" David Brooks for his endorsement of the individual mandate on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, but Senator Tom Coburn was having none of it. Rose quoted from Brooks, whom he labeled a "a Hamiltonian, and someone...you share views with." Coburn slapped down the pro-ObamaCare argument: "We just don't have the authority to tell people to do that" [audio clips available here; video below the jump].
The Oklahoma Republican continued, in part, that "Brooks...[is] a Hamiltonian. I'm not. I'm a Madisonian, and that says, as government grows, freedom diminishes, and what we've seen is our freedom diminished." The anchor followed up by spotlighting ObamaCare benefits: "So, therefore, you don't...support the requirement for pre-existing conditions, nor the fact that children, up until the age of 26, will come under their parents' plan?"
If there has ever been a case that could vindicate the Supreme Court as a guardian of liberty or incriminate it as freedom's thief, it is the court's present consideration of the Affordable Care Act.
At the founding of the republic, the Anti-Federalist opponents of the Constitution warned that to grant the power to declare laws unconstitutional to an unelected and life-tenured Supreme Court could subvert the democratic republic and threaten our liberties.
Apparently most reporters at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Propagandists, lost the memo that Reuters got ("Obama Campaign: Obamacare Not a Bad Word After All"). Either that, or they haven't been paying attention their Obama For America emails.
OFA and President Obama himself both say it's now okay to call the fraudulently named Affordable Care Act which became law in March 2010 "ObamaCare"; the only matter in dispute is whether one should capitalize the "c." Jeff Mason at Reuters, which was already a bit late with its own report, tried to explain it all Monday evening, but "somehow" forgot what may be the most obvious motivation, namely that the "affordable" part of the original bill's title has been proven to be anything but:
Appearing on Tuesday's NBC Today, left-wing MSNBC host Rachel Maddow spun the Supreme Court ruling on ObamaCare as being a judgment of how partisan the high court has become: "...this may as much be a referendum on the Supreme Court and whether or not the Roberts court is so conservatively politicized that it will make a decision to hurt the President, rather than sticking closely to precedent here."
Maddow touted a recent Bloomberg poll, "that 75% of people think that the Supreme Court will decide based on their political beliefs, not on the law." She conveniently left out the results of the latest CBS News/New York Times poll that showed only 36% of Americans approve of ObamaCare, while 47% disapprove. A recent Rasmussen poll showed 56% favoring repeal of the law.
Taking the Constitution's limits on federal power seriously is just, well, backwards to liberal journalists. Take Ari Melber of The Nation. Sitting on the panel on the March 26 edition of Now with Alex Wagner, the MSNBC contributor dismissed as "retrograde" the notion that the ObamaCare individual mandate -- the provision forcing Americans to buy private health insurance or else pay a fine to the federal government -- violates the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
Melber, a former John Kerry presidential campaign staffer, made the remark in the midst of comments wherein he suggested the Obama administration could see a stunning victory before the high court, despite the conservative nature of the tribunal:
"It's been two years" since ObamaCare was muscled through Congress and signed into law, and "more people than ever before" are opposed to it, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted on Saturday.
The Media Research Center founder was one of the speakers at the March 24 Tea Party-sponsored "Road to Repeal" rally. Today and the next two days, the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments on questions pertaining to ObamaCare's constitutionality. You can watch Bozell's brief speech in the video embedded below the page break:
Former New York Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse, who previously confessed she couldn't grasp "the moral compass" of people who opposed Obama-care, denied the need for any balance when discussing the constitutionality of the matter in her Wednesday column, since the measure's opponents are so obviously wrong.
Journalistic convention requires that when there are two identifiable sides to a story, each side gets its say, in neutral fashion, without the writer’s thumb on the scale. This rule presents a challenge when one side of a controversy obviously lacks merit. But mainstream journalism has learned to navigate those challenges, choosing evolution over “intelligent design,” for example, and treating climate change naysayers as cranks.
If Scott Walker somehow loses his recall election in Wisconsin, will that be national news? Of course it will.
Well, if the Walker recall really is a national story, why isn't it news that 29 judges who are supposed to be impartial in their rulings and who are under strict prohibitions against political activity were found by Gannett News to have signed petitions supporting Walker's recall -- including at least one who has ruled in a recall-related matter without bothering to disclose his action? Make such a story about Republican judges signing petitions to recall a Democratic governor, and it would be national news for sure. Here are several paragraphs from Eric Litke's report:
Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear three days of oral arguments in the healthcare lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, otherwise known as "Obamacare."
We now know the law was based on phony predictions about its cost. After promising the price would be under $940 billion over 10 years, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has issued a correction of its initial estimate, which appears to have been based on sleight of hand accounting tactics by congressional Democrats and the White House. CBO now projects the measure will cost taxpayers at least $1.76 trillion over a decade.
At the Associated Press on Thursday, reporter Chris Tomlinson clearly took the side of statist environmentalists in covering the Texas Supreme Court's decision recognizing the right of landowners to pump water flowing through their property underground.
Tomlinson's sub-headline said that the court "approved" the idea, and his text claimed that it had "expanded property owner's rights." All the court did was formally recognize a principle which has long applied to underground oil and gas. The dispute involved restrictions desired by the city of San Antonio on how much water two farmers could pump. Much of Tomlinson's writeup follows below:
Daryl Justin Finizio, the recently elected Democratic Party Mayor of New London, Connecticut has apologized to the families and homeowners who lost their homes as a result of the city's decision to condemn properties in the Fort Trumbull area of that city. Those efforts began over a decade ago. A lawsuit by the victims which attempted to stop the city from taking their properties and destroying their homes ultimately led to the Supreme Court's Kelo vs. New London decision in 2005. The Court ruled in favor of the City based on what it believed was "a carefully considered development plan." A few remaining holdouts who tried to get the city to reverse course after the ruling, including Susette Kelo, lost their battle and settled with the city in 2006. To my knowledge, no ground has been broken on any kind of new development in the area originally occupied by the homes in the 5-1/2 years since.
Obviously, one could argue that the apology is way too late, given that the buildings have long since been leveled.
Julie Rovner, NPR's on-staff shill for ObamaCare, filed an unashamedly one-sided report on Friday's Morning Edition about the controversial Obama administration mandate that forces religious institutions to include coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, sterilizations, and birth control.
Rovner turned to only two individuals for her pro-mandate report: Peggy Mastroianni, general counsel at the federal government's own EEOC, an organization which recently got slapped down in a unanimous Supreme Court decision concerning the rights of houses of worship in hiring and personnel matters; and Sarah Lipton-Lubet, a lawyer for the notoriously far-left American Civil Liberties Union, who until May 2011, worked for the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on a trip underwritten by the U.S. State Department (aren't justices expected to keep their distances from the government to protect their perceived impartiality?), was in Egypt on Wednesday at a Cairo University law school seminar. While there, according to the Associated Press's Mark Sherman, she told students that (in Sherman's words) "she was inspired by last year's protests that led to the end of Hosni Mubarak's regime" and to speak to them (in her words) "during this exceptional transitional period to a real democratic state." The news that Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist parties now control about 75% of the seats in the country's parliament seems not to have registered with Ginsburg or Sherman -- or, for that matter, the State Department.
Sherman's AP story failed to note what Ms. Ginsburg said about the U.S. Constitution in an Egyptian TV interview, as did virtually all of the rest of the establishment press. ABC's Ariane de Vogue is currently the most notable exception, but as readers will see, she clearly buried the lede. Here are key paragraphs from her report (the related video is at Hot Air; the relevant portion begins at the 9:28 mark; bolds are mine):
In an unsigned per curiam opinion issued today, the U.S. Supreme Court tossed out a federal judge's revision of Texas's congressional redistricting map, finding that the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas had "substituted its own concept of 'the collective public good' for the Texas Legislature’s determination of which policies serve 'the interests of the citizens of Texas.'" The court "appears to have unnecessarily ignored the State’s plans in drawing certain individual districts," the Court added. No justice dissented and Associate Justice Clarence Thomas issued a concurrence.
Yet in teasing Supreme Court correspondent Robert Barnes's story on the Washington Post's website, editors colored the decision in a way that portrayed the move as the justices having "throw[n] out... electoral maps favoring minorities." [see screencap below page break]
Leave it to a fringe leftist to tout a rarely-defended plan proposed by Franklin Roosevelt.
Angered by Supreme Court rulings that blocked many New Deal initiatives, Roosevelt in 1937 came up with what he considered an ingenious scheme to get around the court -- increasing it from 9 to 15 justices, the additional six most assuredly sharing Roosevelt's politics. (audio clip after page break)
While NBC, ABC, and CBS all reported on the Supreme Court's decision Monday to rule on the constitutionality of ObamaCare, none of the coverage made any mention of calls for liberal Justice Elena Kagan to recuse herself from the case due to her advocacy for the legislation as Obama's solicitor general.
Of the three networks, only ABC's World News even noted public opposition to the legislation, as White House correspondent Jake Tapper explained: "The health care law is tremendously unpopular with a new high of 51 percent of Americans viewing it unfavorably and new low of 34 percent approving of it."