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Mitch's Mistake

Conservatives shouldn't defend judicial supremacy.

1:45 PM, Apr 5, 2012 • By ADAM J. WHITE
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But even if presidential criticism of the courts over pending litigation is unprecedented, it is not inherently a bad thing.  It is simply an example of constitutional checks and balances in action. Indeed, it is liberals who have most often tried to shield the courts from criticism by claiming judicial supremacy and finality in interpreting the Constitution; it is conservatives--constitutional conservatives--who have insisted on the limits of the judiciary's claims.  President Obama was not wrong simply because he criticized the Court; he was wrong because the substance of his criticism was wrong. Sen. McConnell, and all of us, should take care not to confuse the two arguments, and should take care not to seem to defend government by the courts. It is the supremacy of the Constitution and the constitutional system we need to defend, not the supremacy of the courts.

Adam J. White is a lawyer in Washington, D.C.

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