In Obama’s Constitutional History, What’s a Quarter-Century?
3:27 PM, Apr 4, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Yesterday, President Obama said, “We have not seen a Court overturn a law that was passed by Congress on a economic issue, like health care, that I think most people would clearly consider commerce — a law like that has not been overturned at least since Lochner. Right? So we’re going back to the ’30s, pre-New Deal.” The problem with Obama’s account is that Lochner wasn’t decided in the ’30s, as Obama suggests, but in 1905. Actually, that’s hardly the only problem with his account, as Adam White highlights.
But at least the former part-time lecturer of constitutional law is no longer claiming that it would be “unprecedented” for the Supreme Court to strike down an act of Congress, or at least one “passed by a strong majority,” as he did on Monday in the presence of two neighboring heads of state.