Monday, April 2, 2012

Nothing To See Here: the President and "unprecedented" (Updated x2)

President Obama's remarks following a meeting with Canadian and Mexican leaders seem likely to draw some attention from fact checkers.
“Ultimately, I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,” Obama said at a news conference with the leaders of Canada and Mexico.
The "unprecedented" part of the claim isn't the only thing of interest, but I just couldn't resist matching it with "president" in the title of the post.

It's perhaps even money that PolitiFact will address this statement.  If it does, I'll be interested to see the spin (if any).

Update 4/3/12 (Jeff)-

PolitiFact decided to sort out the truth today of the President's 'unprecedented' claim:
Presidents are paid to be confident about their own laws, but what's up with that "unprecedented"? In Marbury in 1803, Chief Justice John Marshall laid down the doctrine of judicial review. In the 209 years since, the Supreme Court has invalidated part or all of countless laws on grounds that they violated the Constitution. All of those laws were passed by a "democratically elected" legislature of some kind, either Congress or in one of the states. And no doubt many of them were passed by "strong" majorities.

As it happens, probably stronger majorities than passed the Affordable Care Act. Readers may recall that the law was dragooned through a reluctant Senate without a single GOP vote and barely the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster. Despite a huge Democratic majority in the House, it passed by only 219-212.
Oops! My bad. That's not PoitiFact. That was the right-wing kooks over at the Wall Street Journal editorial board. It must not be true. I guess we'll just have to wait until our friends outside the echo chamber decide to weigh in.

Update 2 (4/4/2012):

At about 5 p.m. today PolitiFact published a fact check on this item, finding President Obama's statement "False."  The story isn't without a significant amount of spin, which I'll explore at Sublime Bloviations and connect via hotlink to this update.


  1. Meanwhile your liberal counterpart has tried to call you out on the Politifraud facebook page.

    "Karen Street Nothing to see here....really?
    32 minutes ago · Like"

  2. Oh, dear. Should I feign concern?

  3. So that's why my ears were ringing!

    Oh, wait. Nevermind. It was just just gas.


Thanks to commenters who refuse to honor various requests from the blog administrators, all comments are now moderated. Pseudonymous commenters who do not choose distinctive pseudonyms will not be published, period. No "Anonymous." No "Unknown." Etc.