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Legal Daily News Feature

Obama v the U.S. Supreme Court By Joshua Nave After President Obama publicly scolded the Supreme Court in his State of the Union Address, the blogosphere went crazy for a few days arguing about decorum, tradition, and the independent judiciary.

03/13/10

adding ‘’Do you think John Roberts knows or cares how people get elected?’’

Liberal pundits mostly attacked Justice Alito for breaking tradition during the speech by shaking his head and mouthing ‘’not true’’ while conservative commentators were critical of the President for using the State of the Union to attack the judicial branch. And although the political battle over Citizens United continues, the dustup between the President and the Court had more or less died out. That all ended on Tuesday when Chief Justice Roberts, speaking at the University of Alabama law school, answered a question on the topic. While acknowledging the importance of free speech and the right to criticize the Court, he also expressed displeasure at what he perceived to be a presidential lack of decorum, and went on to question why the Court attends the speech. Now the fray has drawn in the third branch of the government. Yesterday, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, while speaking to a group of liberal bloggers, jumped feet first into the scuffle. According to this story in the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog, Senator Reid claimed that the justices of the Supreme Court did not understand the practical ramifications of the decision,

As a liberal, I cringed when I heard the President openly challenge the Court during the State of the Union. While I agree with his conclusions, I’m deeply troubled by any attack on the independence of the judiciary and by the ever increasing rancor between liberals and conservatives. The independent judiciary relies on legitimacy to be effective. When other branches of the government bring that legitimacy into question, whether by politicizing the selection of federal prosecutors and judges or by publicly attacking the Court’s decisions, they weaken the perception of an unbiased legal system. The battle over Citizens United will continue as Congress looks for ways to rewrite the campaign finance laws to overcome the constitutional issues, and it is right and proper that Congress does so. That’s the way it is supposed to work. I join the Chief Justice in urging Congress to back away from the practice of asking judicial appointees partisan questions in order to score political points, and I long for the day when all Americansliberals, conservatives, moderates, pundits, politicians and citizens, can come together to find common ground instead of treating every disagreement as a black and white battle for the soul of democracy.

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Obama v the U.S. Supreme Court  

The battle over Citizens United will continue as Congress looks for ways to rewrite the campaign finance laws to overcome the constitutional...