April 4, 2012

Laurence Tribe says Obama "didn't say what he meant" about the Supreme Court and needs to "clarify."

"I don’t think anything was gained by his making these comments and I don’t think any harm was done... except by public confusion."

ADDED: Remember when Larry Tribe pushed Obama (his former student) to nominate Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court because "Neither Steve Breyer nor Ruth Ginsburg has much of a purchase on Tony Kennedy's mind"?
Kagan, Tribe said, had a way of "gently but firmly persuading a bunch of prima donnas to see things her way in case after case." Of course, he was referring to the prima donna professors at Harvard Law School, and mainly talking about new faculty appointments, which is quite different from persuading Supreme Court Justices about interpretations of law. It's one thing to build a law school community where professors can spout diverse ideologies and still feel like it's a happy, functioning institution. It's quite another to amass votes for a legal proposition that produces an outcome in a case and binds all the courts in the United States.
I wonder how well Kagan is doing scaling the convolutions of Kennedy's brain these days. As I said at the time: "if the target of a light touch knows that the most powerful man in the world has selected that approach to prying his brain into a particular political direction, that target ought to become highly vigilant and not get played."

61 comments:

Alex said...

Thanks Larry, otherwise I wouldn't know if harm was being done.

Tom from Virginia said...

They are not quite sure what will work on Kennedy, the bribe or the threat. The bribe? - glowing stories in the NY Times and WaPo proclaiming him the greatest statesman and jurist since Oliver Wendell Holmes. Invitation to the inner ring of DC and NY society. All this and much more will be yours Justice Kennedy if you bend the knee. [Don't laugh. It worked with David Souter.] The threat? Oh friends you just wait if this goes 5 to 4 the wrong way. PBO already gave you a sneak peek in the SOTU a couple of years ago, and in his Jacobin broadside on Monday.

Gene said...

" that when it comes to matters of national economic importance, the court generally defers to Congress."

This is something that all liberals truly believe--that when something is important enough the courts ought to defer to the liberal agenda. You defer to the constitution only when it doesn't matter that much one way or the other.

The Drill SGT said...

It was a Kinsley Gaffe. Plain and simple

chuck said...

Ol' Laurence is out there following the circus parade with a shovel. Someones got to do it, and in this economy it might as well be a Harvard professor.

Alex said...

And so the GodZero brigade keeps digging the hole deeper.

damikesc said...

that when it comes to matters of national economic importance, the court generally defers to Congress

Didn't courts rule that people had a RIGHT to welfare back in the 70's?

Michael Haz said...

Obama "didn't say what he meant"?

Uh, Professor Tribe, he said exactly what he meant, and it so disturbed you that you are busily trying to persuade Americans that the leader of their country says things he doesn't mean.

edutcher said...

What he meant to say was, "Nice cawt ya got dere. Be a shame if anyt'ing was ta happen to it".

Meanwhile, Judge Napolitano notes that Dictator Zero, having told us he doesn't need Congress to implement his agenda, now says the courts can't overturn him, either.

Do we call Zero Fuhrer, First Secretary, or just plain Massa?

mesquito said...

How the hell does Tribe know that President Marvelous misspoke?

Kansas City said...

President Obama often is lazy and sloppy with his words, in part because he always has been treated kindly by the media and others - he can afford to be sloppy or dishonest because he gets away with it. He is smart, but not near as smart of his supporters claim. One example of him getting away with saying stuff not true is his claim that Obamacare passed with the strong majorities in Congress statement. He obviously knows it is not true, as does everyone else, but no one follows up with him on it and he gets away with saying it. The real danger of his dumb statement (which I think was an attempt to influence Kennedy and, if unsuccessful, set up the campaign against the court) is that it contributes to the growing perception that he is not so smart and is too political.

Paul Kirchner said...

Justice Kagan is going to persuade Justice Kennedy with her brilliant "the government is giving you a boatload of money!" argument.

chuck said...

He obviously knows it is not true

What worries me is that maybe he doesn't. The guy wafts about in the breeze, living on unicorn farts. I'm not convinced that he has ever seen the ground.

Chase said...

President Obama often is lazy and sloppy with his words, in part because he always has been treated kindly by the media and others - he can afford to be sloppy or dishonest because he gets away with it. He is smart, but not near as smart of his supporters claim.

H gets away with it because he is black.

Okay - I will say it: This emperor has no clothes. I have said all manner of nice things about Obama on this blog over the years, including defending his patriotism, but it comes down to this:

He is not up to the job. And if you can't treat him the same like any other man, including a white man, then the problem of racism is far worse - and it's not coming from the usual suspects.

n.n said...

These people really do not respect individual dignity. Whether it is through the denigration of assigning us to arbitrary collectives, refuting the fundamental concept of freewill, conducting emotional extortion, or other wholesale manipulation, they continue to reveal their true nature.

rehajm said...

Is Laurence Tribe still famous?

Dan in Philly said...

There are two types of persuaders, my friend. One persuades with arguments that cannot be refuted because of their clear vision, plain articulation, and irrefutable logic bolstered by common sense and experience.

The other get consensus because it's useless to argue, not because the arguments are compelling but because the arguer will not stop (gently or otherwise) until they get their way.

Which one is Kagan, and which is likely to persuade Kennedy or any other SC judge?

edutcher said...

Supposedly, Kagan was picked IIRC because it was hoped she could charm the socks off the other Justices, Kennedy in particular.

Larry J said...

So, Tribe is basically asking, "Who are you going to believe, me or your lying ears?"

We heard him. We know what he said. We're becoming convinced that Obama is dumb enough to believe what he says. Kinda tarnishes that Harvard Law degree, doesn't it?

SteveR said...

We can predict with certainty that Kagan will vote to uphold the law she helped craft (remember that transparent process?). She also probably leaked the initial SOCTUS debate results to the White House.

Petunia said...

Kagen's unqualified to be on the SCOTUS and she should have recused herself from this case. The idea that she could charm ANYONE is laughable.

Chase has it exactly right. Obama has exploited being half-black to achieve everything he has achieved, and unfortunately millions of Americans and most of the MSM are too ignorant, naive, foolish, or stupid to see it.

ricpic said...

When Barry "doesn't say what he meant" is that when he's being the well meaning but ineffectual moderate Barry or the devious means justifies the ends radical Barry? It's so hard to untangle the web woven by the Gramschian Alinskyite Tribe.

Hagar said...

We know that Obama is a Harvard graduate.

So is Bill O'Reilly.

traditionalguy said...

In truth the liberals statists jonly want to know who gets the 100 billion already ripped off to create the Mega Bureucracy for Nationalized Health Care.

That is GSA work and may require a Hawaiian Junket at the best resorts to do that tally mans' job.

Hmmm ummm Obama's boatloads of money. Daylight come an Seibelius's had loaded the boat, but now she just wanna go home.

bagoh20 said...

I think it was on Rush where I heard a lawyer who is a former student of Obama describe Obama's comments on the Marbury issue as like hearing your astronomy professor proclaim on TV that he didn't accept the idea of the Earth going round the Sun.

walter said...

"Neither Steve Breyer nor Ruth Ginsburg has much of a purchase on Tony Kennedy's mind"

You mean it was this, not her admirable track record as a judge. Oh...wait. I mean "Wow!. Wow!"

I bet she put extra sugar in Kennedy's coffee.

walter said...

"Of course we believe that the Supreme Court has, and the courts have, as their duty and responsibility, the ability of striking down laws as unconstitutional," Carney said.

However, he said the president was specifically referring to "the precedent under the Commerce Clause" regarding a legislature's ability to address "challenges to our national economy."

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/04/04/justice-department-under-deadline-to-answer-court-over-obamas-health-law/#ixzz1r6CX7mPU

Elevating the value of the legislation by invoking the commerce clause and instructing the justices to be mindful of benefits in future and already being delivered, seems like another "Too big to fail" categorization. But does he really want want to open the door to the larger economic/societal "benefit" given emerging information? Looks more like Too big. Too fail.


http://campaign2012.washington/...

"To recap, the CBO now predicts that Obamacare: 1) will force millions more Americans out of their current employer coverage than originally advertised; 2) will force millions more Americans onto Medicaid than originally advertised; 3) will force millions more Americans to pay fines for not obtaining health care; 4) will force businesses to pay billions more in mandate fines; and 5) will leave millions more Americans without insurance than originally advertised."

.............

"As the National Governors Association noted in a Fall 2011 “Fiscal Survey Of States,” “state spending on Medicaid is likely to continue to see above average growth due to… the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.” (Obamacare is known as the “Affordable Care Act” or PPACA.) A congressional report, “Medicaid Expansion In The New Health Law: Costs To The States,” “conservatively estimates that PPACA will cost state taxpayers at least $118.04 billion through 2023.”

Even liberal governors call its impact “devastating,” saying things like “I have no idea how we’re going to pay for it.” Gov. Steve Beshear (D-Ky.) notes that “starting in 2016, Washington will begin shifting that additional costs to the states. ‘I have no idea how we’re going to pay for it,’ Beshear said candidly.” (Editorial, “Medicaid Expansion Will Cost Taxpayers,” The Paducah Sun, Feb. 13, 2011). Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-Mont.) laments that “I’m going to have to double my patient load and run the risk of bankrupting Montana.” (“Montana Looks North For Health Care That Works ,”

Fen said...

Obama "didn't say what he meant"?

Yah, I'm sure that's worked for him before. But uhm... can we please get a new President, one that respects Marbury v. Madison? That would be really nice. Thanks.

Monday, April 2nd, 2012. The day Obama lost.

edutcher said...

Petunia said...

Kagen's unqualified to be on the SCOTUS and she should have recused herself from this case. The idea that she could charm ANYONE is laughable.

Supposedly, she's quite vivacious one-on-one (I won't take that any farther) and that was the big reason to put her on the Court.

sane_voter said...

I see Kagan and think Rosie O'Donnell.

Big Mike said...

Tribe was one of Obama's original enablers. I wonder how many times Tribe looked at a paper written by young Barack and said to himself "that's not what he really meant" before heavily rewriting it.

walter said...

I see Kagan and think..Lou Costello in drag.

cubanbob said...

damikesc said...
that when it comes to matters of national economic importance, the court generally defers to Congress

Didn't courts rule that people had a RIGHT to welfare back in the 70's?

4/4/12 6:43 PM

Is this true? because if it is, how did the court reconcile this with Nestor which the court ruled you do not have a property right to Social Security and that as a welfare program congress can amend , change or abolish anytime it chooses. How does a program of earned benefits not be a right but an earned benefit is? What logic did the court use?

Paul said...

Well Judge Napolitano is right when he said, "I Think the President Is Dangerously Close to Totalitarianism."

He didn't misspeak. He says he will ignore Congress and now he says SCOTUS can't stop him.

Well that leaves him as DICTATOR, Chavez style.

If you see any tanks in the street, don't worry Ann. It's just your wonderful president taking charge. He will just talk that nice moderate talk you so love while sending in the black helicopters.

Phil 3:14 said...

What he should have said to President Obama:

Constitutional...You keep on using that word; I do not think you know what it means.

SukieTawdry said...

Ah yes, His Eminence Laurence Tribe. I remember when Laurence floundered so badly during Bush v Gore oral arguments, he was replaced with David Boies for God's sake. I also remembered him waxing so eloquently about the "best student I ever had" and dug this up from last year in The New Republic:

On March 29, 1989, at a time when many of his fellow first-year law students were beginning to prepare for the spring semester’s looming examinations, Barack Obama paid a visit to the office of eminent constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe. Obama had not dropped by to brush up for a test. In fact, he had yet even to enroll in an introductory constitutional law course, a gratification Harvard Law School denies its students until the second year of study. Obama’s call was purely extracurricular: He wanted to discuss Tribe’s academic writings. That a young man on the make would attempt to win a distinguished professor’s favor is, of course, an utterly unremarkable event at Harvard. That institution is not principally known for attracting individuals lacking in either ambition or self-regard. Indeed, by the time Obama made his pilgrimage to Tribe’s office, it is safe to say that he trod a well-worn path. But unlike many such efforts both before and after, Obama’s gambit actually worked. As Tribe would recount many years later, so incisive was Obama’s mind, so magnetic was his personality, so clear was his sense of purpose, that the visit moved the professor to scribble a brief note on his calendar marking the occasion: “Barack Obama, One L.!”

On the basis of that meeting, Tribe took Obama on as one of his research assistants. Tribe shielded his dazzling new hire from the mundane assignments that such positions typically require. “I didn’t think of him as someone to send out on mechanical tasks of digging out all the cases,” Tribe recalled. Instead, the two men would periodically get together, sometimes taking strolls along the Charles River, to exchange lofty ideas about the relationship between law and society. In the wake of Obama’s rapid ascent in politics, Tribe allowed that he viewed “him much more as a colleague” than as a student and even went so far as to call Obama his “most amazing research assistant.”


Obama's Law

Lem said...

How hard is it to turn down people who will just say anything to achive their goals..

I mean.. would you turn down mind reading?.. would you turn down a "boatload of federal money"?

"Its not over until we win" ..

Titus said...

This is so awful and I am devastated and outraged.

As a result I have become a severe conservative and now have given 10,000 big ones to Maggie Gallagher and NOM.

I feel so much better.

My kids will be proud of me. Yes, they are fags but I don't give a shit. I care about myself and the fact that I am an old fucking hag who needs attention.

Now love me.

JAL said...

@ Sukie 10:01 I was hoping someone could find that for me. Have looked for it before and couldn't locate it. I remember reading it as something to the effect that Tribe was so impressed he didn't send him to the basement to do scut work like every other 1L. Obama was too special for that.

This crap has paved the way for BHO his whole life.

Too bad voters didn't pay attention in 2008. (It was all there.)

Instead they were all lining up (and swooning) as they basked in the rising son.

(BTW -- Did you see the housing doomsday link on Insty?)

PatCA said...

Kagan is going to be a force on the court? I'm not an attorney, but her argument about the boatloads of money from the government sounded not persuasive, but actually moronic. Maybe she was nervous, trying too hard her first time out?

This is not the faculty lounge, Elena.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Constant doom mongering may be the goal.

Playing on fears, by THEM, sells.

Make money Democrats.

holdfast said...

Kagan was just being forward-looking.

Her argument will work well on the Court 500 years in the future. In the time of "Idiocracy". She'll be the third smartest person in American, after "Not Sure" and Rita the ho.

DEEBEE said...

Deep down these clowns must think Kennedy is really conservative -- which must mean he is tupid

affordableattorneyflorida said...

What he said to Mr.obama? Law is law

edutcher said...

JAL said...

(BTW -- Did you see the housing doomsday link on Insty?)

It's on al-Reuters as well as ZeroHedge, so even the Lefties concede it's coming.

Probably intended as the centerpiece of the Occupation this summer, but, between this and a very likely bitch slap on ZeroCare, no wonder the trolls have reappeared.

Looks like rough times for GodZero.

edutcher said...

PS Here's the ZeroHedge piece which is a lot more technical than the one from al-Reuters.

Moneyrunner said...

That New Republic article was wonderful. Barack charmed the pants off Lawrence Tribe. Clean, articulate, Black and non-threatening; how could a famous Liberal Harvard Law professor NOT become besotted with someone who held a mirror up to himself and told him how wonderful he was?

Rick Caird said...

I wonder how someone of Lawrence Tribes' stature feels about being reduced to the guy who carries the shovel behind the elephants in the circus parade?

gerry said...

I wonder how well Kagan is doing scaling the convolutions of Kennedy's brain these days.

I love the image this drew for me: a tiny, black-robed figure struggling with Kennedy's gyri and sulci, getting lost, running to and fro...

(H/T to Dogpile for finding what the folds of the brain are called)

MikeDC said...

So "campaign as a moderate" means "trot out my teachers to say they don't think he's really as radical as you think!"

Brennan said...

Is there a Larry Tribe Obama translator account on Twitter?

I think I need to follow it. What Obama says sound outright scary like he sees himself as a dictator. Courts, Schmorts. Congress, Schmongress. The imperial presidency will do whatever it wants.

Anthony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anthony said...

Maybe the real problem is that because the Constitution is really old, like 100 years or something, it is too hard to understand.

Rob said...

If you have ever wondered what it means when someone is described as an "apologist"...now you know!

Rusty said...

There's a penumbra in there somewhere. I know there is!

TMink said...

Kagan is a light weight. Kennedy ignores her as such.

This is what brilliant leadership looks like. Apparently.

Trey

SGT Ted said...

He's a leftwing dunce who thinks he is the smartest guy in the room.

Please, liberals, please quit lieing for this Obozo of a Presidential Clown. Covering for him just makes it worse, especially the very specific claims he made as to the history of the frequency and Constitutionality of overturning legislation.

NBC is trying to cover for Obama on this issue too by framing the issue in terms that allow them to claim that striking down O-Care on Constitutional grounds is 'judicial activism'. They wre also claiming that it is beyond the pale that a Federal Circuit judge, presdiding over another O-care appeal, who demanded that the DOJ put in writing whther or not the court have the power to overturn laws.

The left/lib media complex is trying to hijack the term to muddy up the waters over this issue.

I'm just loving watching the left turn on and attack the very argument they've been using for 80 years to defend actual judicial activism: That the USSC is sacred and inviolate and its rulings trump all, regardless of whats written in the USC.

Christopher in MA said...

There's a reason they call him Lost Tribe.

TOF said...

The One told us all what he thinks of the US Constitution in interviews before he became POTUS. Since he took office he has pined for the powers of a dictator. There is no doubt as to what hisn words meant.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

It's one thing to build a law school community where professors can spout diverse ideologies and still feel like it's a happy, functioning institution.

So where in the Ivy League does such an anomaly exist? Remember the fate of Larry Summers, run off the campus for blasphemy...

Yes, yes, he wasn't in the law school, but just how would it differ from the general intolerance of intellectual diversity?

Victor Erimita said...

All this discussion is maybe interesting on an intellectual level. But anyone paying the slightest attention knows what Obama is about at this point. The only thing that matters at this point is whether and how that truth can penetrate the media deception and the minds of the gullible many who voted for this man and who continue to think he is anything other than the sophomoric, petty little ideologue that he is. In forums like this, we're jus preaching to the choir.