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January 28th, 2010 7:31 pm
More on POTUS vs. SCOTUS

Those watching last night’s State of the Union Address may have noticed that a third of the Supreme Court wasn’t in attendance. It couldn’t have been an ideological statement because the absentees included Associate Justices John Paul Stevens, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas. After President Obama castigated the Court’s recent ruling on national television, ABC’s Jake Tapper reports that insult could lead to the other six members finding better things to do during next year’s speech.

At the end of Tapper’s piece is an intriguing quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt about his thoughts while getting sworn in by the Chief Justice for his second term as president.

After his second inaugural, FDR recalled to an aide, when “the Chief Justice read me the oath and came to the words ‘support the Constitution of the United States’ I felt like saying: ‘Yes, but it’s the Constitution as I understand it, flexible enough to meet any new problem of democracy—not the kind of Constitution your Court has raised up as a barrier to progress and democracy.’”

Tapper doesn’t comment on the quote, but it’s worth mentioning that FDR’s deviation from the Constitutionally-prescribed oath says a lot about the Executive’s abuse of power up through Obama. Is there any doubt FDR’s current successor feels any differently about his ability to judge how flexible our fundamental laws are?

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