Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor effectively rebutted President Obama's warning that a ruling against Obamacare would be "judicial activism" yesterday as she explaine the role of the high court in government.
"There's been so much discussion in public venues about the judicial branch of government and activist judges," O'Connor said yesterday during an event honoring her as the first woman appointed to the court. "It seemed to me that it was primarily a lack of understanding by many people about the role of the judicial branch. Of course they have to decide questions we don't like and wish weren't there, but it's not the judges who are bringing these things."
President Obama is probably the most recent, and certainly best-known, person in a "public venue" to raise the specter of "judicial activism." He used the term early this month when he described a possible ruling against Obamacare as "an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress."
O'Connor derided such reasoning today, without mentioning the president. "It seemed to me that it was primarily a lack of understanding by many people about the role of the judicial branch [that motivates charges of judicial activism]," O'Connor said today. "I really thought that we needed to enhance the education of young people about how our government works."