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Maureen Dowd: No Respect to ‘Men in Black’ in Op-Ed

Men in Black

By MAUREEN DOWD, New York Times

WASHINGTON — How dare President Obama brush back the Supreme Court like that?

Has this former constitutional law instructor no respect for our venerable system of checks and balances?

Nah. And why should he?

This court, cosseted behind white marble pillars, out of reach of TV, accountable to no one once they give the last word, is well on its way to becoming one of the most divisive in modern American history.

It has squandered even the semi-illusion that it is the unbiased, honest guardian of the Constitution. It is run by hacks dressed up in black robes.

All the fancy diplomas of the conservative majority cannot disguise the fact that its reasoning on the most important decisions affecting Americans seems shaped more by a political handbook than a legal brief.

President Obama never should have waded into the health care thicket back when the economy was teetering. He should have listened to David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel and not Michelle.

His failure from the start to sell his plan or even explain it is bizarre and self-destructive. And certainly he needs a more persuasive solicitor general.

Still, it was stunning to hear Antonin Scalia talking like a Senate whip during oral arguments last week on the constitutionality of the health care law. He mused on how hard it would be to get 60 votes to repeal parts of the act, explaining why the court may just throw out the whole thing. And, sounding like a campaign’s oppo-research guy, he batted around politically charged terms like “Cornhusker Kickback,” referring to a sweetheart deal that isn’t even in the law.

If he’s so brilliant, why is he drawing a risible parallel between buying health care and buying broccoli?

The justices want to be above it all, beyond reproach or criticism. But why should they be?

In 2000, the Republican majority put aside its professed disdain of judicial activism and helped to purloin the election for W., who went on to heedlessly invade Iraq and callously ignore Katrina.

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