Related via the Examiner:
President Obama’s spokesman reiterated that a Supreme Court ruling against Obamacare would be “unprecedented,” but even when explaining why that claim should stand, he fumbled Supreme Court history.
“It would be unprecedented in the modern era of the Supreme Court, since the New Deal era, for the Supreme Court to overturn legislation passed by Congress designed to regulate and deal with a matter of national economic importance like our health care system,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said today. “It has under the Commerce Clause deferred to Congress’s authority in matters of national economic importance.” Carney also said that Obama does not regret making the comment.
But Carney’s history is incorrect. “Jay, that’s not true,” CBS’s Norah O’Donnell countered. “There are two instances in the past 80 years where the president — where the Supreme Court has overturned [laws passed on the basis of the Commerce Clause]: US vs Lopez and US vs Morrison.”
The Obama White House is addicted to the “unprecedented.”
Perhaps it was a sign when President Barack Obama sat down in January to record his first weekly address and announced: “We begin this year and this administration in the midst of an unprecedented crisis that calls for unprecedented action.”
What has followed is declaration after declaration of “unprecedented” milestones. Some of them are legitimate firsts, like the president’s online town hall at the White House in May.
But others the president wins merely on a technicality, and several clearly already have precedents.
The White House’s announcement of its unprecedented — “a first by an American president visiting China” — town hall meeting with students in Beijing, for instance, drew a collective eye roll in certain circles back home, namely among former aides to President George W. Bush, who had already been grumbling about Obama’s carefree application of “unprecedented.”