Did Scalia feel threatened by the President’s comments following oral arguments in NFIB v. Sebelius?

July 29th, 2012


WALLACE: He still did.

Then there was the president’s statement in April after the oral arguments in the ObamaCare case did not go well before the Supreme Court when he seemed to be jawboning the court. Take a look at this.


OBAMA: I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.


WALLACE: Justice, what did you think of that?

SCALIA: It’s unusual. But as I say, I don’t criticize the president publicly and he normally doesn’t criticize me.

WALLACE: Did you feel any pressure as a result of that to vote a certain way?

SCALIA: Yes. What can he do to me? Or to any of us? We have life tenure and we have it precisely so that we will not be influenced by politics, by threats from anybody.

WALLACE: Did you view that as a threat?

SCALIA: I didn’t view it as a threat. I’m not even sure I heard it.

WALLACE: Well, you heard it now.

SCALIA: You brought it to my attention.

WALLACE: And now, you — come on, you heard it.

As a matter of just fact, as a legal scholar, was the former constitutional law lecturer correct how unprecedented is it for a court or as the president put it there an unelected group of people to overturn an act of Congress.

SCALIA: Oh, I’m not going to engage in that debate with —

Ouch. Just a constitutional law lecturer.