SCOTUS being intimidated over ObamaCare ruling?
Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales weighs in
- Duration 6:14
- Date Jun 7, 2012
Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales weighs in
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Ultimately I'm confident that the Supreme Court.
Will not take -- would be an unprecedented.
Step of overturning.
A law that was passed.
A strong majority.
A democratically elected congress.
I trusted he will be Chief Justice for all of us.
And he has a strong institutional sets.
On the proper role in judicial branch acting job based on their personal views this matter.
Could be the height of conservative judicial activism.
Well there's some new concerns about what some Republicans are calling attempts to intimidate the Supreme Court and head of their landmark decision on the president's health care law that could come down really.
Anytime that we were -- we were told it would be mid June and here we are so three leading senate Republicans spoke out on all of this earlier today.
Here's that they sat.
I hope and I trust.
That moving forward.
President Obama and my colleagues in this body or refrain from attempting to bully the Supreme Court.
We're seeking to misrepresent the court's important work.
In fulfilling its constitutional duties.
The key point is that the court's job is as.
As chief Justice Roberts said -- confirmation hearing to work as an umpire calling the balls and strikes as the court season.
In -- lot of my colleagues.
I share this indeed.
The president himself.
Democrat colleagues in the house and the senate their friends in the media and and and literal.
Pro health care advocates.
Have stepped up undignified.
And not justified.
And attacks on the court.
So they -- as a backdrop that we bring in Alberto Gonzales former attorney general under the bush administrations are welcome great to have you here today.
It's -- to be with you as you listen to senator Leahy and then the Republicans senators what do you think of what they're saying all this -- on -- -- thank.
Well you know I I think that judges who have lifetime tenure are are not going to be pressured by the comments of someone who may be out of a job and a few months.
From my perspective I think it's more likely that that they're really speaking to that to their base I mean.
And you you've got the president you've got Democrats out there saying that at this lawless is -- to constitutional.
If in -- -- court strikes it down.
Today they wanna be able appoint someone and it's you know it's not the president's false not their fault they're gonna that they want to point fingers at at someone and and they want to point fingers at the court you know.
It you know I think there is this assessment -- a lot of people's part that that the Supreme Court justices have.
Inclinations and yet you know I'm more inclined toward towards what you're saying which is to believe that they have they're beholden to no one.
They have that job firm with the rest of their lives or until they decide to retire.
So how much pressure do you think that they may feel based I -- the -- is an election year.
They do realize of course the implications of striking it down or of supporting it.
Well I think the real danger here is you know -- not that the justices are gonna be influenced by these kinds of statements.
But the real danger is is that perception in the general public.
That that that the perhaps the members of the court can be intimidated that perhaps some animals are members of the court.
Make their decisions on on on personal political considerations.
And I think it does great damage to the court as an institution because it's so power.
Comes from from adheres to its to its judgments based upon the integrity of the court.
And to the extent that that's -- called into question I think that does great damage and for that resenting these kinds of statements and in advance of the decision.
Are unfortunate and and -- and damaging to the court listen I think I think judges make mistakes and when they do that when they make a mistake.
They they should be savage criticism.
But criticism is okay but intimidation.
In my judgment is wrong.
If that's very as Xena and in some -- I guess is not surprising when you hear senators and congressmen and congresswomen sort of going at it about judicial activism we've heard that -- sides.
Over the course of many years.
But it sounds is death you might take issue with the president speaking out the ways that he did.
And saying that day he was confident that the Supreme Court would not take what would be an unprecedented extraordinary step of overturning a lot of had been passed by a strong majority.
I have a democratically elected congress would you have wish that maybe he took a higher road on that issue and state about it.
While it at least advise the president to make sure your statements released accurate first -- wasn't a strong majority of the barely passed in the house secondly -- not impressive and I can -- -- numerous examples.
In this nation's history where congress has passed a law.
-- signed by the president which of course says this is unconstitutional.
So it does happen in fact that that is the purpose of the Supreme Court.
When congress passes -- is on constitutional.
They have a duty.
Two say so and that's that would not be on precedents happened before.
So I mean obviously I would assume home as we talked about earlier on all of this that the president knows that.
So that raises -- question -- was he trying to sort of put it out there.
You know to sort of for the jury is so to speak.
That that it would be unprecedented that they shouldn't do that that that would be activist for them to do that.
So well it's early -- atomic.
He certainly is it wouldn't be talking to the court -- they know what was what is in fact that press and what's unprecedented -- He and again I think he's he's really talking to his base he's talking and I think that that meant a senate Democrats are also talking.
To their base but the lesson from my perspective.
And the president can obviously saying he -- at -- -- he wants I think it's better for the president to to wait for the decision.
To see the basis of the decision and then if he wants to criticize it that's the purpose -- -- attorney general Alberto Gonzales thank you so much good to have -- here today.
Thanks for having me so look.