Obama and the Warren Court by Angela Riddle

“Barack Obama is not an idiot. He is a brilliant orator who exudes charm and arouses near-worship from his host of giddy, hypnotized supporters. He is also a committed socialist and a talented salesman for his brand of Marxist snake oil. Beware of camels bearing gifts, and politicians promising utopia.” —Michael Reagan

Obama’s radio interview, from 2001 when he was a state senator, is overwhelming proof of his extreme liberalism, his policies, and direction he would take the Courts. One of the comments that stood out the most was about the Warren Court. Now in this arena Obama cannot claim ignorance (or one hopes not). He was after all a law professor, so he fully understands the implication and meaning of his words. The Warren Court is known as the most liberal and left leaning court in the history of the nation. But Obama made it clear that he did not find this court to be radical. In his view they did not have a far enough left or radical approach on the Civil Rights issue and redistribution of wealth. Who knows what else was not radical enough for his tastes, but hopefully we never have to fully find out.

During the Warren Court the Supreme Court reached its height of power. Not only did they increase their owner power but also that of the federal government. It was also during this court that religion (more accurately Christianity) and prayer were taken out of public schools.

One of the most famous cases was Griswold v. Connecticut, the contraceptive case. Somehow the court found a right to privacy hovering somewhere over the Constitution. The Justices could not even agree where this right was found. The majority opinion, written by Douglas, found it in the penumbras and emanations of other constitutional protections. In concurring opinions Goldberg found it in the Ninth Amendment, and Harlan and White found it in the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. Upon reading the Ninth and 14th amendments it is hard to figure out where exactly the right to privacy is. But obviously the justices also had this problem, which is why they could not agree and found this right to be hovering. The right to privacy found in Griswold was used in later cases, the most famous Roe v. Wade.

The Warren Court did help end segregation, but that still begs the issue of whether it was the proper role of the court. One needs to put aside the racial issues and tensions and look at the proper role and power of the court. Even if something should be and needs to be done it does not warrant the court to take unauthorized action. Instead the proper role would be through the legislature. The proper way would have been through a constitutional amendment or at the very least a law enacted by the legislature. But instead the court usurped its power in order to make the ruling. Even though something needed to be done it was not within the power of the court.

The Warren Court is tainted with radical and leftist rulings and the largest expansion of judicial power in history. But according to Obama this court was not radical enough. With such beliefs it is safe to say that an Obama court would be far more radical and leftist than we have ever seen or can probably even believe. The court would find more rights hovering somewhere over the Constitution, that is if they even look to the Constitution. The role and power of the court would be unlike anything we have ever seen. Not to mention, as he indicated in his other comments on the radio, the court should have dealt with the issue of redistribution of wealth.

His views on the redistribution of wealth are a whole other topic, that may even be scarier and more leftist (or socialist) than his views on the Supreme Court and its role. 


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