Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Gephardt on overturning the Supremes

FOX News reports this from the mouth of Gephardt (agreeing with Kucinich) on Sunday: "When I’m president, we’ll do executive orders to overcome any wrong thing the Supreme Court does tomorrow or any other day." Eugene Volokh says this: "The quote is so shocking that I think he may have been misquoted, or quoted out of context -- it’s surely happened before. But if he was quoted in context, then this thinking is a very good reason not to elect him. If anyone has more details on the quote, I’d love to hear them.

UPDATE: A reader has just e-mailed me a link to the C-SPAN video. At around 43:45, Dennis Kucinich, another Democratic presidential candidate makes a very similar statement. Then at 44:40, Gephardt’s rather short speech starts, and at 45:40, he makes the statement that the AP quotes, agreeing with Kucinich. It’s entirely in context.

Do we really want a President who thinks that the President has the power to overcome "any wrong thing the Supreme Court does" using an Executive order? I know lots of people think various actions of the Bush Administration are unconstitutional; I too disagree with some of the Administration’s positions, for instance on the alleged power to detain all unlawful combatants (including U.S. citizens captured on U.S. soil) with no judicial review. I hope the Supreme Court agrees, and decides against the Administration. But I’m pretty confident that if the Supreme Court does so decide, this Administration will comply with the Supreme Court’s order.

Gephardt and Kucinich are promising that they’ll flout those orders. Seems to me that they should be taken to task for this, and severely."

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