Senator Grassley tweeted this weekend about President Obama’s statement regarding the Supreme Court & its pending decision on the health care reform law. Here’s the tweet:
Constituents askd why i am not outraged at PresO attack on supreme court independence. Bcause Am ppl r not stupid as this x prof of con law
This morning during his weekly statehouse news conference, Governor Terry Branstad was asked by WHO-TV’s Dave Price about the topic. Here’s the AUDIO of Branstad’s remarks. Here’s a transcript:
Branstad: “I thought it was incredible that somebody that is a graduate of a law school would make the kind of outlandish statements that the president of the United States said about, you know, about the Supreme Court deciding on the constitutionality of an issue as important as mandated health care because the issue of the Supreme Court being able to decide constitutionality was decided in Marbury v Madison in 1803 and anybody that’s gone to law school knows that, so why would the president of the United States who is a law school graduate, who even taught in a law school, make that kind of an outlandish statement.”
A reporter (me) suggested “maybe he’s listening to Bob Vander Plaats.” BVP is a three-time gubernatorial candidate in Iowa who ran against Branstad in the 2010 GOP primary. He represents a portion of the Iowa GOP who argue against “activist courts” overturning laws (like the Defense of Marriage Act) which were passed by elected legislators. BVP said if he was elected governor he would issue an executive order that would negate the Iowa Supreme Court’s 2009 decision which legalized gay marriage in Iowa. Here’s the transcript of Branstad’s answer to that:
Branstad: “Well, I wouldn’t take my constitutional law advice from Bob Vander Plaats, if that’s what he’s doing, I think he’s making a mistake, but that’s pretty interesting…The president’s wrong and those people that say you can overturn a supreme court decision with an executive order I believe are wrong as well. I’ve said that consistently. I believe in telling it like I see it and, you know, maybe I’m handicapped because I have a law school education, but I did read Marbury v Madison and I do understand that it’s been settled law since 1803 that the Supreme Court can decide on the constitutionality of laws passed and signed, passed by the congress and signed by the president.”
UPDATE: Vander Plaats responded.
“It doesn’t concern me if Governor Branstad wants to take legal advice from me,” Vander Plaats told Radio Iowa late this morning. “But he probably should take constitutional advice from the people of Iowa who clearly saw the Supreme Court of Iowa had overstepped their jurisdiction.”