Over at No One of Any Import, Linda was saying that surely Barack Obama knows that it’s Supreme Court’s job to interpret the law, and that when he opined that to declare Obamacare unconstitutional would be unprecedented, he simply appealed to the ignorant masses. I’m not sure what he knows.
Steven Hayward (via Instie) makes a point that Barack Obama’s knowledge of the Constitution might very well be limited to applications of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. If I know anything about graduate education in the United States, it’s that it’s so compartmentalized that the students too often forgive themselves lack of general knowledge. Given his background, I kind of doubt that our President read the Constitution. For all we know (and we know very little about his schooling) he was never required to read it, and it was simply not a cool book for him to pick up, not like Rules for Radicals or anything.
I do want to know more about our President’s schooling. I want to know what classes he took in college, I want to read his senior thesis. My mind keeps drifting back to his Austrian language gaffe. Considering that much of his schooling took place abroad, what was he required to learn there? It is possible that he went to a very excellent private Christian school, but it’s also possible that he was stuck in a third world hell-hole with no good teachers. It seems to me that any American familiar with the history of WW2 would tell you that Hitler was from Austria, a country where German is the spoken language, which Nazis annexed in 1938.
The Constitution is doubtlessly popular with the Tea Party crowd, but all too often the Left looks beyond it — to international law, human rights, or whatever other doctrine they see more suitable for their goals.
Five years ago, when I worked in immigration, we had a citizenship client, a student at UC Berkeley who looked for help in connection with his criminal record (Oakland police stopped his car and seized a bag of marijuana). One of our attorneys, a Hastings graduate in her mid-20s accompanied him to the naturalization interview. At the interview he was asked “What is the Constitution”, to which he replied something along the lines “It’s our rights”. The attorney defended his answer at the interview, and when she returned to the office, she was still adamant about it. I had to point out that while the Bill of Rights is a part of Constitution, the answer is not exhaustive.
There were no surprises at that interview. Immigration services provide the list of questions and answers ahead of time. Our lawyers read them.
According to my former co-workers, immigration is the kind of glamorous field where all law school grads want to work these days, even though there aren’t a lot of jobs, or at least not yet. So my former employer got the best and the brightest.
Anywho, I can easily picture Obamster not knowing about Marbury v. Madison.