Over the last eight years, those on the left may have celebrated victories on controversial decisions of same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), however former President Barack Obama’s overall record before the Supreme Court was actually the worst for any President since Franklin D. Roosevelt.
According to a recent study by Washington University professor Lee Epstein and University of Chicago law professor Eric Posner, Obama had the “worst record of any President” since the 1930s and 1940s.
“To assess presidential performance in the U.S. Supreme Court, we created a dataset of cases of concern to the president,” Epstein and Posner commented. “The dataset covers Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt through Barack Obama (1932-2015 terms), which amounts to 84 Court terms and 13 presidents.”
During his eight years in office, the Supreme Court ruled on 186 cases in which either the Attorney General, Solicitor General, or the Obama Administration were directly part of. President Obama’s success rate was much lower at just 50.5 percent, the lowest of the study.
“On the one hand, the data seem to confirm a story that scholars have long told: When the president goes to Court, he wins. According to Posner and Epstein, “Presidents prevailed in nearly two-thirds of their cases and captured 60 percent of all votes.”
The irony of all this is that President Obama is often admired and praised by those on the left and media as this great constitutional intellectual. When asked about the possibility of Obama filling a future Supreme Court seat, Hillary Clinton comment on the campaign trail, “wow, what a great idea. Nobody has ever suggested that to me, wow. I would certainly take that under advisement. I mean, he is brilliant and he can set forth an argument and he was a law professor. He has got all the credentials.”
After all, Obama boasted that if Congress would not act, he would. That he had the power to authorize action. He often championed executive orders regardless of the legality. Why negotiate when you could just sign a piece of paper. For a former editor of the Harvard Law Review, Obama must have skipped over Articles I, II, III of the Constitution regarding separation of powers. Thank goodness James Madison did not.
History does not judge a President on credentials; instead, it reflects a legacy of accomplishments. Obama’s legacy before the Supreme Court is one of defeat and he cannot fix that with his pen and phone.