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NBC Accuses Federal Judge of Bringing Politics Into Courtroom By Questioning Obama
NewsBusters ^ | April 5, 2012 | Kyle Drennen

Posted on 04/05/2012 5:11:27 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams accused a federal judge of bringing politics into the judicial process simply by ordering the Justice Department to explain controversial comments President Obama made against the Supreme Court: "Politics are ideally supposed to stay out of the nation's courtrooms, but that's not what happened this week in a federal courtroom in Texas."

In report that followed, correspondent Pete Williams proclaimed: "The political controversy spilled into a Texas federal court, where the rules are designed to filter out politics, interrupting arguments about a challenge to part of the Obama health care law." Williams noted how Judge Jerry Smith "put a Justice Department lawyer on the spot" to explain the President's attack on the court system and made sure to point out that Smith was "a Reagan appointee."

Williams explained: "On Monday, asked about predictions that the Supreme Court might strike down the health care law, the President used terms normally invoked by conservatives to attack decisions they don't like." After playing a clip of the comments in question, Williams did mention: "The President did dial back his remarks yesterday, saying simply the courts have shown restraint in overruling acts of Congress..."

With the President's comments stirring controversy, Williams tried to bring the story to an end: "...some say everyone should now cool it." A sound bite followed of American University Washington Law School professor Stephen Wermiel, who concluded: "President Obama really stepped into a controversy by criticizing the judicial activism of the court, but I can't imagine the circumstances under which a federal judge would then order the Justice Department to explain the President's views."

Professor Wermiel is also the author of "Justice Brennan, Liberal Champion."

NBC largely ignored the fact that President Obama injected politics into the Supreme Court proceedings with his Monday comments. The only coverage of the misstep on the network prior to Wednesday night was a single news brief by Savannah Guthrie on Tuesday's Today: "President Obama predicted Monday that the Supreme Court will uphold his health care reform law when that ruling is announced in June. The President seemed to challenge the justices directly when he warned that overturning the law would hurt millions of Americans and amount to an overreach by the court."

Here is a full transcript of the April 4 Nightly News report:

7:09AM ET

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Politics are ideally supposed to stay out of the nation's courtrooms, but that's not what happened this week in a federal courtroom in Texas. One of the judges took issue with some of what President Obama said this week at the White House about the big health care case that's now in the hands of the Supreme Court. Our justice correspondent Pete Williams has more.

PETE WILLIAMS: The political controversy spilled into a Texas federal court, where the rules are designed to filter out politics, interrupting arguments about a challenge to part of the Obama health care law. Jerry smith, an appeals court judge, put a Justice Department lawyer on the spot yesterday about a comment earlier this week from President Obama.

JERRY SMITH: I'm referring to statements by the President in the past few days to the effect, and I'm sure you've heard about them, that it is somehow inappropriate for what he termed unelected judges to strike acts of Congress.

WILLIAMS: On Monday, asked about predictions that the Supreme Court might strike down the health care law, the President used terms normally invoked by conservatives to attack decisions they don't like.

BARACK OBAMA: For years, what we've heard is the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint. That an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, it's a good example.

WILLIAMS: He said it would be unprecedented to overturn a law passed by a majority in Congress. Judge Smith, a Reagan appointee, demanded a letter from the government by noon tomorrow stating its position on the power of the courts to strike down laws. Republicans in Congress pounced too. The Senate's Minority Leader Mitch McConnell circulated a list of 169 times the Supreme Court has struck down federal laws in part or completely. The President did dial back his remarks yesterday, saying simply the courts have shown restraint in overruling acts of Congress, but some say everyone should now cool it.

STEPHEN WERMIEL [PROFESSOR, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY WASHINGTON COLLEGE OF LAW]: President Obama really stepped into a controversy by criticizing the judicial activism of the court, but I can't imagine the circumstances under which a federal judge would then order the Justice Department to explain the President's views.

WILLIAMS: Unknown in all of this is whether the justices were listening. Most legal experts say even if they were, it won't make a difference in what they do. Pete Williams, NBC News, at the Supreme Court.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Front Page News; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2012; bhodoj; democratmedia; democrats; enemedia; fascistmedia; judge; liberalmedia; lmm; mediabias; mediapropaganda; nbc; nbcfakesnews; nbcnews; obama; obamacare; obamedia; scotus; supremecourt
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The MSN rump swabs aren’t even bothering to cover up their bias.


21 posted on 04/05/2012 5:29:19 PM PDT by AU72
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Obama lies and the media swear to it

I wonder if the soviet-era propagandists were as gleefully willing as our media

(at least until they were told what to write and when to write it)


22 posted on 04/05/2012 5:31:06 PM PDT by Mr. K (If Romney wins the primary, I am writing-in PALIN)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Brian, wipe your chin.


23 posted on 04/05/2012 5:32:49 PM PDT by JPG (Hold on tight; rough road ahead.)
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To: APatientMan

Because the head of the executive branch (Mr. Obama) questioned the role of the Judiciary in reviewing the constitutionality of laws.


24 posted on 04/05/2012 5:34:09 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (Ich habe keinen Konig aber Gott)
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To: AU72

NBC will now have subtitles when Obama speaks


25 posted on 04/05/2012 5:34:34 PM PDT by molson209
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

NONAMERICAN BULLSHIT COMMUNISTS turning news into communistic politics!


26 posted on 04/05/2012 5:35:33 PM PDT by Road Warrior 04 (I miss President Bush! 2012 - The End Of An Error! (Oathkeeper))
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The judge did not bring politics into the courtroom. The government counsel has a boss who continues to live up to Mark Halperin’s characterization and uses intimidation as his primary tool.

The judge will not be intimidated and slapped down the prick who pretends to govern.


27 posted on 04/05/2012 5:37:44 PM PDT by jimfree (In Nov 2012 my 11 y/o granddaughter will have more relevant executive experience than Barack Obama)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This is what sharing the news departments across MSNBC to NBC has brought. NBC likes to imagine there is a wall between the two but in reality, they are the same.

I certainly don’t watch MSNBC, and now I won’t be watching NBC. Both have the same agenda.


28 posted on 04/05/2012 5:39:20 PM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

lol.

As if courts have never gotten involved in government before. heh.


29 posted on 04/05/2012 5:39:29 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: Wurlitzer

“Brian Williams and most of the Marxist Main Stream Media do not have the intellect to tell the difference between questioning a decision and questioning the right of the court to rule in the first place.

As the occupant of the White Hut, Odumbo, has told all of us he is more powerful than the congress and believes the USSC should not be ruling on a law/bill passed by congress how is he not acting like a dictator?

He is a dictator and there is not a single member of the GOP willing to call him on it. I guess Odumbo wants the USA to look like almost every city in the USA ruled by “his people”.

Thomas Jefferson would be so Pi$$ed and disgusted with us for allowing this to continue.”

“DING” And we have a winner, How true!


30 posted on 04/05/2012 5:40:27 PM PDT by mongo141 (Revolution ver 2.0, just a matter of when, not a matter of if!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Politics are ideally supposed to stay out of the nation's courtrooms

Cocky threats and deprecatory comments directed at the Supreme Court are ideally supposed to stay out of the nation's Rose Garden.

31 posted on 04/05/2012 5:41:07 PM PDT by BlatherNaut
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To: APatientMan

This is an Appeals Court hearing a case on ObamaCare where Physician-Owned hospitals are BANNED under ObamaCare. So yes, it is on topic.


32 posted on 04/05/2012 5:43:05 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

They got the memo.


33 posted on 04/05/2012 5:43:18 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Leftist liar scum like Williams and Obama always accuse the good guys of doing precisely what their very own misdeeds.

It is all pure projective identification from a psychological perspective.

It is pure malignant dishonesty from a moral perspective.


34 posted on 04/05/2012 5:43:31 PM PDT by FormerACLUmember
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Leftist liar scum like Williams and Obama always accuse the good guys of doing precisely their very own misdeeds.

It is all pure projective identification from a psychological perspective.

It is pure malignant dishonesty from a moral perspective.


35 posted on 04/05/2012 5:43:41 PM PDT by FormerACLUmember
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To: Troublemaker
Maybe he's just trying to
36 posted on 04/05/2012 5:44:21 PM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Didn’t obama just tell the media how they should present his stance or something like that.


37 posted on 04/05/2012 5:49:06 PM PDT by just me (Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom. (John Adams)
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To: NFHale

Obama to Williams “ that’s not a weenie”


38 posted on 04/05/2012 5:49:38 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: COBOL2Java

Agreed. It took me a few mins. to get where he was going, but once he got me there the light bulb went on! Obama is pandering to the “stupid people”. Geeez we are so screwed! Dope and Change for sure!


39 posted on 04/05/2012 5:52:14 PM PDT by marygam ((Hurry November 2012, we might not make it))
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Is there any mention of the case dealing with drilling in the gulf that the court/judge ruled against the Obama Administration and Obama just repeated the exact order weeks after the first one was ruled illegal. BhO has no regard for the rule of law....He RULES.


40 posted on 04/05/2012 5:59:46 PM PDT by hoosiermama
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