Tags: Editor's Pick | Obama | Supreme | Court | appeals | healthcare | tampering

Blakeman: Obama’s Comments ‘Jury Tampering’

Tuesday, 03 Apr 2012 08:53 PM

By Paul Scicchitano

GOP political strategist Bradley Blakeman tells Newsmax that President Barack Obama’s warning yesterday to the Supreme Court on the Obamacare case was akin to “jury tampering.”

Even so, Blakeman said that he does not believe it is appropriate for a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans to issue an order giving the Justice Department a Thursday deadline to comment on whether the administration believes that the courts have the right to strike down a federal law, as CBS News reported  Tuesday.

“I called Obama’s comments about the Supreme Court yesterday jury tampering,” declared Blakeman, who serves as a professor of public policy, politics and international affairs at Georgetown University and appears regularly on Fox News. “He knows the Supreme Court has the case. He knows that oral arguments have been completed, and the briefs have been submitted. He’s trying to use an extra ordinary communication to try and influence the court — or intimidate the court. It’s unprecedented for a president to do that. It’s like threatening the court.”

Blakeman, who also served as a member of President George W. Bush’s senior staff, said that Obama’s comments reflect the administration’s growing concern over the government’s weak case. “They’re so scared that they’re going to be reversed, they’re pulling out every stop,” he speculated. “But the president’s comments yesterday directed to the court were outrageous.”

Obama warned on Monday that a rejection of his healthcare reform law would be an act of “judicial activism” that Republicans claim to oppose. He subsequently attempted to walk back those comments earlier Tuesday.

While the 5th Circuit order related to a separate case involving Physician Hospitals of America vs. Kathleen Sebelius, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ secretary, Blakeman insisted that the lower court should have waited for the high court ruling, which is expected sometime before the July 4 holiday.

“Right now, in my opinion, the federal court should stand down while the Supreme Court is making a landmark ruling that may affect their case,” added Blakeman. “It’s not that the court’s not taking up the case. Everybody knows the Supreme Court has the case. There’s been oral arguments. They are writing their decisions as we speak.”

Contacted by Newsmax, DOJ attorney Dana Lydia Kaersvang declined to comment on the 5th Circuit’s verbal order Tuesday evening. She referred inquiries to a DOJ spokesperson in Washington, D.C.


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