Obama’s Legacy: Worst Supreme Court Record

Legacies are not necessarily positive.  This is true of former President Obama.  Now that he is out of office and his administration cannot give his actions a positive spin, the down-side of his actions are becoming more apparent.

Today, an academic study by Washington University professor Lee Epstein and Chicago law professor Eric Poser reported that Obama had the “worst record of any President “ in regards to winning Supreme Court cases.

Epstein and Posner wrote, “To assess presidential performance in the U.S. Supreme Court, we created a dataset of cases of concern to the president. The dataset covers Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt through Barack Obama (1932-2015 terms), which amounts to 84 Court terms and 13 presidents.”

According to their analysis, presidents won two-thirds of their cases and had a 60% success rate. Obama only had 50.5% success rate.

“A few commentators have noticed Obama’s problems in the Court, attributing them to Obama himself,” reported Epstein and Posner. This is interesting because Obama taught Constitution courses.

What these two professors found out is fascinating because of what the main stream media either covered-up or did not report. For example, the Obama Administration argued at least 10 cases before the Supreme Court that resulted in unanimous decisions against the government. What made these cases so unusual was that Obama’s own Court appointed justices did not vote in his favor.

Constitutional experts attribute his poor record to Obama’s many executive decisions.  They consider his actions to be “executive overreach”.  As Ilya Shapiro, senior fellow in Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute, “The reason this president has done so poorly at the high court is because he sees no limits on federal – especially prosecutorial – power and accords himself the ability to enact his own legislative agenda when Congress refuses to do so.” 

As Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin observed about one of these cases, “… one can conclude the president didn’t care what the Constitution said”. Very true!


About camden41

Retired public school administrator Retired history professor: Taught Western Civilization, American Civil War, United States History, Economic History, Ancient & Medieval Foundations, American History Since 1945
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