With the Trinity Lutheran decision offered by the Supreme Court yesterday, we officially reached the end of an era.
That case was the last one the Obama Administration took any part in, having filed an amicus brief to the court supporting the state of Missouri’s decision to withhold funds from the Christian school. The decision, which was overwhelmingly in favor of the school and not the government, is the last beatdown Obama’s administration will receive from the court.
And boy did it receive some beatings.
Overall, Epstein and Posner found, Presidents and government agencies prevailed in about two-thirds of all cases, giving credence to the saying that “when the president goes to court, he wins.”
Except when that President is Barack Obama. Obama’s win rate wasn’t just significantly lower than other administrations, it was the lowest surveyed. The Obama administration won just 50.5 percent of its Supreme Court cases, according to the study.
How does this compare to other recent presidents?
Where the Reagan administration was victorious in the Supreme Court 75 percent of the time, that rate dropped to 70 percent for George Bush (the first), 63 percent for Clinton, and 60 percent for George W. Bush.
What’s more, the executive win rate dropped between terms as well. Clinton performed better in 1994 than he did in 1998, for example. George W. Bush won more his first four years than his second.
Therefore, one could argue that Barack Obama’s administration is the most unconstitutional administration in history. It’s not like we needed the empirical evidence to back us up on that, but it sure as hell is nice to have some vindication on that, isn’t it?
Obama did himself no favors with the nation’s highest court from the very beginning, though. Verbally calling them out in a State Of The Union address was a clear signal that he expected them to go along with him, while also hinting that he would proceed with or without them. Despite his warnings, the then-president also received more unanimous decisions against him than any other president in history.
Of course, this means absolutely nothing to the Democrats, who will absolutely ignore SCOTUS decisions when they don’t like them. They are so bad about doing that, as I mentioned yesterday, the Supreme Court had to target liberal activist groups with specific phrasing in their decision on Trump’s travel ban.
Now, there is a catch here – the Supreme Court appears to be trending away from presidents since Reagan. That means that Donald Trump could be looking at his most hostile court yet, despite a conservative majority. Conservatives who oppose Trump have expressed their concerns with some of his rhetoric bordering on the authoritarian, and that is something the court, conservative or no, is not going to go along with.
As has been said time and again, however, predicting what the Supreme Court will do is pretty much impossible. Determining if they’ll trend away from or more toward a president is a pointless analysis.
What we do know is that Trump is going to have some legal battles ahead of him. The travel ban will be heard in full this autumn, and liberal activist groups will be looking for anything and everything to challenge him on in the courts. The Supreme Court could be his last line of defense… or, it could be his downfall.
It sure as hell didn’t help Obama.