Presidential History

Time to Add on Official Judicial Response to the SotU?

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Was Justice Alito's "not true" the subtler, quieter, more polite black-robed version of Rep. Joe Wilson's "you lie" outburst? The always smart and provocative Randy Barnett works out the parallels in today's Wall Street Journal, and finds that Obama is the Wilson-esque boob in this round, since (some of)* the Nine were at the speech as a courtesy to the president:

For those who strongly object to the ruling in Citizens United and still do not see the impropriety of criticizing the Court this way, consider Rep. Joe Wilson's "You lie!" outburst during the president's address to a joint session of Congress in September. No one denied the right of a congressman to criticize the accuracy of the president's remarks. The objection was to the rudeness and disrespect shown the president, for which Mr. Wilson promptly apologized. So too should the president.

If this is an indication of things to come, maybe there should be an official judicial response to the State of the Union from now on. Of course, it would come out months after the speech and be laden with footnotes. Which—after all the quickie liveblogging and vacuous official Republican response—might not be a bad idea.

The president fully expected that his hundreds of supporters in the legislative branch would stand and cheer, while the justices remained seated and silent, unable to respond even afterward. Moreover, the president's speech was only released about 30 minutes before the event, after the justices were already present. In short, the head of the executive branch ambushed six members of the judiciary, and called upon the legislative branch to deride them publicly….

More on the "not true" moment here.

*UPDATE: Not all of the Nine were there. Maybe that's why Obama could talk smack about them—they weren't at full strength.