What Jerry Seinfeld said of lawyers also applies to the Supreme Court:
"To me, a lawyer is basically the person that knows the rules of the country. We're all throwing the dice, playing the game, moving our pieces around the board, but if there is a problem the lawyer is the only person who has read the inside of the top of the box."
In the case of the highest court in the land, the set of rules inside the top of the box is the Constitution.
Conservatives complain about judicial activism, which is when judges make up their own rules about how the game should be played. Imagine being halfway through a game of Risk, and one of the players decides to start reading new rules into the game that greatly affect the outcome.
Or, in the middle of the game, four of the six losing players decide that some printed rules no longer apply, so they can catch up to the two leading players. They could just dismiss the rules as old, dusty words that no longer apply to 21st century society. Or, they could rationalize that they are being democratic and more of them want the rules to change than want them to be the same.
The latter is the tactic the president is using to convince the public that his healthcare overhaul plan should stand.
"Ultimately, I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress," Obama said at a news conference with the leaders of Canada and Mexico.
In other words, yes, we sat down to play this game according to the written rules. Now we're changing it, and there are more than us than there are of you.
I remember learning in elementary school that the Supreme Court protected the minority from the tyranny of the majority. If the majority wanted to discriminate against people with black skin or people with red hair or people with green eyes, the Supreme Court wouldn't let it happen. So it's a little disconcerting to hear a constitutional scholar declare that majority rules and the Supreme Court shouldn't do anything about it.
Furthermore, he has the gall to say that the originalist Supreme Court justices are the judicial activists. Somehow these justices, who denied themselves wide latitude to rule on their whims by tethering every decision to the original language of the Constitution, are the activists.
Americans wouldn't let someone change the rules of a board game halfway through the game. They shouldn't let it happen in real life either.