Toobin: Some Republican judges ‘deranged by hatred of the president’


CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin said some Republican judges are “just deranged by hatred of the president,” while discussing the 5th Circuit judge who has demanded the administration formally explain President Obama’s comments on the Supreme Court, in a CNN segment Thursday.

“It would an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,” the president said Monday.

Tuesday, Judge Jerry Smith of the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals requested a letter describing “what the authority is in the federal courts in this regard in terms of judicial review” from a Department of Justice lawyer. The 5th Circuit was hearing oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act.

O’BRIEN: I said you call this a pissing match, but I got that wrong. You called this a hissy fit.

TOOBIN: I think what these judges have done is a disgrace. What President Obama said is entirely appropriate. There is nothing wrong, nothing controversial. He said I signed a law that was passed by the democratically elected congress and I think it’s constitutional. And then theses judges give the justice department a homework assignment, a three-page letter, single spaced, explaining what the president said. They don’t have to explain what the president said. That was a perfectly appropriate comment by the president and it just shows how some of these Republican judges are just deranged by hatred of the president.

O’BRIEN: Isn’t the role of the Supreme Court to overturn stuff that’s unconstitutional?

TOOBIN: If they find it.

O’BRIEN: Right.

TOOBIN: And there’s nothing that Obama said that was contrary to that. The president has no leverage over the Supreme Court. He can’t threaten–what’s he going to threaten to do? If you rule this way, I won’t–if you rule this way, I’m not going to invite you to a state dinner. That’s about his only leverage.

Politifact rated the president’s statement “False” earlier this week. Reporters also challenged White House press secretary Jay Carney Wednesday over the president’s comments.