Chuck Todd Flunks Legal History

Can't Recall Other Moments When Supreme Court Overruled Elected Branches

MSNBC's Chuck Todd wondered "how unprecedented" it would be if the Supreme Court overturned Obamacare, after Congress and the White House had passed the law, Monday during oral arguments before the court on the law.

CHUCK TODD:  Savannah, I want you to get in on this too. So this is one branch of government trying to deal with something that two branches of government have approved, the executive branch and legislative branch. How unprecedented would it be for those two federal branches of government doing one thing and judiciary basically saying, "No, they're wrong"?

Here are four cases since 2000 in which the Supreme Court did just that:

  • United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S.598 (2000)
  • Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005)
  • Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004)
  • Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124 (2007)

The Supreme Court has also recently exercised this power at the local level, including in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008).