The State of the Union is a Presidential Pep Rally
Inter Alia: Yale Law and Policy Review, Vol. 28, June 2010
Posted: 14 Nov 2010
Date Written: November 11, 2010
President Barack Obama has been criticized for questioning the Supreme Court's campaign finance decision in his State of the Union address, leading Chief Justice John Roberts to complain that the State of the Union had degenerated into a "political pep rally." This essay puts Obama's remarks into a broader context, and argues that the State of the Union has long been a political pep rally, that presidents often criticize the courts and judges, and that the particular venue in which they choose to do so is a matter of strategic calculation rather than decorum.
Keywords: presidency, supreme court, citizens united, state of the union, judicial review, judicial independence, separation of powers
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