Last week the Supreme Court heard arguments about a controversial Arizona immigration law whose detractors say gives the state the authority to perform a constitutional duty that belongs to the federal government.
But if the Supreme Court should rule in favor of Arizona, it could be seen as another blow to President Barack Obama’s administration, which has come under fire after that same court called into question his signature health care reform law.
On “Fox News Sunday,” political analyst Brit Hume explained why such a ruling could hurt Obama’s brand.
“I think it is damaging, particularly in regard to health care,” Hume said. “This is the centerpiece of his domestic agenda. It is his proudest achievement and if it is struck down by the Supreme Court, it then bears the stamp of illegitimacy. It is already unpopular. It would, I think, in the aftermath be more so.”
“And I think — I don’t think there is some pre-cushioned bank shot where people argue, ‘Well, it would take the issue off of the table and that would be good for him,’ and so forth. I don’t buy that. I think that the Arizona law may be in even more trouble with the court than the health care law. I don’t think it is as important, or is as essential as the health care law. But I don’t think it would help him either to have his position in the enforcement of the immigration laws resisted by the Supreme Court. It is embarrassing, and it also gives that Arizona law a kind of a boost in the public’s imagination.”
While some analysts have said a ruling against Obama on health care could give Obama a fresh start for the upcoming presidential campaign, Hume isn’t buying that. He cited the much higher approval rating of the Supreme Court than the executive or legislative branches.
“The Supreme Court now enjoys, in the public’s imagination, higher ratings than any other branch of government. Now the Supreme Court is more controversial than perhaps it once was … but it has positive approval ratings which in Washington is remarkable,” he said. “I don’t think this president comes out well if he is in a pitched battle of some kind, or picks one with one institution in town that people mostly respect — particularly after it struck down couple of positions that he has taken that are central to his outlook.”