A stunning new poll released today by Rasmussen found that a relative majority of Democrats believe that President Obama should be able to ignore federal courts. The February 20 poll comes as the Obama Administration faces a host of legal obstacles which include a federal judge’s injunction against the president’s executive immigration amnesty and a high-profile challenge to the Affordable Care Act, “Obamacare,” in the Supreme Court.
Rasmussen reports that nearly half of Democrats, 43 percent, “believe the president should have the right to ignore the courts.” This was a plurality, also called a relative majority, since only 35 percent of Democrats opposed having President Obama ignore the courts.
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Democrats were starkly out of step with the rest of the country on the issue. Among likely U.S. voters, only 26 percent wanted the president to ignore the courts. Sixty percent felt that the president should listen to and abide by court rulings. Not surprisingly, 81 percent of Republicans felt that Mr. Obama should listen to the courts.
The poll further found that 52 percent believe that legal challenges and judicial review of laws help to protect the rights of U.S. citizens. By an almost two-to-one margin (59 to 31 percent), voters believe that preserving the Constitution’s checks-and-balances is more important than having the government operate more efficiently.
In recent years, President Obama has been rebuked by the courts for executive overreach on several occasions. Two of the highest profile cases decided against the president include a court’s rejection of his recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and the decision that the Obamacare mandate that private employers provide contraceptive and abortifacient drugs was a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.