President Joe Biden seemed grumpier than usual on Friday, after the Supreme Court checked his cynical power grab on student debt.
“I believe the court’s decision was a mistake, it was wrong,” he grumbled at the White House after the court ruled 6-3 that his plan to cancel up to $20,000 of student debt per person was unconstitutional.
“I think the court misinterpreted the Constitution,” he complained.
He should not have been surprised. Biden himself in February 2021 expressed doubt in his legal ability to wipe out significant debt "by signing the pen."
In July 2021, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also expressed doubts in the president's ability to forgive student debt on his own. "The President can't do it," Pelosi said flatly to reporters. "So that's not even a discussion. Not everybody realizes that. But the President can only postpone, delay, but not forgive."
For whatever reason, likely political, Biden tried to unilaterally cancel student debt in August 2020, just weeks before the midterm elections. The Supreme Court decision last week politely reminded the president of the correct role of the executive branch, and for that Biden was displeased.
Biden also complained after the Supreme Court reminded him of the foundational value of the United States that "all men are created equal" by striking down affirmative action programs for college admissions based on race.
“This is not a normal court,” he said on Thursday, as reporters asked him to react.
The Supreme Court also ruled in favor of a businesswoman who clashed with the state of Colorado after refusing to design websites for same-sex weddings for reasons of personal conscience and religion. The Biden administration sided with the state of Colorado, but the Supreme Court ruled against him.
"The opportunity to think for ourselves and to express those thoughts freely is among our most cherished liberties and part of what keeps our Republic strong,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in the court's opinion.
At the end of the week, Biden's power was checked as the court wrapped up their decisions. He struggled to explain his disappointment in the Supreme Court an interview with MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace.
When Wallace asked Biden if he believed the court was undemocratic, he hesitated, knowing that to say so would be controversial even though he seemed to agree.
"Its value system is different and its respect for institutions is different, and in that sense it is not as embracing of all what I think..." he finally said, trailing off before reminding the audience that, "the Constitution says: We hold these truths to be self-evident, all men and women are created equal, endowed by their creator."
Of course, that specific phrase is from the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, but Biden complained that the Court was too radical in their rulings.
"I just find it, I don't know how to express it, I just find it just so out of sorts with the basic value system of the American people," Biden continued.
It's surprising that Biden felt that way. An ABC News/Ipsos survey found that 52 percent of Americans agree with the decision to overturn race based schools admissions, while 32 percent disapproved.
Forty-five percent of the public approved of the decision on student loans, with 40 disapproving. The free speech ruling on the website designer showed an even split with 43 percent agreeing and 42 percent disagreeing.
It's hardly the product of a radical out-of-control Supreme Court that Biden tried to sell last week.
The rulings affirmed foundational values of our country right before Americans celebrate Independence Day. All men are created equal, the power of the executive branch of government is limited, and freedom of religion remains an unalienable right.
Charlie Spiering is a Wyoming native who works in Washington, D.C., where he continues writing about the White House, Congress and national politics. A former writer for Breitbart News, The Washington Examiner and columnist Robert Novak, Spiering frequently returns home to the family farm in Powell to escape the insanity of Washington.