President Obama criticizes the Supreme Court’s recent campaign finance case, and the Justices have to sit there silently and motionless with the cameras focused in directly on them while the rest of the room applauds Obama’s criticism:
Justice Alito has the very human reaction of mouthing disagreement, but I tend to think the episode shows the wisdom of Justice Harlan’s view that the Justices shouldn’t attend the State of the Union address at all. It will be interesting to see how many Justices attend next year. (As I re-watch the clip, I image a collective bubble over the Justices at about the 25-second mark, representing their thoughts, with the text, “We are so not coming to this next year.”)
To make matters more interesting, Obama’s criticism appears to have been inaccurate on at least one important point: The New York Times Caucus blog has coverage.