In the famous SCOTUS case, US v Nixon, President Nixon defied a federal court order by issuing an executive order to his own staff directing them not to comply with Judge Sirica’s order to turn over White House tapes of Nixon’s Oval Office conversations, and he argued to SCOTUS that he was the equal to the judiciary, and thus was not subject to it. He also argued that the revelation of the tapes would impair his privacy and harm the reputation of those whose voices can be heard on the tapes. SCOTUS unanimously told him that he cannot interfere with orders of federal courts; and we all remember what happened when he persisted. In this case involving photos, a federal appellate court has already ordered the Secretary of Defense to turn over the photos and the Secretary of Defense has already told the court that he intends to comply with its order. If President Obama attempts to interfere with that order, he’d risk being held in contempt. The government has lost its right to appeal to SCOTUS by allowing too much time to pass since the appellate court ruling. There is simply no authority and no basis for anyone to make an irresponsible legal argument that the President may do something (like defying a federal court order) that the law and the Supreme Court have forbidden.