DOJ Defends Obama on Supreme Court Slam

Katie Pavlich
Posted: Apr 05, 2012 1:42 PM

Earlier this week, during a joint press conference with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, President Obama proclaimed that if the Supreme Court were to overturn ObamaCare, the Justices would be engaging in "activism."

“I’d just remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve heard is the biggest problem on the bench is judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint...that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law,” Obama said.

That prompted the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to ask the Justice Department for an explanation of Obama's remarks in a three page letter and to clarify whether the Obama Administration believes the courts have the constitutional right to strike down legislation passed by Congress.

Now, Attorney General Eric Holder has issued a response saying the courts do have the final say but that President Obama's remarks were "appropriate."

"We respect the decisions made by the courts since Marbury v. Madison," Holder said Wednesday, referring to the landmark 1803 case that established the precedent of judicial review. "Courts have final say."

Holder also described the president's comments as "appropriate," saying that while the courts have final say they "are also fairly deferential when it comes to overturning the statutes that the duly elected representatives of the people -- Congress -- passed."

He said the department is "confident health care reform will stand constitutional muster."

Sidenote: ObamaCare was not passed with a "strong" majority.