U.S. Supreme Court

Obama Says Overturning Health Care Law Would Be 'Extraordinary' Judicial Activism


President Obama took on the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday with a declaration that a decision to overturn the health care law would be an “unprecedented, extraordinary” step of judicial activism.

Obama said he was confident, however, that the law would be upheld, report the Washington Post and the New York Times. “I’d just remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was 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. “Well, this is a good example. And I’m pretty confident that this court will recognize that and not take that step.”

According to the Post, “Obama made his argument in unusually blunt language that was rare for a sitting president during a pending case.” The story quotes Barbara Perry, a senior fellow at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center for presidential history. Perry said presidents are usually reluctant to take on the court since it is a powerful, co-equal branch of government. Even President Franklin D. Roosevelt waited until after his re-election to attack the court for striking down his New Deal legislation, she said.

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