President Obama may have warned "unelected" justices about judicial activism, but that doesn't mean he opposes judicial authority, Eric Holder says. Following Obama's comments, a federal appeals court judge ordered the Justice Department to explain its views on the matter in three pages; Holder did it in two and a half, the Washington Post notes. The attorney general asserted that the administration believes in the court's right to rule on the law, USA Today reports.
"The power of the courts to review the constitutionality of legislation is beyond dispute," Holder wrote, adding that "the President's remarks were fully consistent" with that view. But Holder reminded the court that it should show "deference" to Congress' "legislative judgments." The high court "has often acknowledged the appropriateness of reliance on the political branches’ policy choices." In the memo, Holder also offered what the Post calls "an apparent critique" of Judge Jerry Smith's demand. "The question posed by the court ... does not concern any argument made in the government’s brief or at oral argument in this case."