Justice Ginsburg overstated her case. If judicial activism is defined as the tendency to strike down laws, the court led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. is less activist than any court in the last 60 years.
- 5th Circuit, Barack Obama, Benchslaps, Constitutional Law, Department of Justice, Election 2012, Eric Holder, Federal Government, Federal Judges, Health Care / Medicine, Judicial Divas, Politics
Remember the homework assignment issued by Judge Jerry Smith of the Fifth Circuit to the U.S. Department of Justice? Earlier this week, Judge Smith ordered the DOJ to file a three-page, single-spaced letter discussing the principles of judicial review, in light of prior comments by President Barack Obama that could be construed as questioning the doctrine.
The response was due today at noon (Houston time) — about 20 minutes ago. It was filed on behalf of the Department by Attorney General Eric Holder.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
- 5th Circuit, Barack Obama, Benchslaps, Constitutional Law, Department of Justice, Election 2012, Federal Government, Federal Judges, Health Care / Medicine, Judicial Divas, Politics
Benchslap of the Day: Fifth Circuit Orders DOJ To Write ‘We Respect Judicial Review’ in Three-Page LetterBy David Lat
The nation recently received a lesson in constitutional law from President Barack Obama (who famously taught Con Law at the University of Chicago). As we mentioned yesterday, President Obama said on Monday that striking down the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, would constitute an “unprecedented, extraordinary step,” amounting to “judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint — that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.”
The problem with this lesson: it wasn’t exactly accurate. Those “unelected” federal judges “overturn … duly constituted and passed law[s]” all the time — well, maybe not all the time, but on occasion, when said laws are inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution. It’s neither “unprecedented” nor “extraordinary,” and it doesn’t amount to judicial activism; rather, it’s called judicial review.
- 4th Circuit, Constitutional Law, Elena Kagan, Federal Judges, Harvard Law School, J. Harvie Wilkinson III, Quote of the Day, SCOTUS, Supreme Court
It seems like we’re all working hard. It’s not like we’re playing golf on Wednesday afternoons.
(A second Quote of the Day, from a circuit judge who feeds clerks to Justice Kagan, after the jump.)