The Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman took stabs today at an April order by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in response to President Obama’s comments about the Supreme Court’s review of his healthcare law.
Obama said he was “confident” the High Court would not “take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.” The Justice Department was ordered by the appellate court to submit a three-page, single-spaced letter addressing whether the Executive Branch believes courts have such power.
“I remember Strom Thurmond, the years he was chairman of this, would always say to judges up for confirmation remember to — basically to avoid arrogance and to show the kind of temperament one should,” Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) said during today’s Justice Department oversight hearing.
“I’ve rarely ever seen such judicial arrogance as a judge saying, ‘You shall respond to this with a three-page, single-space letter,'” the senator continued.
“I’m surprised he didn’t say what color ink, as something out of ‘Monty Python,'” Leahy said. “And it was just — you wonder, good Lord, what Promethean height does this person live on? Aside from the issue, it just came across — I’ve heard from judges, lawyers, Republicans and Democrats, what a childish thing. But that’s just my view.”
The chairman’s comments came after Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) asked Attorney General Eric Holder about how Obama “bemoaned the concept that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.”
“Did you get a good grade on that?” Lee asked Holder of the three-page, single-spaced assignment.
“I haven’t gotten the grade yet, but I did answer the question … And I explained in that three-page, single-spaced letter that this administration still believes that Marbury is good law,” Holder responded.