Mitch McConnell tells Obama to 'back off' Supreme Court health care deliberations


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican of Kentucky, stands with Senate Republicans to address the media after their weekly policy luncheon in the US Capitol building on March 6.


Allison Shelley

The bickering continues. Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republican opposition in the US Senate delivered a noon speech to the Rotary Club of Lexington, Kentucky today, telling the president to “back off” the Supreme Court, according to Politico.

President Barack Obama on Monday said it would be “unprecedented, extraordinary” judicial activism were the Supreme Court to strike down the 2010 Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional.

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McConnell joined other Republicans in denouncing what he said was an attack on judicial independence.

“The President crossed a dangerous line this week. And anyone who cares about liberty needs to call him out on it. The independence of the Court must be defended,” was quoted as saying in prepared remarks, according to Politico. "So respectfully, I would suggest the President back off. Let the Court do its work.”

Citing the Congressional Research Service, McClatchy Newspapers reported that in 2010, the Supreme Court struck down 165 statutes as unconstitutional.

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The Justice Department today released a letter (PDF) in response to an order from US 5th Circuit Judge Jerry Smith who directed the federal government to explain the courts’ power to review the constitutionality of laws enacted by Congress.

The order was seen as a direct retort to Obama’s remarks.