[The 'duly elected' POTUS:]
Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will 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. And 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. Well, this is a good example. And I’m pretty confident that this Court will recognize that and not take that step.”
unprecedented, extraordinary: 158 times.
strong majority: “Cornhusker kickback” “Louisiana purchase” “Florida flim-flam.” Stupak “pro-life” deal :: [Senate] 219-212, with 34 Democrats joining all Republicans in opposition
[Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jerry] Smith: “I would like to have from you by noon on Thursday…a letter stating what is the position of the attorney general and the Department of Justice, in regard to the recent statements by the president, stating specifically and in detail in reference to those statements what the authority is of the federal courts in this regard in terms of judicial review. That letter needs to be at least three pages single spaced, no less, and it needs to be specific. It needs to make specific reference to the president’s statements and again to the position of the attorney general and the Department of Justice.”
[Thom Lambert, one of Obama’s former law students at Chicago:]
“President Obama taught “Con Law III” at Chicago. Judicial review, federalism, the separation of powers — the old “structural Constitution” stuff — is covered in “Con Law I” (or at least it was when I was a student). Con Law III covers the Fourteenth Amendment. (Oddly enough, Prof. Obama didn’t seem too concerned about “an unelected group of people” overturning a “duly constituted and passed law” when we were discussing all those famous Fourteenth Amendment cases – Roe v. Wade, Griswold v. Connecticut, Romer v. Evans, etc.) Of course, even a Con Law professor focusing on the Bill of Rights should know that the principle of judicial review has been alive and well since 1803, so I still feel like my educational credentials have been tarnished a bit by the President’s “unprecedented, extraordinary” remarks.”
[Marbury v. Madison]
It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases must, of necessity, expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the courts must decide on the operation of each.
So if a law be in opposition to the Constitution; if both the law and the constitution apply to a particular case, so that the court must either decide that case conformably to the law, disregarding the Constitution; or conformably to the Constitution, disregarding the law; the court must determine which of these conflicting rules governs the case. This is of the very essence of judicial duty.
…the dictum explaining the duty of the court to rule a statute unconstitutional if it was in conflict with the constitution was sound, as far as it went. The problem was that it left the impression that this was the exercise of a power of the court that only the court had. The misleading statement was, “It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.” It is misleading because it connotes that as the “province” is is exclusive of the other departments. The logic of constitutional republican government is that everyone, not just the courts, and not just public officials, has the duty to enforce the law, and, where conflicts in the law arise, resolve those conflicts and apply the correct law. When one of the laws in conflict is the constitution, then the duty is of constitutional review, which is only judicial review when it is judges that happen to do it. It is not an exclusive power of the courts. It is a duty of everyone subject to the Constitution.