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DOJ Issues Letter Clarifying Obama's Remarks: Court's Power to Strike Down Laws 'Beyond Dispute

AP

The Department of Justice has submitted a letter stating its belief in the doctrine of judicial review -- the power of the courts to strike down unconstitutional laws.

A federal appeals court ordered the Justice Department to submit the letter earlier this week following remarks by President Barack Obama that it would be "unprecedented" for the Supreme Court to strike down his health care overhaul.

"The power of the courts to review the constitutionality of legislation is beyond dispute," the letter states.

Signed by Attorney General Eric Holder, it adds that the Justice Department has never asked any court "to reconsider or limit long-established precedent concerning judicial review of the constitutionality of federal legislation."

Obama prompted outrage on the topic when he said during a news conference Monday: "I am 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."

"While duly recognizing the courts' authority to engage in judicial review, the executive branch has often urged courts to respect the legislative judgments of Congress," the letter states.

Read the full letter below:

This post has been updated since it was first published.

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