Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia addressed students at the University of Southern Mississippi on Wednesday on a number of legal issues.
During a question and answer period, he was asked to respond to President Barack Obama’s remarks when he said, “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.” According to the AP, Justice Scalia refused to answer the question, “We don’t respond to criticism.”
“Judges use what’s known as the rope-a-dope trick. It’s judicial tradition,” Scalia answered when the questioner asked who would provide checks and balances to the president. “We have three branches. They check and balance each other.”
The “rope-a-dope trick” is boxing strategy popularized by boxing legend Muhammed Ali, that sets up an opponent to attack and eventually fall into a trap.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has submitted a three page response to 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jerry Smith. Judge Smith demanded on Tuesday that the Obama Justice Department explain its position on the court’s authority to overturn congressional legislation:
“The Department has not in this litigation, nor in any other litigation of which I am aware, ever asked this or any other Court to reconsider or limit long-established precedent concerning judicial review of the constitutionality of federal legislation,” Holder wrote to Smith.
“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,” Holder added in the letter.
“The Supreme Court has often acknowledged the appropriateness of reliance on the political branches’ policy choices and judgments… The courts accord particular deference when evaluating the appropriateness of the means Congress has chosen to exercise its enumerated powers, including the Commerce Clause, to accomplish constitutional ends.”