Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Monday criticized President Barack Obama for saying it would be “judicial activism” for the Supreme Court to overturn the health care reform law.
However, at almost the same time last year, Hatch was condemning the President for nominating “activist judges.” At the time, he said “the Constitution belongs to the people, not to judges.” Later in 2011, he blasted the “avant garde liberal activists who will legislate from the bench.” He also opposed the nomination of judges because of their alleged “judicial activism” in 2010.
Obama said Monday that the “unelected” Supreme Court should not to take the “extraordinary” and “unprecedented” step of striking down the Affordable Care Act.
“It must be nice living in a fantasy world where every law you like is constitutional and every Supreme Court decision you don’t is ‘activist,’” Hatch said in response to Obama.
“Judicial activism or restraint is not measured by which side wins but by whether the Court correctly applied the law,” he continued. “In fact, Justice Anthony Kennedy – who I am sure President Obama praises when he likes the outcome – was right to suggest that it would be ‘judicial restraint’ to strike down ObamaCare and instead let Congress enact a health law consistent with our Constitution.”
The President’s comments came after Justice Anthony Kennedy suggested during oral arguments last week that if the court struck down the law’s contentious individual mandate clause, it might throw out the entire law as well.