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UPDATE: Republicans are none too pleased with President Obama's suggestion that the Supreme Court would be legislating from the bench if they strike down the health care reform law, with one top lawmaker suggesting that the president's remarks amounted to an attempt to "intimidate" the justices.
Fox News rounded up a handful of quotes from leading Republicans, both on the campaign trail and on Capitol Hill. Texas Republican Lamar Smith, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, offered the pull-quote:
"It is not unprecedented at all for the Supreme Court to declare a law unconstitutional; they do that on a regular basis so it's not unprecedented at all," he said. "What is unprecedented is for the president of the United States trying to intimidate the Supreme Court."
GOP front-runner Mitt Romney also sounded off, telling the network on Tuesday that striking down the law would not make the justices part of "an activist court" but instead "a court following the Constitution."
Tuesday, April 3: President Obama on Monday made a direct appeal to the Supreme Court to uphold his sweeping health care reforms, calling for judicial restraint from the nation's highest court.
Speaking at a Rose Garden press conference, the president offered his first public comments since the high court heard oral arguments last week about whether the law is constitutional, the Associated Press reports.
While Obama said that he was confident the landmark initiative of his first term would withstand judicial review, he nonetheless took a page out of the conservative play book by warning against "judicial activism," a concept often decried by his Republican rivals.
"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," he said. "Well, this is a good example. And I'm pretty confident that this court will recognize that and not take that step."
Obama's comments most likely come too late to make much of a difference in the court's final ruling. The justices met Friday to hold an initial vote and, while justices are allowed to change their vote before the opinion is released, the AP notes that it is "fairly unusual" for them to do so. Still, the fate of the law will undoubtedly provide plenty of political fodder on the campaign trail ahead of this November's election.