Romney smiles at Obama's 'judicial activism' charge
April 2nd, 2012
11:26 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney smiles at Obama's 'judicial activism' charge

(CNN) – Mitt Romney on Monday fired back at President Barack Obama, who earlier in the day described the largely conservative push on the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act as "judicial activism."

Typically, conservatives level the partisan term at liberal justices whom they accuse of ruling based on political agenda, rather than the Constitution. In this case, Obama turned the criticism around.

"I 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," the president said, adding he firmly believed the law will be upheld.

During an interview with Fox News on Monday night, however, Romney laughed when asked about Obama's comments.

"Isn't this wonderful to have a liberal talking about judicial activism?" Romney said.

He added that he found it puzzling the president was concerned the Supreme Court "might apply the Constitution to the bill he passed."

"The purpose of the Supreme Court is to make sure that Congress does not pass laws that are in violation of the Constitution," Romney said. "So judicial activism is not following the Constitution. Judicial activism is departing from the Constitution"

Romney continued: "If the president complains about a Supreme Court following the Constitution, he is coming from a different world than the world that the founders and the judicial history has described for America."

The Supreme Court's decision is expected to be made public in June.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama • Supreme Court
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. JDills

    So, what Romney is saying is that only 'liberal' rulings are judicial activism and anything that he agrees with (this week anyway) is the true spirit of judiciary?

    April 2, 2012 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Romney is right.

    April 3, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  3. JerseyGirl

    How anyone can support Willard is a total mystery to me! This guy is supposed to be a "high priest" in his Mormon faith, but lies like there's no tomorrow! If people develop a negative opinion of the Mormon religion, it is because of him. Another total lier is Rick Sanctimonious. And he is supposed to be Catholic! He gives us Catholics a bad name! If anybody supports these two sorry excuses for presidential contenders, then I feel sorry for you!

    April 3, 2012 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  4. Dude

    Finally, a Democrat who can send it back over the fence. It goes both ways, but of course Mittens and his Kittens don't see it that way.

    April 3, 2012 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  5. utah

    Its puzzling to me why this man of god is so happy people won't have health care oh maybe its just a act

    April 3, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  6. ned

    Romney is correct. The checks and balances built into our system are working correctly.

    April 3, 2012 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  7. Unpluggedla

    I think it is high time that the current Supreme Court was called out for its judicial activism. Contrary to the hilarious response by Romney, judicial activism is claimed by conservatives for so-called liberal courts overturning legislative acts. Currently, we have a very conservative Supreme Court overturning legislative acts. Now, the conservatives don't seem to be complaining about this same activism. Does that make them hypocrites. Of course.

    April 3, 2012 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  8. Erick

    Romney is going to lost the election anyway. He has a lot of problem because he affected McCain election last 2008. That's his problem.

    April 3, 2012 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  9. thomas

    Later day Bush

    April 3, 2012 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  10. dreucalypt

    When conservatives complained about judicial activism what they were really complaining about was the Brown decision.

    April 3, 2012 04:34 am at 4:34 am |
  11. 4merRepubCT

    Judicial activisim is using the power of the judicial branch of government to deny power to another branch – it is legislating from the bench. It doesn't matter if the court takes action from a conservative or liberal perspective. When the court effectively creates law, or vacates a law that has been created by the elected representatives of the people, it is diplaying judicial activism.

    If this mandate goes down, what happens to the other mandates that are in place? Social Security? Medicare? Will those also be overturned because they require people to participate in something they would rather not?

    April 3, 2012 05:44 am at 5:44 am |
  12. Sal

    Nice try Willard! Telling anything to FOX NOISE is a joke and you still never do the Sunday Morning News Programs.

    April 3, 2012 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  13. king

    Mitten free market prolus on healthcare will severely damage the unfortunates in our country. Its amazing how these repubs scream about pro life, yet when life is here they jump ship. How the hell can a country leave its citizens to defend their health against "GREED". Mitten seems to think, that when big oil and big healthcare provider finish raping the American people, they will stop when they get enough. We cannot afford this folks in this fragile economy, to be caught up with this repubs crap, Americans need stability which only can come when the government is watching out for the average citizen.

    April 3, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  14. jesse james. take them to street and shoot them like the dogs they are

    Romney lies. Obama/ biden 2012 .the only way forward

    April 3, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  15. S. B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It isn't surprising. Any president would be upset with a court that would rule against his laws. That would be if the court was activist or not. Why is this any surprise to Romney? I think Romney has it wrong because judicial activism is where the court goes and changes laws that were enacted. The courts are there to answer questions about the laws that were passed and policies that have the weight of law.

    April 3, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  16. Kevin in Atlanta

    To Republicans, any judge who dares rule contrary to their extremist right-wing dogma is a "judicial activist."

    April 3, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  17. diridi

    This guy is a nonsense to this nation-do you know this?

    April 3, 2012 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  18. The Greedy Old Pigs declared class war on US!

    Yes, Rmoney, it is "wonderful" that President Obama is pointing out what hypocrites many of you GOBP cult members are. Bush v. Gore and CItizens United are two of the biggest examples of judicial activism and they both were the result of conservative ideologues pretending to be impartial justices while ruling to screw America. And yet again you show your lack of personality, compassion and inability to relate to average Americans when you treat the President's serious and accurate observations as something to laugh at.

    April 3, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  19. Gfoos

    Why do you care Mitt? No problem affording healthcare for you or your family. I'll bet you $10,000.

    April 3, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  20. Marie MD

    Hey flip flopper, not everyone has your money to buy judges.

    April 3, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  21. A not-so-stupid former republican

    republicans never view a republican voting Supreme Court as activist no matter how radical it is. Just look at how they like Chief Justice Roberts. He is as activist as they come!

    April 3, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  22. A not-so-stupid former republican

    Never trust a man with an elevator for his cars.

    April 3, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  23. GI Joe

    Rmoney doesn't have a clue. He'll rule by the book of Mormon (and the vulture capitalist money book of course). Steal from the poor and give more to his wealthy buddies (the owners).

    April 3, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  24. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    For shame. Doesn't our President know that only Conservatives are allowed to use the term "Judicial Activism"? Just like Republicans are the only ones who are allowed to claim they are Christians. Doesn't he understand that all of us Democrats are just "Parlor Pink Communists" looking to tear down the system and actually make the rich pay their fair share.

    April 3, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  25. American

    The fact remains that Romney wanted to pass pratically the same healthcare law as President Obama for the country.

    Sadly, flip-flop Romney now does not have the courage to stand on his principles. Rather, Mitt appears to make excuses to enable judicial activism that would favor his political winds of the moment. Citizens United, anyone? A reprehensible judicial activism that ruined decades of American precedence. Enough.

    April 3, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
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