Judges order Justice Department to clarify Obama remarks on health law case



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ABSTRACTJudges Order Justice Department To Clarify Obama Remarks On Health Law Case | Fox News Skip to main content: Latino/SBC/Fox Business (Home/Slideshow/Interactive: Fox News/SBC/Latino/Fox Business) Skip to main content: Fox News/Fox Business (Article Page: Fox News/SBC/Latino/Fox Business) Fox News Digital Network   Fox News   Fox Business   uReport   Fox News Radio   Fox News Latino   Fox Nation   Fox News Insider Register Login Account You're logged in as Account Edit Profile Logout Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET Search Site On Air Now » Anchors and Reporters »   Home Video Politics U.S. Opinion Entertainment SciTech Health Travel Leisure World Sports On Air Previous Slide Next Slide Special Report Weekdays 6p et Fox Report Weekdays 7p et The O'Reilly Factor Weekdays 8p et Hannity Weekdays 9p et On The Record Weekdays 10p et America Live Weekdays 1p et America's News HQ Weekends 12p et America's Newsroom Weekdays 9a et The Cost of Freedom Saturday 10a et The Five Weekdays 5p et Fox & Friends Weekdays 6a et Fox News Sunday Sunday 2p et Fox News Watch Saturday 2:30p et Geraldo at Large Weekends 10p et Happening Now Weekdays 11a et Huckabee Saturday 8p et The Journal Editorial Report Saturday 2p et Justice with Judge Jeanine Saturday 9p et Red Eye w/ Gutfeld Weekdays 3a et Studio B Weekdays 3p et War Stories Saturday 2a et Your World Cavuto Weekdays 4p et Politics Home Elections Executive Branch U.S. Senate House of Representatives State & Local Courts Pentagon Business Of Health Care Executive Branch - POLITICS Judges order Justice Department to clarify Obama remarks on health law case Published April 03, 2012 | FoxNews.com Print Email Share Comments Recommend Tweet A federal appeals court is striking back after President Obama cautioned the Supreme Court against overturning the health care overhaul and warned that such an act would be "unprecedented."  A three-judge panel for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday ordered the Justice Department to explain by Thursday whether the administration believes judges have the power to strike down a federal law.  One justice in particular chided the administration for what he said was being perceived as a "challenge" to judicial authority -- referring directly to Obama's latest comments about the Supreme Court's review of the health care case.  The testy exchange played out during a hearing over a separate ObamaCare challenge. It marked a new phase in the budding turf war between the executive and judicial branches.  "Does the Department of Justice recognize that federal courts have the authority in appropriate circumstances to strike federal statutes because of one or more constitutional infirmities?" Judge Jerry Smith asked at the hearing.  Justice Department attorney Dana Lydia Kaersvang answered "yes" to that question.  A source inside the courtroom, speaking to Fox News afterward, described the questioning by Smith as pointed.  Smith also made clear during that exchange that he was "referring to statements by the president in the past few days to the effect ... that it is somehow inappropriate for what he termed unelected judges to strike acts of Congress."  "That has troubled a number of people who have read it as somehow a challenge to the federal courts or to their authority," Smith said. "And that's not a small matter."  Smith ordered a response from the department within 48 hours. The related letter from the court, obtained by Fox News, instructed the Justice Department to provide an explanation of "no less than three pages, single spaced" by noon on Thursday.  All three judges on the panel are Republican appointees.  The Justice Department had no comment when asked about the exchange.  White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, though, told Fox News that there's no dispute from the administration regarding the courts' authority to strike down laws.  "Of course we believe that the Supreme Court has, and the courts have, as their duty and responsibility the ability of striking down laws as unconstitutional," Carney said Tuesday.  However, he said the president was specifically referring to "the precedent under the Commerce Clause" regarding a legislature's ability to address "challenges to our national economy."  The most significant Supreme Court case hinges on the question of whether the individual mandate to buy health insurance violates the Commerce Clause. The administration argues it does not.  Though Carney said the president did not misspeak when he discussed the case on Monday, Obama was not quite so specific.  "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," Obama said on Monday. "And I'd just remind conservative commentators that for ye.......