Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged Wednesday that the "courts have final say," and said his department would respond formally to an appeals court order to explain whether the Obama administration believes judges in fact have the power to overturn federal laws.
The attorney general, at a brief press conference in Chicago, made clear the administration thinks they do.
"We respect the decisions made by the courts since Marbury v. Madison," Holder said Wednesday, referring to the landmark 1803 case that established the precedent of judicial review. "Courts have final say."
The comments come after a three-judge panel for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday ordered the Justice Department to explain its position by Thursday at noon.