President Obama on Monday warned the Supreme Court against overturning his health care law, saying such a decision would set a dangerous precedent that gives the nation's highest court veto power over Congress.
"Ultimately 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, employing some of his strongest language to date as the Supreme Court's contemplates the constitutionality of 2010 health care law.
Obama argued that conservatives, the strongest critics of his health care reforms, should share his concerns over the potential power grab by politically appointed justices.
"I'd 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," 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 repeatedly declared his certainty that the court would uphold the law following three days of oral arguments last week. The court is expected to announce its decision in June.
"I'm confident that this will be upheld because it should be upheld," Obama said.
Obama discussed the fate of his health care reforms during a joint press conference in the Rose Garden with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon, during which the three leaders vowed to boost trade by cutting regulations.
"Our three nations are going to sit down together, go through the books and simplify and eliminate more regulations that will make our joint economies stronger," Obama said, touting the fact that trade between the three countries surpassed $1 trillion for the first time last year.
The leaders discussed the need to crack down more heavily on drug trafficking and violence at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Calderon said curbing violence in Mexico depends in part on America's willingness to control guns, particularly assault weapons, that are being smuggled across the border.
"If we don't have mechanisms to forbid the sale of weapons, such as we had in the '90s, or for registry of guns, at least for assault weapons, then we are never going to be able to stop the violence in Mexico or stop a future turning of those guns upon the U.S.," Calderon said through a translator.
Notably absent from the leaders' public remarks was any mention of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada across the U.S. to the Gulf of Mexico.
Obama approved construction of the pipeline's southern half, but he tabled the northern portion for further review -- a decision that the Republican presidential candidates have used to evidence that Obama is stifling domestic oil production and helping to drive up gas prices to record levels.
Harper expressed disappointment in the past of Obama's decision, but he made no mention of that in front of reporters on Monday.