As a follow-up to yesterday's post about the Fifth Circuit's homework assignment to Attorney General Holder, the DOJ just filed the Attorney General's letter to the court. Underscoring the Judge Smith's rhetorical point, Holder's letter states unequivocally that "[t]he power of the courts to review the constitutionality of legislation is beyond dispute."
The letter goes on to point out, however, that "[t]he Supreme Court has often acknowledged the appropriateness of reliance on the political branches' policy choices and judgments. . . . The Court accords 'great weight to the decisions of Congress' in part because '[t]he Congress is a coequal branch of government whose Members take the same oath [judges] do to uphold the Constitution of the United States.' Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57,64 (1981) (quoting Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc. v. Democratic National Committee, 412 U.S. 94, 102 (1973))." Holder concludes by asserting that the president's remarks were "fully consistent" with these principles.
UPDATE: My erstwhile colleague Geoff Klingsporn notes that Holder's letter can be viewed here.