Mon., April 2, 2012, 2:45pm EDT WASHINGTON (Reuters) — President Barack Obama said on Monday he was confident the U.S. Supreme Court would uphold the health care reform law that has been one of the signature issues of his presidency.

In his first comments since the highest U.S. court heard arguments in the case last week, Obama expressed confidence that the law would stand.

The health care reform law has also become a political issue in this presidential election year, with conservatives using it as a launchpad for criticizing Obama.

"Ultimately, I am 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 at a news conference with the leaders of Canada and Mexico.

U.S. Supreme Court justices are expected to issue formal opinions by late June, after hearing arguments last week about the constitutionality of the law.

"And I'd just remind conservative commentators that, for years, what we have 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," Obama said.

"Well, this is a good example, and I'm pretty confident that this court will recognize that and not take that step," he said.

(Reporting By Tabassum Zakaria and Samson Reiny; editing by Christopher Wilson)

© 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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