Tags: Barack Obama | Healthcare Reform | Supreme Court | Editor's Pick | obamacare | scotus | train

CNN’s Toobin: Supreme Court Was ‘Train Wreck’ for Obama

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Mar 2012 01:54 PM

Following two hours of oral arguments before the Supreme Court today, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin declared “this was a train wreck for the Obama administration. This law looks like it’s going to be struck down.”

Toobin, author of “The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court,” said he was forced to reverse his earlier prediction on the case based on the poor performance of U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr.

“I’m telling you all of the predictions — including mine — that the justices would not have a problem with this law were wrong,” Toobin told viewers, adding that Verrilli did a “simply awful job” defending the individual mandate, which was the focus of today’s proceedings.

“He was nervous. He was not well-spoken,” explained Toobin. “The argument got off to a very bad start for the administration and it was really the liberal justices who carried the argument much more than the lawyer.”

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Pressed by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Toobin acknowledged that the best hope of the Obama administration was that the four liberal justices of the court would be joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr. in upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Based on the line of questioning, he said it was unlikely that Justice Anthony Kennedy would provide the swing vote to give the liberals a 5-4 majority.

“I don’t know if they have a fifth vote. I think Kennedy is a lost cause after listening to his comments,” observed Toobin. “Roberts is to me — to what I heard — the only possibility and that would certainly be a big surprise to see him joining with the liberals in such an important case. But based on the comments, I think that’s the only hope for this law being upheld.”

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