The Supreme Court would most likely strike down Donald Trump's temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, should he become president and enact one, outgoing U.S. Solicitor Gen. Donald Verrilli says in a new interview.
"I don't want to speculate on a case that doesn't exist and probably will never exist," Verrilli, who is expected to leave his position near the end of June, told MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber
in an exclusive interview airing Friday. "But I can't imagine that the Court would find a religious test like that appropriate."
In the wide-ranging interview, Verrilli, who won cases during his five years as the United States' lawyer on immigration law, marriage equality, and Obamacare, also lost a few large cases, including on the Voting Rights Act, money in politics, and on recess appointments the president tried to push through the GOP-controlled Senate.
And after two landmark battles over Obamacare, Verrilli believes that debate is "effectively over" after Chief Justice John Roberts ruled that Obamacare is valid national program, as did six justices in the second case.
But Verrilli may also be remembered for his oral argument issues during the debates. After literally choking on his words, thanks to a dry throat, he made a presentation that was panned by one publication as the "worst Supreme Court argument of all time"
and led to the White House having to express its confidence in him.
Verrilli said it he MSNBC interview that his voice was "pretty much shot," and his throat "seized up." Then, his concentration wandered, he admits, but he thinks the blow-back was exaggerated.
But despite the problems, the court upheld the law on Verrilli's arguments that Obamacare was valid under the government's constitutional power to levy taxes.
Verrilli denied, though, that he "sold it" as a tax, but instead said there was a "constitutional argument to justify the constitutionality of the law," he explained. "It's not like we pulled a rabbit out of the hat, that was a defense of the statute, right from the very beginning."
Meanwhile, he said he would not have expected the marriage equality ruling at this point in history, but still, he believes that ending of old laws against gay people have led to more understanding and tolerance in society.
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