Republicans Pile On Solicitor General’s Nervous Meltdown
An apparent SCOTUS freeze-up becomes GOP anti-Obamacare ad
Sometimes there’s no amount of imagining the audience is naked that can steel your nerves during a high stakes performance.
In the case of the Obama administration’s top lawyer, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr., that would’ve required he imagine the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices in their birthday suits. (Yuck!) On Tuesday, Verrilli argued the constitutionality of the individual mandate in President Obama’s healthcare reform law.
It didn’t go as smoothly as Verrilli and the administration might have hoped, as he seemed to have a nervous meltdown amid question from justices.
That’s actual audio from the second day of Supreme Court arguments, contained in a Republican National Committee-produced ad. Apparently, conservative lawyers never have meltdowns.
Legal analysts on Wednesday piled on with Republicans who thought the arguments were “abysmal,” but some also cautioned conservatives, who want to see the law tossed out, that less than stellar oratory skills don’t necessarily lose a case.
[ALSO READ: Arguments End In SCOTUS Obamacare Hearing]
Verrilli’s freeze-up hardly means the justices won’t look at crux of the Obama administration’s arguments. A legal rep for the Obama administration on Tuesday defended Verrilli.
A statement from White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler:
“Mr. Verrilli is an extraordinarily talented advocate who possesses a sharp mind, keen judgment, and unquestionable integrity. He ably and skillfully represented the United States before the Supreme Court yesterday, and we have every confidence that he will continue to do so.”
The justices will not decide on the crucial elements of the case until June, just in time for either Republicans or Democrats to use “victory” as a selling point for the fall presidential and congressional elections.