Obama first learned of court ruling from cable TV
In an official White House photo, President Obama speaks on the phone with Solicitor General Donald Verrilli after learning the Supreme Court's ruling on his health care law.
June 28th, 2012
03:51 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama first learned of court ruling from cable TV

Washington (CNN) – A calm President Barack Obama received the news of the Supreme Court's health care ruling while just outside the Oval Office Thursday, senior administration officials said.

After first learning, from a TV with four split screens, that the individual mandate section of the law was struck down, the president waited on word from his staff.

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White House Counsel Kathy Ruemmler entered the "outer Oval Office" to give him two thumbs up, which prompted a quizzical look from the president given what he saw reported on two cable television stations, CNN and Fox News.

Ruemmler told him the news, which she learned from reading the website SCOTUSBlog and a White House lawyer inside the high court, and enthusiasm ensued, according to the officials. She told the president the Affordable Care Act was upheld, with five justices finding it valid under Congress' taxing power.

Displaying a smile, the president hugged Ruemmler. The top White House lawyer returned to her office, by which point the news stations had corrected their reporting, and returned to the Oval Office within the hour to deliver a more complete read on the ruling to the president.

Obama's first call was to Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, who argued the case for the administration, to congratulate him.

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Filed under: Health care • President Obama • Supreme Court
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Darryl

    No matter what the republicans say or do now the POTUS was right and will be re-elected as he should be.It's to bad the GOP has had to resort to lies durning the past 4 years to try to sway people to hate Pres.Obama.But in doing that the people ofthe U.S see right through it and now come November they will stand-up for the president and sweep this country once again with the votes to keep him in the W/H for another 4 years as he deserves.

    June 28, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. Obamaggedon - Elections have Consequences

    Many in America will remember the day their liberty was demolished by a leftist President and a leftist court. I twill be reclaimed this November. Obama and Democrat lies and treachery will not stand.

    June 28, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  3. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    bet he was watching FoxNews and got it! LOL

    June 28, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. KARL

    @Obamaggedon – Elections have Consequences: If I understand correctly, the Bushes nominated the majority of those on the court and they have a conservative view of everything. So with that being said, how could you call this a leftist court? What an idiot!

    June 28, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. Woman In California

    A calm President Barack Obama

    Just what I voted for and I am LOVING the hope and change.

    June 28, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. Joi Gibson

    Mr. President – Well done sir!!!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN/FIRST LADY 2012!!!!

    June 28, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  7. Big Al

    What this bill does not do is include the people of Israel. We should be including them under this health care bill.

    June 28, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Republican lies and deceit have caught up to them in two supreme court rulings this week. I think we have all had it with the obstructionists on the right.

    June 28, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. wangfeihong

    Obamaggedon "a leftist court". Are you insane the scotus is center right leaning

    June 28, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  10. judy

    great news for the American people. Repos will try and spin it . OL mitt was for it before he was against it so what does that tell you Forward 2012

    June 28, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  11. Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe Say_Nothing -Do_Nothing_Flip_n_Flopper VULTURE CAPITALIST

    the CONSERVATIVE republican SCOTUS ruled TWICE against the GOP/TeaBAGGERS this week!!

    That's enough REASON for you to VOTE against anything GOP!!!!

    June 28, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  12. Seriously!

    If Obama has done so many great things for this country, why isn't he running on his record?

    June 28, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. Gurgyl

    I am supporting you. God bless. You need strong security. GOP is nonsense cult.

    June 28, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. Myviewis

    Democrats are correct, we have a new Tax to deal with and that is that. Now we just need to hear from the IRS as to when instructions will be available and now IRS can give us a final chart on fines and details as to what kind of a health insurance policy is acceptable to the IRS.

    June 28, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. Kemikal

    Some people surely should have their freedom of speech.....REVOKED. The importance of this ruling will only resonate within those that think outside the box. A very huge win for the American people today; many of you voted against this and you don't understand how it benefits you. Use your brain people and make decisions for yourselves; democrat or republican. Some of you republicans are upset over this simply because other republicans are, and you don't have a clue. I'm no-longer either party, and will make decisions based on the direction this country should go in; it will surely NOT be the way of Mitt Romney. Those of you that are jumping up and down for this guy will be the ones hit HARDEST should he even come close to becoming POTUS. HE IS NOT GOOD FOR AMERICA. Think, what policies have the republicans gone against and offered an alternative? That's easy, NONE! Their sole purpose is to make Pres. Obama a one term president. not to offer solutions to the American people.

    June 28, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. Obamaggedon - Elections have Consequences

    KARL
    @Obamaggedon – Elections have Consequences: If I understand correctly, the Bushes nominated the majority of those on the court and they have a conservative view of everything. So with that being said, how could you call this a leftist court?
    ============================================================================================
    This is the same leftist court that ruled towns and cities could strip property owners of their land and homes in order to give the property to land developers for the sole purpose of producing higher tax revenue. THAT is a leftist court. THIS decision was decided and passed based on a LIE to the American people. Leftists LIE, freedoms DIE.

    America, you have been warned. November 6, 2012. It will be your LAST CHANCE to rid this country of leftists before they destroy what is left of your country. America, you have been warned.

    June 28, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. Myviewis

    Woman In California

    A calm President Barack Obama

    Just what I voted for and I am LOVING the hope and change.
    ------------------------------

    Congratulations! Democrats win. You win. I am glad to have read that you have a very good paying job. I am sure the attorneys in your office have analyzed this new Tax well and as employers have prepared for it. Unfortunately, most small businesses in the US don't make the big bucks like your law firm makes so we'll have to see what happens to the employees of small businesses.

    June 28, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe Say_Nothing -Do_Nothing_Flip_n_Flopper VULTURE CAPITALIST

    @Seriously!

    Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe is NOT running on his record as 47th in job creation Gov or as a VULTURE CAPITALIST who raid companies for profits and ship jobs to Mexico & China...and stashing his tax-cuts profits in SWISS BANK Accounts and the CAYMEN ISLAND!!!

    June 28, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. Kemikal

    @ Seriously!
    Let's take a small look at his record: Passed Health Care Law, Prevented another Depression (After G.W. Bush ran the country into the ground), Targeted and Killed Osama Bin Ladin (and other Al Qeida leaders), provided stable job growth in excess of 2 million jobs, after loosing more than 750K per month under G.W. Bush, in addition extended the unemployment compensation terms for those that are still unemployed........shall I continue with his record? Hmmm, let's see 2 million people without an extension of unemployment benefits could have possibly been 1 million new homeless people. Do you remember his record now????

    June 28, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. Bill in Florida

    Hey Darryl, you're too st upid to know this, but your "leftist" Supreme Court is VERY rightist. 5-4 majority of Conservatives. You're just angry that one of your own - a white righty - agreed with a black Dem. :)

    June 28, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  21. Bill in Florida

    "Seriously:" ARE YOU FOR REAL? The President IS "running on his record." It's Rob-me who is running away from his record (Romney was FOR the mandate before he was against it).

    June 28, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. Myviewis

    Bill in Florida

    Hey Darryl, you're too st upid to know this, but your "leftist" Supreme Court is VERY rightist. 5-4 majority of Conservatives. You're just angry that one of your own – a white righty – agreed with a black Dem.
    -----------------------------

    You are so right. I never thought I'd see the day when Democrats would vote to get a new Tax and have the IRS in charge of Healthcare, that one got me by surprise. Didn't see that one coming. Congrats!!

    June 28, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. V

    Take that Sarah Palin! See – no one listens to you!!

    June 28, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  24. BerkshireBear

    The Right Wing really pulled one over on the American people. Here we have a Healthcare program they dreamed up in their conservative think tanks, was implemented by a Republican Governor in Massachusetts who is now the GOP Presidential candidate, is really nothing more than a financial windfall to corporate insurance companies, the Right railed against it to fool the Left into accepting it and then the Right Wing led Supreme Court upheld it with the Left Wing of the Court in full support. My hope is that now Chief Justice Roberts has declared this nothing more than a tax, we can mold this mess of a Right Wing Law into something more akin to the rest of the Civilized World and create a single-payer healthcare system.

    June 28, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  25. Mary

    He will never be re elected!!!! He is a loser..................................knows nothing except how to snuggle up with Hollywood

    June 28, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
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