Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Tuesday suggested that he could be the deciding vote in favor of saving former President Barack Obama's signature health care law.
During oral arguments about the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, Kavanaugh hinted that the provision could be struck down without invalidating the entire law.
"I tend to agree with you that this is a very straightforward case for severability under our precedents meaning that we would excise the mandate and leave the rest of the act in place," Kavanaugh said.
"That strikes me as the ballgame," Supreme Court expert Ian Millhiser noted on Twitter.
Read some of the reactions to Kavanaugh's remarks below.
!!!! Brett Kavanaugh says it’s a “straightforward case” under court’s precedent that you’d normally just cut out th… https://t.co/x0pTOABugQ— Paul McLeod (@Paul McLeod) 1605023658.0
Kavanaugh: I tend to agree with you on this is a very straightforward case for severability under our precedents me… https://t.co/P0G5iDiXLz— Samantha Liss (@Samantha Liss) 1605023664.0
Kavanaugh seems to endorse argument that the mandate is no longer constitutional bc it can't be a tax if it raises… https://t.co/1eXaVYUgjh— Alice Miranda Ollstein (@Alice Miranda Ollstein) 1605023680.0
Kavanaugh giving pro-ACA side a big reason to exhale here: "I tend to agree with you that this is a very straightfo… https://t.co/k4E1nbb6xG— Mike Sacks (@Mike Sacks) 1605023693.0
Kavanaugh acknowledges that this is a straightforward case with respect to severability -- that there's a presumpti… https://t.co/47qWk6PaV5— Dr. Miranda Yaver (@Dr. Miranda Yaver) 1605023696.0
Big comment from Kavanaugh just now: "I tend to agree with you" that the case is "very straightforward" under our s… https://t.co/hTjjSulSe9— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) 1605023713.0
Kavanaugh on SEVERABILITY indicates not likely to vote to strike whole law down in exchange with Dem lawyer Verrill… https://t.co/VEGsWLIZPD— Lawrence Hurley (@Lawrence Hurley) 1605023763.0
Justice Kavanaugh seems to agree the individual mandate could be severable, meaning the rest of the ACA would be sa… https://t.co/axw3sumxwX— Zack Ford (@Zack Ford) 1605023764.0
Alleged attempted rapist Brett Kavanaugh just suggested he's willing to save the ACA. He said he "tends to agree" t… https://t.co/sr8tSyaKJW— Elie Mystal (@Elie Mystal) 1605023875.0
Here’s the full Kavanaugh quote. If he really means it, that’s the ballgame. https://t.co/lDJ9XLq4Iy— Mark Joseph Stern (@Mark Joseph Stern) 1605023932.0
This is something many court observers expected from Kavanaugh — in recent opinions he'd already shown sympathy to… https://t.co/mk133F6nH0— Sarah Kliff (@Sarah Kliff) 1605023936.0
Big moment just now in today's Obamacare argument: Justice Kavanaugh says this is a "very straightforward case for… https://t.co/yMpgHZRPQA— Kevin Daley 🏛 (@Kevin Daley 🏛) 1605023955.0
It's a big plot twist if Justice Kavanaugh becomes the one to save the Obama health law https://t.co/kqvtNLT7vQ— Jamie Dupree (@Jamie Dupree) 1605023988.0
Justice Kavanaugh.......... welcome to the Resistance https://t.co/lv6HYKVe1x— Eric Renner Brown (@Eric Renner Brown) 1605023990.0
This is the most important line that any Justice could've said at this morning's #ACA argument. If Justice Kavanau… https://t.co/7fB6WOmafH— Steve Vladeck (@Steve Vladeck) 1605023998.0