Chief Justice Roberts: Striking down ObamaCare 'not our job'

Tim O'Donnell

Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday appeared to signal that the Affordable Care Act, as a whole, should stand.

During Tuesday's Supreme Court hearings, which are part of a third attempt by Republican states to overturn the health care law, Roberts echoed earlier comments from his colleague, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who suggested that, under court precedent, cutting out the individual mandate while leaving the rest of the massive bill intact was "straightforward." (Kavanaugh repeated the same argument later, as well.)

Roberts, addressing Texas Solicitor General Kyle Hawkins, followed that up by noting that while some lawmakers may have hoped the high court would strike down the whole law after the mandate repeal, it's tough to ascertain that was their intention when they didn't actually try to do so. Ultimately, striking down the bill, he said, is not the Supreme Court's "job."

If Roberts and Kavanaugh remain unconvinced by the GOP states' arguments about severability, they would seemingly join the court's three liberal justices in preserving the law.

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