WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's first word about the Supreme Court's health care decision came from erroneous cable news reports on television monitors outside the Oval Office. Anxious, he looked to his chief counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler, who was approaching with the news. She flashed him two thumbs up.
Ruemmler explained her initial reading of the court's decisions, how the law had been upheld, and how there were five votes finding that it was valid under Congress' taxing power. Obama hugged her as Chief of Staff Jack Lew looked on.
The details of how Obama learned were described by administration officials on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private moment.
Obama's first telephone call was to Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, who argued the case for the administration before the court.