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Ruling a victory for Obama as he heads into tough election


The following ran on the June 28, 2012, edition of The Political Scientist Cal Jillson provided expertise for this story.

July 3, 2012

By Amie Parnes

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the healthcare law and rule President Obama’s controversial, landmark legislation as constitutional is an enormous victory for the White House ahead of a presidential election thought by many to be deadlocked.

Obama will speak about the ruling at 12:15 p.m. in the East Room of the White House.

As the decision came down Thursday, White House staffers gathered in press secretary Jay Carney's office with the door closed in what aides quipped was their "war room." The press office was virtually deserted as people awaited word on the Supreme Court’s decision.

Obama had been scheduled to be in the Oval Office when the decision came down. But White House reporters were temporarily held near Carney's office as Obama apparently made his way from the residence to the West Wing.

White House aides, seemingly satisfied by the decision, said they wouldn't comment on the mood inside Carney's office at the time of the decision, preferring to let Obama speak first on the landmark ruling.

Thursday's ruling and the decision to keep the mandate — the crux of the law — intact is expected to invigorate Obama’s supporters and will surely boost morale on the president’s team at the White House and campaign headquarters in Chicago on the heels of a rocky month for Obama....

"It’s been very difficult for Obama to campaign on because polling behind it has been 2-to-1 [against it], and people have this sense that they don’t like it,” said Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at Southern Methodist University.

But Jillson and other observers say the high court’s decision on Thursday could also motivate conservatives to hit the polls this fall to push Obama out of office.

“The Republicans will make more use of it then the Democrats,” Jillson said. “They’ll use it to really rally their party."