WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama will learn how the Supreme Court rules on his flagship healthcare law from watching the news, and won’t get any advance word on the opinion, the White House said on Wednesday.
Asked where Obama will be when the highly anticipated decision is announced on Thursday morning, White House spokesman Jay Carney said: “In my office.”
Supreme Court rulings are released in a carefully controlled way. Justices read excerpts from the bench in Washington at the same time as the full judgments are posted online and handed to reporters in paper form.
An assistant clerk also calls the lawyers for both sides about the announcement. But interested parties in the West Wing and elsewhere have to hear from the media what has been decided.
“We turn on televisions and radios and computers and watch SCOTUSblog,” Carney told reporters at the White House.
“I think anybody who covers the Supreme Court knows that it’s pretty air-tight, and it is perhaps anachronistic, or not, but that’s a fact. And so we all will await the decision and learn of it at the same time that you do,” he said.
The healthcare verdict could have wide-ranging political and economic implications for the Democratic president, who made the 2010 reform a centerpiece of his agenda. Republicans have said the overhaul was unconstitutional and have vowed to repeal what is left of it if the court does not strike it down in full.
Reporting By Laura MacInnis and Jim Vicini; Editing by Sandra Maler