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“I think the president seemed very calm and measured,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island Democrat. “I happen to agree, as a lawyer and an appellate lawyer who’s looked at this issue, that it would be an activist jump for the Supreme Court to deny that a mandate is constitutional after 40 years of it being supported by the Republican Party, from Richard Nixon to [former Rhode Island Sen.] John Chafee to the Heritage Foundation.”

“I think there comes a point when you have to be able to tell the truth about a Supreme Court that is activist and threatening to become even more activist,” he said.