Former President Donald Trump on Monday expressed disappointment with two of his Supreme Court appointees, chiding Justices Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett for upholding Obamacare after Republican-led states challenged the health care law’s legality.
“I am very disappointed. I fought very hard for them, but I was very disappointed with a number of their rulings,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with “Real America’s Voice.”
But the former president said he didn’t regret the nominations.
“Second-guessing does no good, but I was disappointed with a number of rulings that they made,” Mr. Trump said.
Last week, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act in a 7-2 ruling, saying the conservative states challenging the health care law did not show sufficient injury to strike down any part of the legislation, unofficially known as Obamacare.
Republicans have tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to repeal the health care law after the justices, led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., upheld its individual mandate — a prod to get healthy people to enroll in insurance plans — as a tax in 2012.
Conservatives hoped the law might have been dismantled by the court’s 6-3 conservative majority, which also includes Trump appointee Justice Neil M. Gorsuch.
“At first blush, this decision is a slap in the face to every single American who fought to create a conservative majority on the Supreme Court. The only thing that gives me pause is Clarence Thomas joining Roberts in the majority, as he has been a consistent standard-bearer for constitutional liberties and limited government,” said Rick Manning, president of the conservative Americans for Limited Government.
“This court cannot be depended upon when it comes to overturning legislative abuses of power. As originalists, the Trump appointees will find a way to defer to Congress in a vast majority of cases regardless of the specific legislation under consideration,” he said.
But Dan Goldberg, legal director with the liberal Alliance for Justice, said the three Trump appointees have undermined LGBTQ rights and are set up to strike a blow to abortion in a case next term. He said the Affordable Care Act ruling should have been unanimous and noted that Justice Gorsuch, Mr. Trump‘s first high court nominee, dissented.
“If Donald Trump’s goal was to put on the bench individuals who were going to turn back the clock on our rights and legal protections, he is succeeding,” Mr. Goldberg said.