Authors: Jeanette Torres
(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama was about to speak at a Philadelphia pre-school last Tuesday when he got some good news about his unpopular health care law.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in a 2-1 decision that the law is constitutional.
But perhaps as important as the ruling -- to the president -- was the author of the decision: Justice Laurence Silberman, a conservative jurist appointed by President Ronald Reagan.
Silberman conceded the point of those conservatives challenging the law that requiring the uninsured to purchase health insurance encroaches on freedom, but “no more so than a command that restaurants or hotels are obliged to serve all customers regardless of race.”
White House officials say the president and his legal team are confident in the strength of their case in defending the law, which the Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear in March. Officials say the White House is beginning to prepare for every contingency -- including if the law is stricken down -- but they do not expect that will happen.
“If the law is held up in June,” when the court is expected to rule, a senior White House official said, “that will be a big boost for us.”
The reverse spin from Democrats is that if the law is stricken down, that would help rally Democrats for November, giving them something to fight for.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio