Justice Antonin Scalia denies that he has personally clashed with Chief Justice John Roberts over his decision to save the Affordable Care Act in a 5-4 vote.
“No, I haven’t had a falling out with Justice Roberts,” he told Piers Morgan in a CNN interview that aired Wednesday night. “Nothing like that.”
Leaks from within the Supreme Court after the contentious decision suggest the other four conservative justices — who co-wrote a dissenting opinion to invalidate ‘Obamacare’ in its entirety — expected Roberts to be on their side. The anonymous leakers say Roberts switched his vote and left the conservatives feeling betrayed when he opted to side with the four liberals and uphold the individual mandate under Congress’s taxing power.
Scalia’s reaction? The leakers are full of it.
“You should not believe what you read about the court in the newspapers,” he said. “Because the information has either been made up or given to the newspapers by somebody who is violating a confidence, which means that person is not reliable.”
Morgan pressed him on his relationship with Roberts, in an exchange that appeared to make Scalia somewhat uneasy, but the conservative justice made no concession that the proceedings harmed their relationship in any way.
“Loud words exchanged?” Morgan asked.
“No,” Scalia said.
“Slamming of doors, nothing like that?” the host pressed.
“Nothing like that,” the justice responded.
“My best buddy on the court is Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Has always been,” Scalia said, adding that they remain close despite disagreeing on “just about everything.”
Asked how he deals with losing a decision on the magnitude of ‘Obamacare’, the justice responded, “Probably mutter something under my breath or something.”
Sahil Kapur is a congressional reporter for TPM. He previously covered politics and public policy for numerous publications including The Guardian and The Huffington Post. He can be reached at sahil [at] talkingpointsmemo.com.