Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, pronounced herself “really impressed” with Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s explanation of the doctrine of severability during her confirmation hearing on Wednesday.
The issue is crucial to a current challenge to Obamacare that Barrett would hear if confirmed to the Supreme Court.
In an exchange between the leading Democrat and the nominee, Barrett used a “Jenga” analogy to explain the idea:
Feinstein: Yesterday, you spoke of California v. Texas, the current case seeking to strike down the Affordable Care Act. You said, I think, that the issue before the Court is “severability.” Meaning whether the Court could still uphold the Affordable Care Act if it rules that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. And you said yesterday this question was not before the Court. As I understand this, Chief Justice [John] Roberts and the majority did involve the issue