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Sacramento Native Supreme Court Judge Holds Swing Vote In Obamacare Decision

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - Justice Anthony Kennedy is the longest serving member of the faculty at McGeorge School of Law, and CBS13 spoke to one of his colleagues who knew Justice Kennedy way back when they were just a year apart at McClatchy High School.

He's the wildcard, Kennedy is known as a conservative judge who isn't afraid to side with the left.

With a close vote expected Thursday, he'll be making, perhaps, the most important decision of his career, whether to strike down the health care law.

"You could say he's been preparing for it all his life," said college Brian Landsberg.

Landsberg, a McGeorge law professor, has known Kennedy since they were teenagers. Landsberg was a junior at McClatchy High School when Kennedy was the senior class president.

"In a way he was on the track from the beginning, he was always sort of above the crowd," said Landsberg.

During his quarter century on the Supreme Court bench, Kennedy has made many big decisions, but it's Thursday's tight vote that landed Sacramento's son on the cover of Time Magazine with the title of "The Decider."

It's going to affect health care for millions of Americans, and it's going to have a financial impact on hospitals and insurance companies, and doctors.

Landsberg said he's certain that his colleague will not only look at the law but the far-reaching impact a Supreme Court health ruling will have, potentially for generations.

"Part of constitutional law is looking at the practical consequences of a decision," said Landsberg.

But Landsberg also says Kennedy will look closely at whether the federal government has the power to enforce the mandate on health care.

So, does the long time friend and colleague of "The Decider" have any insight on how Kennedy will decide?

"What goes on in the Supreme Court conference room, stays in the Supreme Court conference room," said Landsberg.

The health care vote is expected to be made tomorrow at 7 a.m. Pacific Time.

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