Sandra Day O'Connor

Sandra Day O'Connor Mary Altaffer/AP file photo

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Former Supreme Court justice not surprised by Roberts' health care decision

'That was a hard case,' Sandra Day O'Connor says.

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on Sunday said she wasn't surprised at Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision to uphold the federal health care law and added that she didn't know if he – as reported – switched his vote.

“I don't have any information about the initial, tentative votes taken at the Court conference,” she told CBS’s Face the Nation. “I have not pried into it. I have not asked to be informed. Obviously it was a close decision because at the end of the day it was 5-4, so at the time of first discussion it may well also have been a close decision. I expect it was. That was a hard case.”

But she doubted Roberts, pilloried by conservatives since, had signaled a new, centrist tack for himself.

“I don't, I don't see it at all,” O’Connor said. “I see it deciding a very sensitive case with political connotations.”