Did Obama's Solicitor General Choke?
He was passive. He was stumbling. He was nervous," CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin told POLITICO. "I was just shocked.”
His halting delivery was so pronounced that BuzzFeed mercilessly edited together 40 seconds of coughing, throat clearing and water-drinking.
"I've seen him argue under pressure," said Arnold and Porter's Lisa Blatt, a former assistant to the solicitor general who's argued 30 cases before the Supreme Court. Blatt, who listened to audio of the argument, said, "That's not the way he usually sounds."
Blatt said she was primarily surprised that Verrilli "didn't seem that excited to be up there." Given that this is one of the biggest cases in modern history, she said, "I would think it would be a blast to be up there."