Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidRepublican failure Senate about to enter 'nuclear option' death spiral Top GOP senator: 'Tragic mistake' if Democrats try to block Gorsuch MORE (D-Nev.) said he's proud of Chief Justice John Roberts for his ruling on the healthcare reform law and plans to call him soon.

Roberts joined the four liberal justices on the high court in upholding virtually the entire healthcare law. The 5-4 decision preserved the individual mandate to have insurance, which had been the primary target of conservatives who challenged the law in court.

"Roberts  — that was a very strong opinion, and frankly I'm going to call him when I have an opportunity because I'm very proud of what he did," Reid said in an interview Thursday with Nevada radio station KNPR.

The ruling last week surprised many, including Reid, who said he had not anticipated that Justice Anthony Kennedy, often seen as the swing vote on the court, would join the three other conservative justices in ruling the law was mostly unconstitutional.  

"I thought that Kennedy was the person that would be the swing vote, and I thought that it could be a 6-3 decision," Reid said. "But it wound up being 5-4 with Kennedy going way off the reservation, which he has quite a bit lately. I've been fairly disappointed with him."