Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchFinancial market transactions should not be taxed or restricted Bottom line The Republicans' deep dive into nativism MORE (R-Utah) on Thursday praised Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts as a “remarkable” and “tremendous” jurist who wrote a “clever” opinion upholding a key provision of ObamaCare.

"All I can say is that the chief justice is a remarkable judge. He's a tremendous human being. I have a tremendous confidence in him and I believe in him. I differ with him on this opinion," Hatch said from the Senate floor. "On the other hand, it is a very clever opinion, and I have to say only a clever judge could have written it as well."


Roberts authored the 6-3 decision handed down earlier Thursday that upheld federal healthcare insurance subsides under the Affordable Care Act. The ruling is a major victory for the Obama administration.

Hatch said that he suspected the court would uphold the law because "it's a big enough bill that a really clever judge could find some way of tying in and justifying the decision that they made today."

He added that he has "tremendous respect" for Roberts, who he believed "used his talents to uphold ObamaCare."

It's the second time Roberts has authored a Supreme Court ruling that upheld President Obama's Affordable Care Act. In 2012, he wrote the court's decision that upheld ObamaCare as constitutional.

Hatch said while he's "had colleagues bad-mouth the chief justice because of his vote in the original case, which was the deciding vote … I've never really found fault with that. I felt like was more interested in not having a 5-4 decision."

Despite his praise for Roberts, the Utah Republican disavowed the court's Thursday ruling, saying that justices "deduced to rule against common sense and the plain meaning of statutory language."