Lawyer who defended Obamacare at high court leaving

Associated Press

Washington — The top Justice Department official who defended the president’s health care law at the Supreme Court is leaving his job.

President Barack Obama says in a statement that Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. is ending his five-year tenure as the administration’s chief lawyer at the high court.

Verrilli made the principal argument in defense of the health law against a major challenge in 2012 and an attack on subsidies for low-income Americans last year.

Among his more than two dozen arguments were support for same-sex marriage and preservation of a key voting rights provision. The court ruled for same-sex marriage last year and struck down the voting rights provision in 2013.

Verrilli will step down in late June. Deputy Solicitor General Ian Gershengorn will serve as acting solicitor general.