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ABC was right on court ruling

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court ruling Monday that a key provision of the Gramm-Rudman balanced budget law is unconstitutional proved ABC News was right three weeks ago when it predicted the outcome, including the correct vote.

ABC Supreme Court correspondent Tim O'Brien reported June 15 that the high court would strike down the triggering provision 7-2, with Chief Justice Warren Burger writing the opinion and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor writing a concurring opinion.

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The opinion would be released June 16, O'Brien said.

After the rare leak, however, the court did not release its ruling. In his original report, O'Brien noted that several previous leaks from the court had resulted in delayed decisions 'although the outcome of each ruling was not affected.'

'I never had any doubt that our information was correct,' O'Brien said Monday. 'People have asked if I felt vindicated, but reporting these decisions is not anything we do casually. We've only done it five times in the last 10 years. And the results have been right on the money.'

O'Brien said another time he reported a decision in advance, on May 18, 1979, the ruling was not released until July.

'I'm satisfied it was ready to go earlier,' O'Brien said of the decision that struck down the controversial triggering mechanism of the Gramm-Rudman budget act that would have turned over part of the Congress's budget-cutting powers to the comptroller general.

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