Moments after President Donald Trump announced his Supreme Court nomination, Democrats quickly moved to criticize Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative favorite to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“Today it is my honor to nominate one of our nation’s most brilliant and gifted legal minds to the Supreme Court,” Trump said in the Rose Garden on Saturday afternoon. “She is a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution—Judge Amy Coney Barrett.”
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign released a statement criticizing Barrett’s conservative history. “She has a written track record of disagreeing with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act,” the campaign said. “She critiqued Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion upholding the law in 2012.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Barrett’s nomination “threatens the destruction of life-saving protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions together with every other benefit and protection of the Affordable Care Act.”
If she is confirmed, Pelosi continued in a statement, “millions of families’ health care will be ripped away in the middle of a pandemic that has infected seven million Americans and killed over 200,000 people in our country.”
Statement from @SpeakerPelosi. pic.twitter.com/uEGFLIuqaL
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) September 26, 2020
Washington state Governor Jay Inslee highlighted Barrett’s past critiques on Obamacare. “The Supreme Court will hear a case on the Affordable Care Act one week after election day,” the Democrat tweeted. “718,000 Washingtonians stand to lose their health care coverage. We cannot let that happen.”
The Supreme Court will hear a case on the Affordable Care Act one week after election day.
718,000 Washingtonians stand to lose their health care coverage.
We cannot let that happen. https://t.co/WZv2kBi67D
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) September 26, 2020
California Governor Gavin Newsom shared a video highlighting Barrett’s reversal on whether a Supreme Court vacancy should be filled during a presidential election year. “Here is Judge Amy Coney Barett explaining why it’s wrong to fill a SCOTUS vacancy during a presidential year,” he tweeted.
Here is Judge Amy Coney Barrett explaining why itâs wrong to fill a SCOTUS vacancy during a presidential election year. pic.twitter.com/a5H09OmgsX
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 26, 2020
Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he will “review Judge Coney Barrett’s legal qualifications and judicial philosophy,” but won’t support her confirmation before November 3.
“Rushing to confirm a Supreme Court nominee weeks before a presidential election has never been done before in the history of our nation and it will only fan the flames of division at a time when our country is deeply divided,” he wrote in a statement. “I will not vote to confirm Judge Coney Barett or any Supreme Court nominee before Election Day.”
New: @Sen_JoeManchin says he will review Barrett’s “legal qualifications and judicial philosophy,” but will not vote to confirm her before election day.
“I urge my Republican friends to slow down, put people before politics, and give their constituents a chance to vote.â pic.twitter.com/DgGYF3tuhF
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) September 26, 2020
Their remarks came shortly after Trump urged members of the media and Democrats to “refrain from personal or partisan attacks” on his nominee. “Provide Judge Barrett with the respectful and dignified hearing that she deserves,” the president said, adding that “the stakes for our country are incredibly high.”
“Rulings that the Supreme Court will issue in the coming years will decide the survival of our Second Amendment, our religious liberty, our public safety.”
Barrett acknowledged that “this is a momentous decision for a president and if the Senate does me the honor of confirming me, I pledge to discharge the responsibilities of this job to the very best of my ability.”
Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment.
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