Republicans in Congress lauded President Trump for his nomination of 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Saturday night while Democrats slammed the president and the nominee, predicting that her confirmation could be a death knell for a number of liberal priorities, including the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Roe v. Wade.
Barrett is up to fill the Supreme Court seat of late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was a trailblazer for women’s rights and the face of the liberal bloc of the court. Barrett’s confirmation would significantly tip the ideological balance of the tribunal in favor of conservatives.
“I stand before you to fulfill one of my highest and most important duties,” Trump said in remarks before he introduced Barrett, who he called “one of our nation’s most brilliant and gifted legal minds.”
Congressional Republicans overwhelmingly approved of the nomination and said characterized Barrett as “exceptionally impressive” and re-upped their promises to put Trump’s nominee — now officially Barrett — to a vote on the floor of the Senate.
“President Trump could not have made a better decision,” Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the majority leader, said in a statement. “Judge Amy Coney Barrett is an exceptionally impressive jurist and an exceedingly well-qualified nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States.”
He added: “First, Judge Barrett built a reputation as a brilliant scholar at the forefront of the legal academy. Then she answered the call to public service. For three years on the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, she has demonstrated exactly the independence, impartiality, and fidelity to our laws and Constitution that Americans need and deserve on their highest Court… As I have stated, this nomination will receive a vote on the Senate floor in the weeks ahead, following the work of the Judiciary Committee supervised by Chairman Graham.”
Democrats, on the other hand, slammed Barrett and the president over potential rulings they believe Barrett would make if given the opportunity.
“The American people should make no mistake—a vote by any Senator for Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act and eliminate protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said.
He added: “Should Judge Amy Coney Barrett be confirmed, a far-right majority on the court could also turn back the clock on women’s rights and a woman’s right to choose, workers’ rights, voting rights, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, environmental protections and more. The future for DACA recipients also hangs in the balance with this nominee.”
Schumer said that Republicans were ignoring the “dying wish” of Ginsburg that she be replaced only after the presidential election and said that “I will strongly oppose this nomination.”
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., added: “What’s at stake with this nomination is the fate of affordable, quality health care and pre-existing conditions protections for millions of Americans.”
Democratic vice-presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who is a member of the judiciary committee, warned that Barrett could be the vote on the Supreme Court that would lead to the end of Roe v. Wade.
“Trump’s hand-picked successor to Justice Ginsburg’s seat makes it clear: they intend to destroy the Affordable Care Act & overturn Roe. This selection would move the court further right for a generation & harm millions of Americans,” she said. “I strongly oppose Judge Barrett’s nomination.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee seemed to allude to the nasty confirmation battle over Justice Brett Kavanaugh in his statement calling for a civil hearing on Barrett’s nomination.
“As the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I’m very committed to ensuring that the nominee gets a challenging, fair, and respectful hearing,” Graham said. “We move forward on this nomination knowing that the President has picked a highly qualified individual who will serve our nation well on the highest court in the land.”
Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., slammed Democrats over attacks they’ve leveled against Barrett already but said he trusts that she can make it through the confirmation process.
“Judge Amy Coney Barrett seems made for this moment. She is a brilliant legal scholar who has come face-to-face with the appalling attacks of the far-left and won,” Cramer said. “While these radicals have already started repackaging their cookie-cutter, anti-Christian attacks on her and gone after her family, I trust President Trump is putting forward a nominee in Judge Barrett who is ready for this fight. I look forward to learning more about her and visiting with her to discuss her nomination.”
Reaction also poured in from House members too.
“Judge Amy Coney Barrett is an excellent pick by President Trump for the Supreme Court,” Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., said. “She is a brilliant legal mind and solid conservative. The Senate should confirm her immediately.”
Countered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif: “If this nominee is confirmed, 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… Every vote to confirm this nominee is a vote to dismantle health care. The American people will hold every Senator responsible for their vote at the ballot box.”
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