WASHINGTON — Joe Biden released a statement following President Donald Trump nominating Amy Coney Barrett to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Biden highlighted the importance of this nomination with the Affordable Care Act hanging in the balance amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"Today, President Trump has nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett as the successor to Justice Ginsburg’s seat." Biden's statement said. "She has a written track record of disagreeing with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act."
Barrett, a judge on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and a devout Roman Catholic, has been hailed by religious conservatives and others on the right as an ideological heir to conservative icon Antonin Scalia, the late Supreme Court justice for whom she clerked.
Liberals say her legal views are too heavily influenced by her religious beliefs and fear her ascent to the nation’s highest court could lead to a scaling back of hard-fought abortion rights.
Sen. Kamala Harris says she’ll oppose Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Harris is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee tasked with vetting the nominee and the Democratic vice presidential candidate.
“It would be travesty to replace (Ginsburg) with a justice who is being selected to undo her legacy and erase everything she did for our country,” Harris said in a statement through her Senate office.
Barrett was considered to be a finalist in 2018 before Trump nominated Justice Brett Kavanaugh for the seat vacated when Justice Anthony Kennedy retired. At just 48, Barrett would be the youngest justice, and her tenure could last for decades.
Read Biden's full statement below:
"Election Day is just weeks away, and millions of Americans are already voting because the stakes in this election could not be higher. They feel the urgency of this choice – an urgency made all the more acute by what’s at stake at the U.S. Supreme Court.
They are voting because their health care hangs in the balance. They are voting because they worry about losing their right to vote or being expelled from the only country they have ever known. They are voting right now because they fear losing their collective bargaining rights. They are voting to demand that equal justice be guaranteed for all. They are voting because they don’t want Roe v. Wade, which has been the law of the land for nearly half a century, to be overturned.
President Trump has been trying to throw out the Affordable Care Act for four years. Republicans have been trying to end it for a decade. Twice, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law as constitutional.
But even now, in the midst of a global health pandemic, the Trump Administration is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the entire law, including its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. If President Trump has his way, complications from COVID-19, like lung scarring and heart damage, could become the next deniable pre-existing condition.
Today, President Trump has nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett as the successor to Justice Ginsburg’s seat. She has a written track record of disagreeing with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act. She critiqued Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion upholding the law in 2012.
The American people know the U.S. Supreme Court decisions affect their everyday lives. The United States Constitution was designed to give the voters one chance to have their voice heard on who serves on the Court. That moment is now and their voice should be heard. The Senate should not act on this vacancy until after the American people select their next president and the next Congress."