Led by presidential nominee Joe Biden, several Democrats this Saturday opposed president Donald Trump‘s nomination for Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the seat with life in the Supreme Court.
And there’s a common ground that Democrats will focus the Senate, where Trump’s official nomination will be discussed this Saturday: the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), given the possibility that millions of citizens could lose their health care if Republicans meet the threat to repeal this measure.
“President Trump has tried to take down ACA for four years. Republicans have tried to end it for a decade. Twice the Supreme Court has backed the law as constitutional,” Biden said through a statement.
“She (Barrett) has a written record of disagreement with the Supreme Court’s decisions to support the Affordable Care Act. Americans know that Supreme Court decisions affect their daily lives,” the Democratic nominee added.
Senate minority leader New York Democrat Chuck Schumer lamented Trump’s predicament at nominating who could replace Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “The judge’s last wish was not to be replaced until a new president was installed,” she said.
“Republicans are willing not only to ignore her desires, but to replace her with someone who can bring down everything she built. I will strongly oppose this nomination,” Schumer said.
Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said he will not meet Barrett as members of that committee usually do.
“I refuse to treat this process as legitimate and will not meet with Judge Barrett,” he said through a statement.
The Supreme Court, which resumes its sessions a week after Election Day, plans to discuss the future of ACA, also known as Obamacare.
Trump, who supports the Texas-led lawsuit to invalidate Obamacare, has repeatedly indicated that he would nominate judges to rule against him.
“It will be an important approach,” California Senator Dianne Feinstein, the senate’s top judiciary committee democrat, said in an interview Thursday, but “there are other” issues also in question, she added.
As a candidate, Trump criticized Supreme Court President John Roberts for voting for the Affordable Care Act. “My court appointments will do the right thing,” he tweeted in February 2016, “Roberts could have killed Obamacare twice, but he didn’t!”
Asked about it, White House spokesman Judd Deere merely said that the “nominee will be someone who believes in the rule of law and our Constitution as written.”
Once Trump’s candidate was announced to replace the vacancy left by Liberal Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last Friday at age 87
Democrats lack enough votes to stop her in the Senate
Thus, they are looking for a strategy to maximize their chances of winning the November 3 election with arguments about the negative consequences of a court with a majority of conservative magistrates.
“Republicans have voted 25 times to eliminate health care, especially the chapter on pre-existing medical conditions for patients. Now they think this is one way they can do it,” said Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, a member of the Judiciary Committee.
Trump’s candidate is likely to refuse to answer questions about her position on Obamacare, but her comments from the past may focus the battle on her confirmation. That program received the green light at the Supreme in 2012 for a vote of 5 for and 4 against; one of the majority judges was Ginsburg he own.
Republican senators in close re-election contests are unclear about their plans about ACA, as their party lacks a replacement plan in case their efforts to eliminate the law succeed.
Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican for Nebraska and a member of the Judiciary Committee, was furious when asked about Democrats’ plans: “They’re going to highlight any issues to try to say the kind of nonsense.”
Josh Hawley, a Republican for Missouri, also a member of the Judiciary Committee and who supported the lawsuit against ACA when he was attorney general of that state, noted that he did not know whether another Conservative judge would change the opinion on the future of that program.
“I have no prediction of how the court will vote or what it will mean,” Hawley said, “the court has surprised me every time it has taken over an ACA case.”
The focus on health care as the center of the battle in the vote of the Supreme Court nominee in the Senate is a new argument from Democrats to draw attention to what is at stake in discussions of the future of the highest court as the abortion issue was in the past.
However, the fate of the failure in the Roe vs. Roe case. Wade – who legalized abortion in 1973 – could still be a hot topic, and some Republicans openly call for a rollover of the ruling so that states can criminalize this women’s right.
Another Senate Democrat who analyzed the strategy to follow on the condition of maintaining his anonymity argued that the party “would have accepted at any time an offer to focus the nominee’s choice on the health care program.”
“So let’s take it,” he said, “it’s very simple: it’s a very credible and direct argument to say that in three consecutive weeks we’ll have a confirmation, an election and then a case to repeal the ACA program. It’s three consecutive hits.”