NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — On Saturday, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court in a ceremony at the White House. Since then, lawmakers have been speaking out against not only the president’s pick but the process following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The president praised Barrett and her legal record saying, “She is a woman of unparalleled achievement.”
But this announcement was met with opposition from some, including former Vice President Joe Biden. He, along with many others, is urging Senate Republicans to not act on the president’s nomination until after the American people select their next president in November.
Here in Connecticut, lawmakers have criticized the process of which Barrett was nominated since it is less than two months away from a presidential election. They say Barrett, a conservative judge, is expected to shift the court right-ward as it reviews issues such as healthcare and abortion access.
In response to the nomination, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong released a statement, concerned about those with pre-existing conditions – like cancer and diabetes – losing their healthcare.
There will be heated and contentious debate over the unfairness and hypocrisy of this process, but let us not lose sight for one minute what is at stake. The Office of the Attorney General is actively involved in cases currently before the Supreme Court fighting for Americans with pre-existing conditions like cancer and diabetes, for our clean air and climate, for a woman’s right to privacy in her personal healthcare decisions, and more.
All roads lead to the Supreme Court. Amy Coney Barrett, if confirmed, will either protect or dismantle some of the most consequential and fundamental rights enjoyed by Connecticut families today. The stakes could not be higher.– Attorney General William Tong
In a statement, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal mirrored some of AG Tong’s concerns, saying Sunday, “If Judge Barrett is confirmed, her views would cause incalculable harm to real people, with real lives, in real ways from children with pre-existing conditions to women who simply want to be able to decide when and how to have a family.”
He went on to say he will oppose Barrett’s confirmation, calling the president’s move to nominate someone before the election an “illegitimate sham process,” adding “the people of Connecticut and the people of America deserve better and they deserve for their voices to be heard.”
I will oppose the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, as I would any nominee proposed as part of this illegitimate sham process, barely one month before an election as Americans are already casting their votes. The American people deserve a voice in this hugely consequential decision.
Judge Barrett’s views would harm real lives – real people – in real ways, from children with pre-existing conditions to women who just want to be able to decide when and how to have a family. I’m fighting for them.
Judge Barrett, like any Trump nominee, has already been vetted and screened to meet two tests: a commitment to striking down the Affordable Care Act and to overturning Roe v. Wade. Judge Barrett has criticized past decisions protecting access to healthcare, shown hostility to reproductive freedoms, and expressed a willingness to overturn settled Supreme Court precedent that does not align with her extreme views. If Judge Barrett’s views become law, hundreds of millions of Americans living with pre-existing conditions would lose access to their health care. In the middle of a global pandemic that has claimed more than two hundred thousand American lives, rushing confirmation of an extreme jurist who will decimate healthcare is unconscionable.
I refuse to treat this process as legitimate and will not meet with Judge Barrett.U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal
Shortly after the nomination ceremony, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy released a statement in response saying, echoing the sentiment that if Barrett makes it on the court it will harm the millions of people he represents here in Connecticut. They “will be kicked off their health care plans, in the middle of a global pandemic.”
If Trump puts Amy Coney Barrett, his hand-picked nominee, on the court, millions of people I represent in Connecticut will be kicked off their health care plans, in the middle of a global pandemic. This is the catastrophe that will be coming if Coney Barrett, who is being chosen specifically because she will vote to invalidate the entire Affordable Care Act, is confirmed.
The Republicans have been on a decades-long crusade to dismantle the Affordable Care Act—sending us back to the days when insurance companies could deny you coverage for having a pre-existing condition. Now, a case is pending that will take away health care for millions, and Senate Republicans are predictably reneging on their pledge from four years ago of not appointing a Supreme Court justice during an election year, in order to rush Coney Barrett onto the court in time to end health care for millions.– U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D/CT)
Gretchen Raffa of Planned Parenthood Votes! Connecticut said at a press conference Sunday, “We’ve already seen and know what a conservative majority of the Supreme Court means: it threatens the rights of women, workers, people of color, people with low income, immigrants, LGBTQ people, and so many others…This is a critical moment we’re in and we demand no confirmation before the 2021 inauguration day…Our bodies, our rights, our lives, our freedoms, and our futures are on the line.”
News 8 also spoke with JR Romano, Chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party about the president’s nomination.
He said in a statement, “Just as President Obama put up a nominee in the final months of his second term, President Trump is fulfilling his presidential duty. It’s up to the Senate whether or not to confirm…Judge Barrett is a brilliant jurist with outstanding legal credentials. She understands that the role of a judge is to faithfully interpret the law, not to legislate from the bench.”
President Trump responded to concerns about healthcare Sunday tweeting, “Obamacare will be replaced with a much better and far cheaper alternative if it is terminated in the Supreme Court. Would be a big win for the USA.”
As it stands right now, confirmation hearings are expected to begin Oct. 12 with a vote happening a few weeks after that.