Sen. Chris Coons: "No Precedent In American History For A President Filling A Court Vacancy This Close To An Election" | Video | RealClearPolitics

Sen. Chris Coons: "No Precedent In American History For A President Filling A Court Vacancy This Close To An Election"


Democratic Senator Chris Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says he'll question Amy Coney Barrett about previous comments questioning rulings upholding the Affordable Care Act.

SEN. COONS: What I was shaking my head about was having just heard Mark Meadows breathlessly trying to support President Trump's desperate efforts to cast doubt on the legitimacy of this election. We should not be barreling forward with this partisan nomination. There's only 37 days until the election. There is no precedent in American history for a president filling a vacancy this close to an election, where I'll remind you, more than half of the American states are already voting. We should be waiting until after the election. We should honor Justice Ginsburg's dying wish that the people should choose the next president, the next president choose her successor.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, Eisenhower recess-appointed Brennan 22 days before the election, but I understand that was without Senate consent. So I hear your point. But the question was, are Democrats going to do anything to slow this down? Some of your colleagues are saying they won't even meet with the nominee. What will you ask or when you meet with her?

SEN. COONS: Well, I'm either going to meet with her in person or by phone, just another way this pandemic has upended the lives of millions of Americans. I'll press her on her previous statements about the Affordable Care Act. President Trump said he would only choose a nominee he was confident would overturn the Affordable Care Act. And as you know, MARGARET, that's on the Supreme Court's docket just one week after the election. It defies comprehension why President Trump would continue in his efforts to strip away from the American people pre-existing discrimination protection. There's more than 100 million Americans who have a pre-existing condition, seven million more because they've been infected in this pandemic. And I'll remind you, MARGARET, Justice Ginsburg's life's work was protecting us against gender discrimination. And before the ACA, insurance companies could and did discriminate against women just for being women by treating pregnancy as a pre-existing condition, charging women more for access to health insurance. It's amazing to me that Judge Barrett has publicly criticized the decision by Chief Justice Roberts that upheld the constitutionality of the ACA and that President Trump is making it clear a vote for Judge Barrett to be on the Supreme Court is a vote to repeal the ACA and take away health care protection from a majority of Americans during a pandemic.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I understand that. Judge Barrett introduced herself to the American public as a mother of seven, as sort of a class mom,


MARGARET BREANNAN: --a very warm presentation in the public space. How do you fight that?

SEN. COONS: Well, we don't need to fight that, I can respect the fact that she has a beautiful family, that her clerks and students say she's a very talented professor and judge, that's not what's at issue here. What's at issue is both this rushed and partisan confirmation in which President Trump has told us he's choosing someone who will overturn Roe v. Wade, he's choosing someone who will overturn the ACA, and he's choosing someone who President Trump himself says he will need to put their thumb on the scale so that he can win the next election. He's not confident he'll win it fair and square at the ballot box. He says we have to rush through this nominee so that there's nine justices and one he handpicks to, according to President Trump, support him in his reelection effort.
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