Updated Sep 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

What they're saying: Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the Rose Garden of the White House on Sept. 26.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the Rose Garden of the White House on Sept. 26. Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Democratic and Republican lawmakers along with other leading political figures reacted to President Trump's Saturday afternoon nomination of federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

What they're saying: "President Trump could not have made a better decision," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell 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."

Democrats' uniform response to the nomination surrounded health care — and the argument that Barrett's confirmation could gut the Affordable Care Act and access to coverage.

  • Joe Biden: "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."
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “For four years, President Trump has tried to crush the Affordable Care Act in the Congress and the Courts. This nomination threatens the destruction of life-saving protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions together with every other benefit and protection of the Affordable Care Act."
  • Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.): “The devastating coronavirus pandemic has already killed more than 202,000 Americans, and sickened millions more, yet President Trump is fighting in the Supreme Court right now to strike down the only law guaranteeing Americans can access the health care they need."
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: "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."
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.): "No Supreme Court vacancy has been filled this close to a presidential election. The Senate should not consider any Supreme Court nominee until the American people have spoken in November and the next president has been inaugurated."

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham: "Judge Barrett is highly qualified in all the areas that matter – character, integrity, intellect, and judicial disposition ... 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."

  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.): “President Trump made an excellent choice by nominating Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. There is no question that she is highly qualified, faithfully interprets the law as written, and will uphold the Constitution."
  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah): "Amy Coney Barrett is a highly-respected jurist with distinguished legal and academic credentials. My constitutional role to provide advice and consent on a Supreme Court nomination is one of my most serious responsibilities as a senator."
  • Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.): "The American people elected a President and Senate majority who committed to nominating and confirming judges who follow the Constitution, uphold the law, and refuse to legislate from the bench."

Of note: Two Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), have stated that they will not meet with Barrett.

  • “The American people deserve a voice in this hugely consequential decision," Blumenthal said in a statement. “I refuse to treat this process as legitimate and will not meet with Judge Barrett."
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