Senate Republicans Pack the Supreme Court As They Illegitimately Confirm Amy Coney Barrett

October 26, 2020
Press Release

EVANSTON – Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus Providers & Clinics Task Force, reacted to the vote by the U.S. Senate to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court:

“Under the leadership of Mitch McConnell, Senate Republicans have accomplished their plot to pack the courts since the Obama Administration, when they prevented his qualified nominees from consideration, including the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court 11 months before the election. In doing so, they have destroyed the institution of the U.S. Senate. With this rushed and illegitimate confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, they have confirmed a U.S. Supreme Court Justice with not one member of the minority party voting for her confirmation. They have sealed their fate as a party, and we will not let this stand as a nation.

“Since we passed the Affordable Care Act, Republicans in the House and Senate have voted dozens of times to repeal it and chip away at it. President Trump’s Administration has gone to extreme lengths to undermine every piece of the law that they could. At no point, have the Republicans offered any legislation to create a health care system in the place of the Affordable Care Act. And now their only hope to destroy it lies in the Supreme Court, who will hear a case brought by the President’s Administration, just days after the election. And we know from her previous statements that she will likely vote to strike it down and leave millions without health coverage, with her saying that Chief Justice John Roberts ‘pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute’ in his 2012 ruling.

“When President Trump was running for the office he now holds, he said in no uncertain terms that he would appoint justices to the Supreme Court that would overturn Roe v. Wade. While Ms. Coney Barrett may have evaded direct answers in her confirmation hearing about how she would rule, she has not made it a secret during her career where she stands. We know that she does not see Roe V. Wade as settled precedent. She has sided with a law requiring the cremation or burial of fetal tissue. And she opposes the practice of in vitro fertilization, a medical process which allows 60-70,000 babies to be born every year to families struggling with fertility.

“And as our nation’s LGBTQ+ community enjoys equality in the right to marry thanks to a Supreme Court decision in 2015, Amy Coney Barrett said at the time she agreed with the dissenting view of her mentor Justice Antonin Scalia. On other matters of equality, from the right to privacy to gay parents adopting, she has proudly said Scalia’s ‘judicial philosophy is mine.’

“Let me be clear – Republicans started packing this court when they refused to confirm President Obama’s qualified nominees to lower federal benches and blocked Merrick Garland from the Supreme Court without so much as a hearing. Never before in history has the Senate confirmed a Supreme Court justice while the election was already taking place. So I support the calls for reforms to our judicial system, because ultimately it is our democracy we must protect. We will not go back, and America’s women will not go back. And we must all send a very clear message, and go out and vote!”