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Sen. Coons worried about the rush to confirm Supreme Court Justice

The White House
Judge Amy coney Barrett at her nomination ceremony at the White House

Sen. Chris Coons is lambasting Senate Republicans for going ahead with a Supreme Court confirmation hearing when two Judiciary members are COVID-19 positive.


Barrett’s confirmation hearing is set to take place while two senators on the Judiciary Committee are currently COVID-19 positive and the Senate is going into recess until October 19th because of those cases.


Coons says it’s unreasonable that the Judiciary Committee is going through with a hearing while members will call into via Zoom.


He adds his colleagues have had very little time to go through the hundreds of cases Barrett previously ruled on to develop an accurate picture of her judicial record is like and what it could mean for the Supreme Court.


Coons had a pre-hearing conference with Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett Wednesday afternoon to get some answers on what people should expect if she’s confirmed.


Coons is extremely concerned that the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee are rushing through Barrett’s nomination to confirm her in time to rule any case related to the upcoming presidential election.


“There is no precedent in American History for a Supreme Court nominee being considered by the senate during the voting process of a presidential election," said Coons. "That has literally never happened.”


He notes in his call with Barrett, she did not say if she would recuse herself from any rulings on the upcoming election if confirmed.


Coons is also concerned the nomination is being rushed so Barrett could hear a case on the Affordable Care Act scheduled one week after the election - a case Coons says could cost millions of Americans their health insurance ruling if the ACA is struck down 


He also asked her about a range of rulings related to the right to privacy, such as abortion rights, or same sex marriage rulings. He says Barrett stated she respects precedent created by previous rulings, but declined to say whether she thought they were worth revisiting.


Coons says the only way to stall or block the nomination would be to convince two more Republican senators to vote no. But as of now, he says he can’t think of any willing to.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
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