Sen. Coons argues against Barrett confirmation at Senate hearing
The confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is underway in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
And Sen. Chris Coons used part of his time Monday to argue the hearing should not be taking place.
In his opening statement Delaware’s junior senator said the hearing is distracting from the Senate’s responsibility to constituents while also threatening to further tear the nation apart.
Coons says he has heard from Delawareans who want the Senate to tackle pandemic issues that help people and not these hearings.
"Because they don't know if it's safe for their kids to go to school, if their businesses will survive, or because they're wondering why on Earth this Senate is focused on racing forward with a Supreme Court nominee, but is not willing to take a vote to provide needed relief for them and their families," Coons said.
Coons adds there’s no precedent for confirming a nominee this close to an election where over 6 million people have already voted.
He also calls this hearing hypocritical after the Senate did not consider Merrick Garland’s nomination in 2016 because it was an election year. And he noted Senate Judiciary Committee chair Lindsey Graham’s 2018 comments saying he would not consider a nominee in an election year.
Coons also used his opening statement to point out established law, like the Affordable Care Act is at stake.
Coons argued over 393,000 people in Delaware with pre-existing conditions will be hurt if the Affordable Care Act is struck down. The Supreme Court is scheduled to take up a case involving the ACA next month.
Coons says this is about real people with real issues who’ve told him they rely on the ACA.
“My inbox and the inbox of all my colleagues are filled with stories like Carrie’s, Debbie’s, Barb’s and they highlight the breadth of what the ACA means to the American people: the ability of young people to stay on their family’s insurance, lower out-of-pocket costs for seniors’ prescriptions, the elimination of lifetime caps," said Coons. "These protections are on the line – on the docket of the Supreme Court."
Coons also points to Barrett’s past remarks about Supreme Court rulings on marriage equality and abortion that he believes put those precedents in jeopardy if she is confirmed.