TRANSCRIPT: At Press Conference With Judiciary Committee Democrats Boycotting Illegitimate SCOTUS Markup, Schumer Lays Out Dire Consequences Judge Barrett’s Nomination Poses To Americans’ Health Care And Fundamental Rights

October 22, 2020

Washington, D.C.— Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today at a press conference spoke about the Senate Judiciary Committee markup on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Senator Schumer outlined how Judge Barrett’s nomination poses a threat to Americans’ health care and fundamental rights and that the Senate majority should not move forward with this illegitimate process. A transcript can be found below:

I am here to stand with my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee who are boycotting today’s committee markup on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

This is not a decision that the members of the Committee have taken lightly. But a Republican majority has left us no choice: we are boycotting this illegitimate hearing.

The nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett is the most illegitimate process I have ever witnessed in the Senate, and her potential confirmation will have dire, dire consequences for the Senate, for the Supreme Court, and our entire country for generations to come.

The Senate Republican majority is conducting the most rushed, the most partisan, and the least legitimate nomination to the Supreme Court in our nation's history. Her potential confirmation will have dire consequences for the Senate, for the Supreme Court, and our entire country for generations to come.

Democrats will not lend a single ounce of legitimacy to this sham vote in the Judiciary Committee.

We are voting with our feet. We are standing together. And we are standing against this unprecedented mad rush to jam through a Supreme Court nomination just days, days before an election.

Today, the seats of Democrats members of the committee will remain empty. Instead, they will be filled by reminders of what is ultimately at stake. Photos of Americans whose lives will be turned upside down if a Justice Barrett delivers the decisive vote to secure the long-held Republican goal of destroying the Affordable Care Act, stripping health care and pre-existing protections from over 100 million Americans. 

You could imagine, alongside their faces, the faces of women who cherish the right to make their own private medical decisions.

The faces of LGBTQ Americans who want to marry who they love and not be fired for who they are.

The faces of American workers who are breaking their backs to make ends meet and want their union to help them get a better wage.

The faces of young people who know the globe is in peril in their lifetimes.

The bottom line is very simple – the Senate should not be moving forward on this nomination. To call this process illegitimate is actually being too kind, Chairman Graham has broken the rules of the committee to move forward with a vote on Judge Barrett anyway. The rules require two members of the minority to be present to vote anyone out of committee.

But Chairman Graham just steamrolled over them. Just like the Republican majority, has steamrolled over principle, fairness, honesty, truth and decency in their rush to confirm a Justice.

The United States Senate has never – never – considered a Supreme Court Justice this close to a national presidential election day. Especially one in which tens of millions of Americans have already voted. The American people oppose this and can see the hypocrisy in real time.

It is a hallmark of democracy that might should not make right. But Republicans are blatantly ignoring this principle. The American people know what’s going on.  They’re not fooled. They know this process is a sham, a naked power grab. And it’s no mystery why they’re doing it. This is the culmination of a decades’ long effort to skew the courts to the far-right.

What Republicans and the far-right cannot accomplish through the legislature, they’re trying to accomplish through the judiciary.

Senate Republicans tried and failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, so President Trump and Republican Attorneys General are suing to eliminate the law in court. And now, if Senate Republicans confirm Judge Barrett—someone we all know is critical of decisions upholding the ACA—they could be on the brink of achieving their goal.

That’s what this is all about.

The American people—who are voting right now by the tens of millions—are not fooled by this farce of a confirmation process and they know what’s at stake, their rights, if Amy Coney Barret is confirmed. This nomination should not, should not go forward.

 

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