“We’re focusing on the issues and the merits. And on the illegitimacy of the process. We’re not focusing on the personal traits of Amy Coney Barrett. Zero,” Schumer said. “Republicans are so afraid of health care issues and the women’s reproductive rights … they’re trying to create a distraction. “
The senators have been preparing for the possibility of a vacancy for months. Senate Republicans vowed in May that shortly after Ginsburg’s hospitalization they would occupy an opening this year. That same month, advisors to the Democratic leadership and the Senate Judiciary Committee began planning a potential vacancy, according to an adviser to the Democratic leadership. In these discussions, Democrats focused on their messages, including a focus on health care.
With no procedural tools in place to prevent Barrett from being retried in the Supreme Court, the only weapon Democrats have is message sending. However, Brian Fallon, executive director of the liberal Demand Justice group, says the Democrats on the Justice Committee have so far “sleepwalked”.
“Dianne Feinstein, Chris Coons and Dick Durbin pouted at how Republicans got the votes. And they should convince the country of what a partisan takeover this is, ”said Fallon, whose group is spending millions on Barrett’s nomination. “Get Passionate.”
Coons replied that he will be as “passionate and powerful” as he can be.
“There are some people who are literally never happy no matter what we do,” he said.
Democrats will question Barrett’s previous writings on Obamacare, including her criticism of Chief Justice John Roberts for choosing to comply with the law. Your views on abortion will also surface. She has described abortion as “always immoral,” but she has suggested that too Roe v. calf will endure in some form.
“This candidate poses a clear and current health care threat that everyone should be talking about, but that’s just the beginning,” said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), who also serves on the Judiciary Committee. “She has a position on abortion.”
The Democrats hope their questions will create tension between the committee Conservatives who want the ACA overturned and Roe cracked, and those who are standing for re-election and who are staying away from such proposals.
Schumer refused to comment directly on how Senate Republicans’ endorsement of Barrett could affect major Senate races. As an optimist, he said this was a fight like the one to save Obamacare when Schumer helped convince former Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) To step up his party’s repeal efforts.
“This is our job to push this as hard as we can. We know that it is not an easy fight and that Trump is a vengeful guy and anyone who goes against him has suffered,” Schumer said of Senate Republicans who opposed tangle with the president.
Still, there were always enough senators complaining about Obamacare repeal to potentially fuel the bill. When it comes to Barrett, only two out of 53 GOP senators will decline their approval before the election. Getting two more looks is impossible.
Democrats “make this far-fetched argument that this is somehow part of a large right-wing conspiracy against the ACA.” said Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the judiciary committee. Regarding a possible drama at the hearing, he commented, “I don’t think it’s what we do that matters [Republicans] but do what they do. “
Heather Caygle contributed to this report.