Many statements by Democratic candidates and sitting senators on Saturday cited the possible demise of the Affordable Care Act as the primary reason for Barrett. And while national polls may side with the Democrats to push the nomination through to the post-election period, it will be difficult to shake Barrett’s support. GOP leaders say she essentially already has the votes that need to be confirmed before the election.
Schumer acknowledges this difficulty, but says that external pressure could make all the difference. It will begin on Sunday when progressive groups at the Supreme Court hold a rally against Barrett, who is taking the seat of the late Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“Given the monomaniacal desire of Senate Republicans to fill this post as quickly as possible, the best way to defend these rights is with a bipartisan majority that refuses to vote on a Supreme Court candidate before the election,” said Schumer. “It won’t happen by itself. It requires public pressure on the Senate Republicans. Health care remains the best way to keep the pressure going. “
Schumer is trying to secure at least three seats in the fall to win back the majority.
Some Republicans acknowledge that health care was a political commitment for the party. The GOP campaigned against the Affordable Care Act for years just to keep it from repealing it. The Trump administration is now backing a lawsuit that could invalidate the law, even if it comes to maintaining protection from pre-existing conditions.
“It was a stupid thing when we all publicly say we are covering pre-existing conditions,” said Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.). “It gives them too much political fodder to work with for us to want to get rid of Obamacare, the essence of which was to cover pre-existing conditions and no coverage restrictions.” It was a strategic mistake by the Republicans. “
That lawsuit could be one of Barrett’s earliest orders if confirmed prior to the election.