Senators divided along predictable partisan lines in the first day of Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination hearings as grandstanding Democrats failed to make any dent in Barrett’s support.
Opponents of Barrett — aware they face a nearly impossible job of derailing the nomination — instead tried to turn the Judiciary Committee hearings into a scripted attack on Republicans, President Trump, the “illegitimate” hearings and allege that Barrett would pull the plug on Americans’ health care — all while a mask-clad Barrett watched calmly.
“I think this hearing is a sham,” an impassioned Sen. Amy Klobuchar said. “I think it shows real messed-up priorities from the Republican Party.”
Barrett successfully presented herself as a well-qualified legal mind devoted to her family and the law in her brief comments introducing herself.
“Courts have a vital responsibility for the rule of law, which is critical to a free society,” Barrett said. “But courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life.”
Not exactly groundbreaking stuff.
Nothing Democrats did changed anything — and in fact they were afraid to raise Barrett’s Catholic faith as an issue even though the media are pushing that as a controversy.
Instead the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee tried to turn the nomination into a referendum on Obamacare, which could be tossed out by the Supreme Court in a post-election decision.
“The Supreme Court nominee has signaled in the judicial equivalent of all caps that she believes the Affordable Care Act must go, and that the precedent protecting the ACA doesn’t matter,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said. “The big secret to influences behind this unseemly rush see this nominee as a judicial torpedo they are firing at the ACA.”
The high court is scheduled to hear arguments the week after Election Day on a case challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare. While President Trump has said he wants the ACA overthrown, Barrett herself has never publicly said how she would rule but she did write an article several years ago criticizing other courts in their Obamacare rulings.
That provided the basis for nearly all of the Democrats’ well orchestrated attacks on Monday.
In a tug-the-heartstrings move, Democrats brought out people whose lives they said were saved by treatment through Obamacare, and who could be endangered by losing their health care.
President Trump acted the part of haranguing backseat driver on Monday, urging fellow Republicans to point out that Democrats’ attacks were false.
“Get the word out! Will always protect pre-existing conditions,” Trump tweeted.
Republicans did staunchly defend Barrett and blasted Democrats for trying to use her religious faith against her — even though no Democrats actually had the stones to do that publicly Monday.
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