On Saturday, Donald Trump formally nominated Amy Coney Barrett to take the place of late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg on the Supreme Court.
Barrett is a conservative 7th Circuit appeals judge from Indiana who has been a federal judge for three years. Early in her career she also served on George W. Bush’s legal team in the Bush v. Gore decision that handed the presidency to Bush despite his popular vote loss in 2000.
In his announcement Saturday, Trump described Barrett as a “towering intellect” who had “unyielding loyalty to the Constitution.”
In a statement released shortly after Barrett’s nomination was announced, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden called out the Trump administration’s ongoing effort to have the Affordable Care Act struck down, which would eliminate its protections for people with preexisting conditions. “Today, President Trump has nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett as the successor to Justice Ginsburg’s seat. She has a written track record of disagreeing with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act. She critiqued Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion upholding the law in 2012.”
“The American people know the U.S. Supreme Court decisions affect their everyday lives. The United States Constitution was designed to give the voters one chance to have their voice heard on who serves on the Court. That moment is now and their voice should be heard. The Senate should not act on this vacancy until after the American people select their next president and the next Congress,” Biden said.
Her nomination goes directly against Ginsburg’s dying wish, according to her granddaughter, who said Ginsburg, just days before her death last Friday at the age of 87, said: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
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The move also comes in stark contrast to Republicans’ successful efforts to block the appointment of President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, to the Supreme Court ahead of the 2016 presidential election after the death of late Supreme Courty Justice Antonin Scalia.
At the time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had said, “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president” — a statement that now goes against Senate Republicans’ efforts to secure Trump’s Supreme Court nominee within a month of the election.
Other leading contenders for the nomination included Kate Todd, the White House’s deputy counsel; Barbara Lagoa, a federal appeals judge from Florida; and Allison Rushing, a federal judge from North Carolina.