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Carper: “Today, we may not have the votes to stop this process or vote down this nominee. But that doesn’t make our efforts to fight for fairness any less right. Mr. President, I dissent.”

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) spoke on the Senate floor in opposition to the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Senator Carper denounced the confirmation process led by Senate Republicans in the midst of a global public health crisis and a rushed vote just eight days before a presidential election in which millions of votes have already been cast.

“When our Founders carefully designed our system of checks and balances, they did not envision a sham confirmation process for judicial nominees. But that’s what this has been,” said Senator Carper. “This entire process has become an exercise in raw political power – not the type of deliberative, non-partisan process our Founders envisioned. Frankly, it has been a process that I could never have envisioned 20 years ago when I was first elected to the United States Senate.”

Specifically, Senator Carper underscored what’s at stake for millions of Americans who rely on access quality, affordable health care, especially during a pandemic which has taken over 225,000 American lives. Just last night, in an interview with 60 Minutes, President Trump plainly stated that he hopes that Supreme Court ends the ACA. Unfortunately, if Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she could cast the deciding vote to overturn the ACA. Just one week after the election – on November 10th – the United States Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in a case brought by the Trump Administration and 18 Republican Attorneys General that would overturn the Affordable Care Act in its entirety.

Senator Carper continued, “Today, with more than 220,000 Americans dead and more than 8 million Americans infected with the coronavirus, not to mention 13 million unemployed, we are, in the midst of an election, rushing to confirm a controversial nominee from President Trump, who lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes and was impeached. Judge Barrett’s nomination was rushed out of Committee just 12 days before Election Day in a process that many believe was a clear violation of the rules of the Judiciary Committee… This confirmation process is shameful and unprecedented. If you’ve ever wondered what hypocrisy looks like, this is it.”

“Make no mistake: overturning the Affordable Care Act in the middle of the night and in the middle of the worst pandemic in a century will have devastating and far-reaching impacts on our health care system and nearly every American – including the more than eight million Americans who will have been left with a new pre-existing condition: coronavirus. But sadly, that is what our Republican colleagues are intent on doing as we battle COVID-19 every day and in every state of our country. Having failed nearly 100 times to repeal or chip away at the Affordable Care Act in Congress, Donald Trump and many of our Republican colleagues are now counting on the Supreme Court to do their work for them, and they are within one vote on that Court of achieving their goal. One vote.”

Senator Carper closed by reminding his colleagues of the legacy left behind by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the power of dissent.

“Today, we may not have the votes to stop this process or vote down this nominee. But that doesn’t make our efforts to fight for fairness any less right. I believe the American people will make their voices heard loud and clear on this sham of a confirmation process on Election Day. Like Justice Ginsburg, the American people are dissenting against this process and against this nominee, and I believe they will be voting in record numbers. In fact, they already are. Judge Barrett may be confirmed, but let history show that I have tried hard, both to follow the Golden Rule and the example of Justice Ginsburg, and that I refused to join the majority opinion. Mr. President, I dissent.”

Video of Senator Carper’s full remarks are available here.