House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Sunday went after President Trump for being in a “hurry” to confirm his conservative Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett in order to invalidate the Affordable Care Act, given how the court is set to hear a case on the ACA just days after the November presidential election.
On Saturday, Trump’s official nomination of Barrett to fill the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg drew backlash from top Democrats, which included Pelosi and Senate Minority Speaker Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Both Pelosi and Schumer warned that Barrett’s nomination could threaten access to health care as well as other consequential policy issues.
Barrett, a favorite among right-wing activists and religious conservatives for her views on abortion and health care, would solidify a 6-3 conservative majority at the Supreme Court if confirmed. The Senate Judiciary Committee is reportedly likely to begin a confirmation hearing on Oct. 12 for Barrett.
A day after nominating Barrett to the Supreme Court, Trump gloated in a tweet that it would be a “big win” if the court struck down the ACA.
Obamacare will be replaced with a MUCH better, and FAR cheaper, alternative if it is terminated in the Supreme Court. Would be a big WIN for the USA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2020
During an interview on CNN Sunday morning, Pelosi said that she is primarily concerned that Trump nominated Barrett to undo the Affordable Care Act, and reasoned that’s why the President is in a “hurry.”
“That is why he was in such a hurry, so he could have someone in place for the oral arguments, which begin November 10,” Pelosi said. “And it doesn’t matter what the process is here — what matters is what it means personally to the American people.”
Pelosi went on to list several reasons for why the ACA would be at stake if struck down by the Supreme Court, before being pressed on her remark in 2016 when she argued that Merrick Garland, then-President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick, was “owed a vote” in the Senate.
“If Judge Garland was owed a vote, then isn’t Judge Barrett owed one as well?” CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Pelosi.
After Tapper responded that the late Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in February 2016 — almost nine months before the presidential election — when Pelosi asked, the House speaker said, “this is now September, so the time frame is quite different that this court would go that long a time without a justice.”
Pelosi told Tapper that she does not “see any equivalence in what you are presenting.”
Watch Pelosi’s remarks below:
“What I am concerned about is anyone that President Trump would have appointed was there to undo the Affordable Care Act. That is why he was in such a hurry,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says on President Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/T77kno2t0b
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) September 27, 2020