Schumer Says He Won’t Meet Barrett Amid ‘Illegitimate Process’

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) listens during a news conference following the weekly Democratic caucus luncheon where U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Health a... WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) listens during a news conference following the weekly Democratic caucus luncheon where U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and members of the coronavirus task force briefed senators on March 3, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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September 29, 2020 11:33 a.m.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Tuesday that he would not meet with President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee who is set to meet senators on Capitol Hill.

In a tweet early Tuesday, Schumer indicated that he would not meet with Amy Coney Barrett, the conservative current 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge who President Trump officially nominated on Saturday to the Supreme Court. 

“Why would I meet with a nominee of such an illegitimate process and one who is determined to get rid of the Affordable Care Act?” Schumer said.

The comments come after Schumer previously said at a news conference over the weekend that he would not meet with Trump’s Supreme Court nominee who is poised to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — a liberal icon whose recent death that coincided closely with the November presidential election sparked controversy about when to fill a vacant seat on the hight court. 

The prominent Democrat said Sunday that he wouldn’t meet Barrett “because I believe, first, that the whole process has been illegitimate, and, second, because she has already stated that she is for overturning the ACA.”

Protecting health care amid the coronavirus pandemic has become a leading message in an effort made by Democrats to undermine Trump’s nomination of Barrett, who is expected to challenge the Obama-era policy. Just a week after the election, the Supreme Court will hear the latest challenge to the policy — which holds the health care of roughly 23 million people in the United States in the balance.

Schumer’s remarks were welcomed by Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal (CT), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and Mazie Hirono (HI), who have indicated they won’t meet one-on-one with Trump’s nominee. They signal a departure, however, from comments made by colleagues Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), who said Sunday that they were open to meeting with Barrett. 

“If Judge Barrett’s views become law, hundreds of millions of Americans living w/pre-existing conditions would lose access to their health care. In the middle of a pandemic, rushing confirmation of an extreme jurist who will decimate health care is unconscionable,” Blumenthal tweeted Saturday. “I will refuse to treat this process as legitimate & will not meet with Judge Amy Coney Barrett.”

Gillibrand also called the process “illegitimate” in a tweet Sunday, writing, “I will not meet with Judge Amy Coney Barrett. This nomination process is illegitimate. I refuse to participate in the further degradation of our democracy and our judiciary.”

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