Donna Brazile: Republicans endanger lives by jamming through another radical right-wing Supreme Court nominee

Donna Brazile on a Supreme Court nomination before the 2020 election

Fox News contributor Donna Brazile provides insight on why Democrats disagree with the GOP rushing to confirm Judge Barrett.

This week, Senate Judiciary Committee hearings began on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett for a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court. 

Putting aside the blatant hypocrisy of Senate Republicans who are trying to jam through Judge Barrett’s nomination less than 20 days before Election Day – and when approximately 10 million Americans have already cast their votes for the next president of the United States – this nomination endangers the lives of tens of millions of Americans who may lose their health care in the middle of a deadly pandemic if Judge Barrett is confirmed to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death.

Why, you might ask, am I being so dramatic? I’m not! 

This is a matter of life and death for many Americans. 

EMILY'S LIST PRESIDENT SCHRIOCK: AMY CONEY BARRETT SHOULD NOT BE CONFIRMED – HERE'S WHY

Simply put, President Donald Trump and his administration’s umpteenth lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be heard by the Supreme Court on November 10, exactly one week after an election that Trump and his Republican minions in the U.S. Senate may very well lose. 

And Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R– Ky., and Senate Republicans are holding confirmation hearings for Judge Barrett this week to guarantee that she will join her right-wing colleagues on the Supreme Court and cast a potentially tie-breaking vote in Trump’s case to invalidate the ACA – ripping health care away from 20 million Americans and eliminating protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions – rather than debate and vote on legislation to provide critical coronavirus relief to the American people.

Here’s the bottom line: By nominating Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court, President Trump is once again putting Americans’ health care at risk – this time during a deadly pandemic that has already killed more than 210,000 Americans. 

Instead of listening to the American people who, most polls say, overwhelmingly want the person elected president on Nov. 3 to select Justice Ginsburg’s replacement, Republicans are once again trying to change the subject from what’s at stake for everyday Americans if Judge Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court and casts the critical vote to overturn the ACA in the middle of a pandemic. 

Instead of voting on the HEROES Act (the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act), which was first passed by the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on May 15, 2020, or the HEROES Act 2.0, which was passed by the Democratic House on October 1, 2020 – both of which would provide critical coronavirus relief to long-suffering Americans – McConnell’s Republican-controlled Senate is solely focused on forcing another radical right-wing justice down the throats of the American people.

The $3 trillion HEROES Act and the subsequently slimmed-down $2.2 trillion HEROES Act 2.0 are intended to provide hazard pay for frontline health care workers, student debt forgiveness, and assistance to state and local governments. They bolster Medicaid and Medicare, among other essential health and economic relief to Americans suffering through one of the worst health crises in our history. 

Specifically, the HEROES Act 2.0 aims to address hardships caused by COVID-19 by including a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks and extended $600 weekly unemployment benefits. 

The Act also allocates $225 billion for schools and childcare, as well as assistance for airlines and the restaurant industry. 

Also included is a $100 per month increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in most states, rental assistance, and an ACA premium subsidy. This means that Americans who lost jobs during the pandemic would be eligible for the maximum $1,386 health insurance premium subsidy under the ACA. 

So what is the status of these bills in the U.S. Senate? DOA.  Dead on Arrival at McConnell’s desk. And with Trump flip-flopping every single day on whether he wants Republicans to support coronavirus relief for the American people, these bills are unlikely to go anywhere in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Instead, between now and Election Day, the only thing Trump, McConnell, and Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, care about is confirming Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court. 

That’s it. 

Confirm a justice who’ll take away American’s health care, rather than pass a coronavirus relief bill to protect American’s lives and livelihoods. 

This Republican obsession with packing the Supreme Court with another radical conservative judge is antithetical to the safety and security of the American people.

So what is Trump and McConnell’s strategy to pursue their shameful plot to subvert the will of the American people? As always, distract and deflect.

DISTRACT

Distract from Republicans’ utter lack of principles on judicial nominations by slandering Democrats with imaginary issues about the number of judges on our courts. 

But we will not be distracted! 

We will not forget that it’s Republicans, not Democrats, who have changed the number of judges on our federal courts. 

Specifically, in 2016 Republicans blocked an eminently qualified and moderate Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, for almost a year, long before Election Day. 

Some Republicans even said that if Hillary Clinton became president, they would never allow that vacancy to be filled. 

Other Republicans proposed removing three seats from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, sometimes called “the little supreme court,” and held-open federal court judgeships for years so that President Barack Obama could not fill them. 

I’ll put it to you this way: Republicans don’t care about the number of federal judges, as long as those judges are right-wing radical conservatives.

DEFLECT

Deflect from Republicans’ deeply unpopular policies by achieving through the Supreme Court what they cannot achieve through bipartisan governing. To use Judge Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court to, in Trump’s own words, “terminate” the ACA, strip women of their reproductive rights by overturning Roe v. Wade, undermine protections for workers, and reverse hard-fought gains for LGBTQ Americans. 

If Trump and McConnell’s plot to confirm Judge Barrett is successful, every American would stand to lose vital health care protections, seniors would see drug costs skyrocket, families would lose health coverage during a pandemic, and women could be charged more than men for insurance simply because they are women. 

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Talk about endangering the health and safety of the American people via an unprincipled and rule-breaking power grab!

So I’ll conclude with this message for my Republican friends in the U.S. Senate: If you have no principles and you break all the rules, you reap the whirlwind.

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