Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called on the Senate not to vote on President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court until after the November election Fox News reported. The former vice-president also revealed what is likely to be the Democratic line in opposition to the president’s Supreme Court nominee. “I urge every senator to take a step back from the brink, take off the blinders of politics for just one critical moment, and stand up for the Constitution you swore to uphold,” said Biden. “Just because you have the power to do something doesn’t absolve you of your responsibility to do right by the American people. Uphold your constitutional duty, summon your conscience.”
As a long-time former Senator himself, Biden presumably knows that the Constitution states that the President “by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint…Judges of the supreme Court.” The Constitution makes no mention of any timetable for such proceedings.
NPR reported that Biden justified his request to the Senate by claiming early voting had already begun in some states.
The president nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the seat vacated by the recent death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
President Trump indicated on Sunday that he believes the confirmation process will be a quick one. “I think we could have it done easily before the election. I think she’ll be confirmed […] relatively long before the election,” he said.
Biden’s Sunday remarks also previewed the most likely line of attack Democrats will attempt against Barrett’s nomination. “The Republican Party has been trying to eliminate [the ACA] for a decade. Twice already, the Supreme Court has upheld that law. And the Congress, expressing the popular will of the American people, has rejected President Trump’s efforts as well,” Biden said. “It should come as no surprise that on Saturday, President Trump would nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett and on Sunday lay out clearly what is objective is: to terminate Obamacare.”
Biden further referenced Barrett’s previous opposition to Obamacare. “The judge… has a written track record — written track record of disagreeing adamantly with the Supreme Court’s decisions on two occasions, upholding the ACA. In fact, not as a judge, but prior to going on the bench, she publicly criticized Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion upholding the law, eight years ago,” Biden said.
President Trump quickly refuted Biden’s defense of the Affordable Care Act, tweeting on Sunday, “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!”
Democrats face a difficult task in trying to oppose Barrett’s nomination. They are trying hard to court the votes of suburban women and an outright attack on Barrett in the Senate, as was done to Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his hearings, would likely be a major turn-off to women voters throughout the country. There has already been pushback against another potential avenue of attacking Barrett – her religion. Barrett is Catholic, the largest single denomination of Christians in the United States, and a coveted voting constituency. Any attacks on Barrett’s faith are likely to be received poorly among Catholics.
Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) has set October 12 as the beginning of the Senate proceedings concerning Barrett’s nomination.