A senior Democratic senator lashed out at her Republican colleagues, accusing them of committing to support a pending Supreme Court nominee “virtually guaranteed to tip the balance of the court against people’s health care.”
“The entire country is going to be hearing about what another Supreme Court nominee by President Trump would mean for their health care and their rights,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the ranking Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said at a committee hearing on the administration’s pandemic response Wednesday.
Murray’s remarks come after Trump has said he plans to announce Saturday his choice to succeed Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died of cancer Friday night. Ginsburg was a pioneering champion of women’s rights and the senior justice of the court’s liberal bloc. In his third opportunity to nominate a member of the nine-justice court, the president has made clear he will select someone with a conservative record.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic that caused millions of Americans to lose jobs and health benefits — and millions more whose infections with covid-19, the illness caused by the virus, have left them with new preexisting medical conditions — “none of that has stopped Republicans from using every tool at their disposal, including the Supreme Court, to attack health care and protections for families across our country,” Murray said.
The high court is scheduled to consider for a third time the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act during the term that begins next month.
Two members of the Senate’s GOP majority, Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) have said they oppose the chamber considering Trump’s nominee this year — parallel to Republicans’ opposition to hold a hearing or vote on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee early in the 2016 election year. The opposition of two Republicans now is too few to prevent Trump’s nomination from moving forward.