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Biden, Harris, McConnell, Other Lawmakers React to Amy Coney Barrett’s Nomination

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Trump has nominated U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court on Saturday.

Speaking from the White House Rose Garden, Trump called the 48-year-old judge “one of our nation’s most brilliant and gifted legal minds.” 

“If the Senate does me the honor of confirming me, I pledge to discharge the responsibilities of this job to the very best of my ability,” Barrett said.

If confirmed, Barrett would be the youngest Supreme Court Justice, and her tenure could last for decades.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, including Trump’s opponent, Joe Biden, and his running mate, Kamala Harris, reacted to the nomination.

In a statement, Biden attacked Barrett’s “written track record of disagreeing with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act. She critiqued Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion upholding the law in 2012.”

Biden said that the Senate “should not act on this vacancy until after the American people select their next president and the next Congress.”

“Vote like your health care is on the ballot — because it is,” he added on Twitter.

In a statement, Sen. Harris (D-CA) said that “Just yesterday, I paid my respects to the legendary Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” adding that “it would be a travesty to replace her with a justice who is being selected to undo her legacy and erase everything she did for our country.”

“With the next Supreme Court Justice set to determine the fate of protections for those with preexisting health conditions, and reproductive health options, I will continue to fight on behalf of the people and strongly oppose the president’s nomination,” Harris, who will be one of the people questioning Barrett on the Judiciary Committee, added.

The chair of the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), said Barrett “is highly qualified in all the areas that matter – character, integrity, intellect, and judicial disposition.”

Graham is in a tight senate race with Democrat Jamie Harrison, who replied to Graham’s Twitter post about Barrett claiming that “the Affordable Care Act wouldn’t even exist if @LindseyGrahamSC had his way.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called Barrett “an exceedingly well-qualified nominee to the Supreme Court” and said that Trump “could not have made a better decision.” 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that “by nominating Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, President Trump has once again put Americans’ healthcare in the crosshairs.”

Schumer’s New York counterpart, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, said that Barrett’s nomination “product of a corrupt, illegitimate process that undermines the will of the American people” and called her unfit to serve on the Supreme Court.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) said that he looks forward to meeting with Barrett, calling her a “highly-respected jurist with distinguished legal and academic credentials.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said that he believes Barrett “will make an excellent justice that will serve our country and Constitution well.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the head of the House Intelligence Committee, swore “no confirmation before inauguration,” seemingly foreshadowing a Congressional showdown over Barrett’s nomination.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), who serves on the Judiciary Committee, seemed to echo the essence Rep. Schiff’s message, saying that he “will refuse to treat this process as legitimate & will not meet with Judge Amy Coney Barrett.”

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) said that Barrett is “an incredible, well-qualified judge who interprets the Constitution.”

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) wrote a long thread on Twitter outlining why she will be opposing Barrett’s nomination, listing, among other reasons, “a long history of being anti-choice and an explicit willingness to reverse SC precedent – endangering the protections of Roe v Wade.”

Former presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) posted a video to Twitter discussing her opposition to Barrett’s nomination.

 “And make no mistake,” Warren wrote in her Twitter post caption, “Trump is counting on her to swing the Supreme Court in his favor when he loses this election.”

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) called Barrett “an excellent nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court and I look forward to hearing her testimony” before the Judiciary Committee.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) shared a video of Barrett telling CBS News in 2016 why she opposed then-President Obama’s decision to nominate a Supreme Court Justice in an election year.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who was named to President Trump’s Supreme Court short list, said that he looks forward to supporting Barrett’s nomination.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said that “We can’t be silent as [Trump] tries to rush a Supreme Court Justice through the Senate,” adding that “the American people deserve to have their voices heard.”

Meanwhile, in what appears to be a tongue-in-cheeck nod to Justice Ginsburg’s nickname, “Notorious RBG,” the National Republican Senatorial Committee has begun selling “Notorious A.C.B.” shirts.

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