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The Senate Judiciary Committee Ignores Constituents, Votes to Advance Nomination of Reproductive Rights Opponent Amy Coney Barrett

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, with only Republican senators present, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the United States Supreme Court — successfully taking the next step in the Senate majority’s unprecedented and illegitimate confirmation process, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham. This rush to fill the seat before passing any pandemic relief showcases a complete disregard for the global health crisis that has infected more than 8 million people in the U.S., taken the lives of more than 220,000, and left 7.9 percent of the workforce jobless. The partisan push to fill the seat also ignores that the election is already underway — more than 41 million people have already voted. 62% of Americans are saying this seat should be filled by the winner of the election — we must listen.

To the detriment of efforts to manage the health and economic impact of the pandemic, Majority Leader McConnell told Republicans he has advised the White House against striking a deal on a COVID-19 relief bill before Election Day, to avoid any interruption of the Barrett confirmation proceedings next week, according to the New York Times. The focus of all of our elected leaders should be on addressing the continued spread and ongoing ramifications of COVID-19 — not on this rushed and dangerous process to confirm a nominee to a lifetime position on the highest court in the land. 

To mark the illegitimacy of this process and the danger of this nominee, Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats boycotted today’s markup and vote. But Republicans senators on the Committee pushed forward, undeterred by the utter lack of normal order or bipartisan support for Barrett.

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“The Senate just took another step forward in their rush to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. This is not only a complete failure to do their job, it’s not what the American people want. In the midst of a global health care crisis, with more than 220,000 dead in this country, Mitch McConnell has openly admitted to prioritizing this sham process over passing critical, desperately needed COVID relief. Not only are Senate leaders compromising the safety and well-being of Americans by ignoring this pandemic, they’re doing it in order to confirm a Supreme Court nominee who is an active threat to our health and rights. The Senate must immediately stop this dangerous political theater, focus on actually helping people survive the ongoing public health crisis, and only fill this seat after Inauguration Day.”

Barrett spent her nomination hearing dodging questions on reproductive health care access, the Affordable Care Act, marriage equality, voting rights, and racial discrimination. But her judicial record, writings, and views are clear: she poses a direct threat to our reproductive health and rights, the Affordable Care Act, and more.

Despite the opposition of so many senators on the Judiciary Committee and the fact that millions of people have already voted, Mitch McConnell plans to hold a full Senate vote to confirm Barrett to Justice Ginsburg’s seat early next week. If the vote succeeds, Barrett will be seated on the Supreme Court just days before voting concludes in the 2020 election on November 3, with a case on the Affordable Care Act scheduled to be argued before the Court on November 10. This is the people’s seat; this rushed, blatantly partisan process is an insult to the legacy of Justice Ginsburg, the dignity of the nation’s highest court, and our democracy. It must be stopped. 


Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.


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