WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Trump announced he will nominate 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), who previously voted against Barrett’s nomination to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, issued the following statement:

“I oppose this unprecedented process to drag the Court down an extremist, polarized path and therefore I oppose this nomination.

“This is a not-so-subtle effort to terminate the Affordable Care Act and end protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

“Republicans like to rail against activist judges who legislate from the bench, but this is the ultimate attempt to substitute the judiciary for the legislative branch and override the will of the American people.

“The end result will be millions of Americans losing access to health care in the midst of a pandemic and an end to protections for people with pre-existing conditions, including people who’ve tested positive for COVID.  It will throw young people off their parents’ health care and eliminate the tax credits that make health care affordable for millions. 

“There is not popular support for the Trump Administration’s misguided view that climate change isn’t real, so they run to the courts to block clean air laws.

“There is not popular support for Senator McConnell’s opposition to campaign finance reform and reducing the power of giant corporations, so they run to the courts to overturn what little campaign finance and anti-corruption laws we have. 

“There is not popular support for their stance that the Voting Rights Act -- one of our greatest civil rights achievements -- is not needed, so they run to the courts to weaken the principle of one person, one vote.

“That’s where we are, and Senator McConnell and the President can do this because they have relentlessly and ruthlessly chosen power over principle.  Cynicism over compromise.  Their way or no way when it comes to the courts.  Republicans bragged they had the votes to confirm before they even had a nominee.  Now they are rushing this process to install a Trump-appointed justice who may rule in his favor if he follows through on his radical plan to challenge the election’s results and resist a peaceful transfer of power.

“We are in the midst of a pandemic and President Trump’s botched response has contributed to the loss of thousands of American lives.  While people are dying and suffering, President Trump and his enablers want to change the subject, and change the direction of the judiciary, by packing it with those who will aggressively overrule precedent and reinterpret the Constitution to suit their partisan agenda.”