WASHINGTON, DC – After thoroughly reviewing Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s record, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today discussed his decision to vote against the nomination of Judge Coney Barrett for the United States Supreme Court.

Over the weekend, the U.S. Senate voted 51-48 on a key procedural motion on the nomination, setting up a final confirmation vote this evening.

Today, Senator Reed issued the following statement:

“I opposed Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to be a circuit court judge and I oppose her promotion to the Supreme Court.  I voted against her then and I vote against her now because all the evidence points to the fact that her ideology will deliberately make it harder for people’s voices to be heard and for justice to be served.

“This rushed, irregular process, undertaken in the midst of a pandemic and prioritizing one person’s lifetime appointment over the health and welfare of the American people is a disservice to the Senate and our country.  It drives us further apart and prioritizes one extremist nominee, coveted by the President, over the essential work of passing a bipartisan COVID relief package.

“Senate Republicans are guilty of rank hypocrisy when it comes to this nomination.  They refused to even meet with or hold a Supreme Court nomination hearing in the last year of President Obama’s term, but now they want Judge Coney Barrett confirmed just days ahead of Election Day, after more than 60 million votes have already been cast.

“The Supreme Court should have some semblance of balance and independence.  Seeking to remake the Supreme Court into an ideological extension of the Republican National Committee in this undemocratic manner in the midst of a pandemic risks undermining the very legitimacy of the Court itself.

“Republicans desperately want this nominee on the bench by November 3 for two reasons: to rule in President Trump’s favor on any Election Day lawsuits and to rule against the Affordable Care Act in a case that will be heard a week after Election Day.  Boosting President Trump’s chances to cling to power and terminating the Affordable Care Act are short-sighted, short-term goals and it begs credulity to think they are not the reason this nominee was considered in such a compressed, truncated manner.

“Beyond those short-term goals, Senate Republicans want another far right justice on the Supreme Court to weaken laws like the Voting Rights Act for decades to come.  They believe this nominee will provide them a political advantage for generations.  Given Judge Coney Barrett’s record, it is easy to understand why.

“This is a lifetime appointment.  Beyond potentially ruling on the validity of our current election, this nominee is likely to rule in ways that thwart democracy, empower corporations over people, and codify discriminatory policies.

“During her hearing, Judge Coney Barrett declined to affirm that climate change is happening.  She suggested people’s sexual orientation is simply a “preference” and has demonstrated in her writings and rulings an antipathy to past precedent.”