Elected officials, leadership in Virginia respond to Trump’s Supreme Court nomination


VIRGINIA (WAVY) — Elected officials and leadership throughout Virginia have released statements responding to President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his third U.S. Supreme Court appointment.

U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement after the announcement on Saturday.

There is so much on the line with this Supreme Court vacancy. The next justice has the opportunity to decide the future of the Affordable Care Act, and whether Americans with preexisting conditions will continue to be protected, or if millions of Americans covered by the ACA will have their health care ripped away in the middle of a pandemic.

Everything from health care to reproductive rights to voting rights hangs in the balance. Given the stakes, the American people have a right to have their voices heard before the confirmation of a new justice.

This is not a question of judicial qualifications or temperament – this is about following the standard established by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2016, when he refused – over my own strong objections – to consider President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee 10 months prior to the election. That’s now the precedent.

We can’t have one set of rules for Democratic presidents, and a different set of rules for Republican presidents. Our system of checks and balances, which has held strong and lasting for more than 200 years, was simply not meant to bear the brunt of such cynicism and hypocrisy. 

U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA)

In closing, Warner says that the Commonwealth is already voting, and “The Senate should not be considering a Supreme Court nomination before Inauguration Day.”

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement today on the nomination.

I’ve said from the beginning that Senator McConnell should follow his own precedent from 2016: this vacancy should be filled by the winner of the ongoing election. I intend to follow that precedent and will not support anyone’s confirmation until we know the election results.

There are less than 40 days between now and Election Day, and voting is already underway in Virginia and other states. Given the stakes—health care, fundamental rights, the integrity of the Court—rushing a confirmation vote before the American people have weighed in would be reckless.

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine

Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the nomination.

In 2016, Senate Republicans made a sanctimonious production out of not filling Supreme Court vacancies in an election year when there were over ten months remaining in President Obama’s second term. As people are already voting, Senate Republicans are violating their own established principle without any concern for hypocrisy or fundamental fairness.

For over three and a half years, President Trump has been relentless in his attacks on Americans’ access to affordable health care. Last June, during the height of this pandemic, his administration filed a brief with the Supreme Court asking them to invalidate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in its entirety. If they are successful then tens of millions of people will lose their health insurance, people with pre-existing conditions will lose their protections, affordability credits will evaporate, and consumer protections will be lost.

It is no coincidence that the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the latest case that could tear down the ACA days after the election. As the Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, I am also concerned about the right to a public education consistent with Brown v. Board of Education; employees’ rights, including the right to organize and collectively bargain; and protections against discrimination.

Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) 

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