‘Unconscionable’ Power Grab, Rights ‘Wrecking Ball’: Critics Erupt Over Barrett Nomination

Critics blew up Saturday after President Donald Trump formally announced his nomination of conservative Amy Coney Barrett to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s place on the Supreme Court.

Trump was slammed for both his choice — and for an “unconscionable” power grab to ram through Barrett’s confirmation just over five weeks before the presidential election. Barrett is viewed as a dire threat to immigrant, LGBTQ and reproductive rights, soft on discrimination, out to destroy the Affordable Care Act, and a major booster for gun rights.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sounded the alarm that Barrett will “work to gut Roe v. Wade” and the Affordable Care Act, “taking health care coverage from millions of people.”

Lara Bazelon, a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, warned in a New York Times op ed: “Make no mistake: Judge Barrett’s confirmation will be the wrecking ball that finally smashes Roe v. Wade and undoes the Affordable Care Act.” 

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) pointed out the insanity of eliminating health care coverage in the “middle of a pandemic.”

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) hit on the same two issues, warning that Barrett’s selection would “move the court further right for a generation & harm millions of Americans.”

Joe Biden said the Senate shouldn’t act on Trump’s nomination “until after the American people select their next president and the next Congress. Americans deserve to be heard.”

Walter Shaub, former director of the federal Office of Government Ethics, said Barrett’s willingness to accept a controversial nomination under the circumstances is troubling in itself, revealing a “disqualifying lack of character.”

Fred Guttenberg — father of Jaime Guttenberg, who was killed at the age of 14 in the Parkland, Florida, school shootings — hit Barrett over one of her controversial court dissents arguing that felons have the right to own guns — unless they’re first proven to be dangerous.

“Fight this nomination as if you life depends on it,” he warned. “It does.”

The head of the Center for Reproductive Rights blasted Trump’s choice Saturday as an “assault on the integrity of the Supreme Court.”

“President Donald Trump has nominated a replacement who would gut Justice Ginsburg’s legacy and turn back five decades of advancement for reproductive rights,” CEO Nancy Northup said in a statement. 

“The Senate Majority’s attempt to bulldoze this deeply troubling nomination through before the inauguration in January is unconscionable, an insult to the American public, an assault on the integrity of the Supreme Court, and a threat to critical constitutional rights,” she added.

Latinos for a Fair Judiciary ripped Trump’s announcement as “another dangerous step in superseding the will of the American people.” 

Barrett’s “track record shows she is hostile to women’s access to reproductive health services, has consistently put big corporate interests ahead of workers, and supports the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant agenda,” Mónica Ramírez, founder and president of Justice for Migrant Women, said in a statement. “This rushed nomination process is a power grab to deny us equal justice, and we must mobilize to stop it.” 

Barrett’s nomination threatens to inaugurate a “radical shift in the Supreme Court away from equal rights and equal treatment under the law,” warned Florida International University Law Professor Ediberto Roman.

The never-Trumper Republican Lincoln Project accused Trump and his supporters of lusting for power at the expense of the nation they are supposed to serve.

“In times of great political stress, wise leaders understand the necessity to step back from the brink,” said Reed Galen, co-founder of The Lincoln Project. “Instead, Trump and Republican Senators have decided to put their own political fortunes ahead of focusing on addressing the Covid-19 pandemic, 200,000 lost Americans, protecting pre-existing conditions and providing essential relief for struggling Americans.”

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