Center for American Progress Action

Amy Coney Barrett doesn’t have to tell us who she is. We already know.

Amy Coney Barrett doesn’t have to tell us who she is. We already know.

This piece was originally published in the October 14, 2020 edition of CAP Action’s daily newsletter, the Progress Report. Subscribe to the Progress Report here.

Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

“Health care is on the line.”

Amy Klobuchar

Amy Coney Barrett’s rushed nomination is a threat to millions of breast cancer survivors like Kimberly, whose lives are at stake if the ACA is struck down.

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  • It’s day three of the Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Amy Coney Barrett spent the day evading questions about presidential pardons, failing to acknowledge that climate change is driven by humans, and refusing to say whether she believes Trump could legally follow through on his recent suggestion of delaying the November election.
  • We’re noticing a pattern here. Since Monday, Barrett has calmly and repeatedly declined to answer, well, any questions she’s been asked. She won’t tell us where she stands on Roe, the ACA, or any other major contested legal issue of our time. She’s justified this stonewalling with misleading references to a “Ginsburg” principle, which is actually the opposite of what she’s doing, and her own writings, in which she again argued the opposite of what she’s now claiming. (That’s not to say we don’t know her views on these issues — she’s been outspoken on ending both Roe and the ACA.)
  • On top of being cagey about the right-wing views we know she holds, Barrett also couldn’t answer a softball question in which she was asked to name the five First Amendment freedoms. A true “originalist.”
  • Barrett faced criticism from Democratic senators yesterday for using the term “sexual preference” when discussing same-sex marriage cases. LGBTQ+ advocates pointed out that the term “sexual preference” wrongly characterizes a person’s gender identity and sexual orientation as choices, which is actually a term that anti-LGBTQ+ hate groups recommend that their followers use.
  • This is more than just a disagreement over terminology. In 2015, the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges ruling which made marriage equality the law of the land noted that one’s sexual orientation is an “immutable characteristic” under the law, much like a person’s sex, which means it can trigger heightened scrutiny of laws that have a discriminatory effect on certain groups. But this classification is still being challenged by anti-LGBTQ+ groups — and the outcome could determine whether LGBTQ+ Americans are protected from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation.
  • One of those anti-LGBTQ+ groups is the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. Amy Coney Barrett just so happens to have held a faculty position at one of the ADF’s fellowships. And this afternoon, she refused to say whether she agreed with the decision in Obergefell.

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  • In a story that perfectly captures the state of our country, Goldman Sachs reported soaring profits today while millions of Americans are still suffering financially. With thousands of businesses closed permanently, many people remain unemployed — with no active monetary support from the federal government and a president with no plans to do anything about it.
  • Trump is in Des Moines, Iowa today for another dangerous rally just over a week after leaving the hospital following his treatment for COVID-19. Today’s event will be the fourth of seven scheduled in-person rallies following the revelation of his diagnosis on October 2. Rather than quarantine for the CDC-recommended two-week period, Trump instead has continued to minimize the pandemic and put Americans at risk by holding four in-person rallies this week alone.
  • Instead of addressing the dual health and economic crises, Republicans are jamming through a SCOTUS nominee who would strike down the ACA, hurting millions of women in the process. In a new report, our friends over at the CAP Women’s Initiative break down the harms to women if Amy Coney Barrett votes to repeal the ACA in the middle of the pandemic. Among other things, without ACA protections, insurers could (and did!) charge women more for coverage simply because of their gender — costing women $1 billion more than men annually.


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