Sen. Tina Smith said she’s a “firm no” on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.
President Donald Trump officially announced Barrett’s nomination during a Saturday press conference, calling her one of the nation’s “most brilliant and gifted legal minds.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to begin confirmation hearings on Oct. 12 and they are expected to last four days, NPR reported.
“Americans need Supreme Court Justices who will protect the rights of all Americans, and deliver equal justice for all. Judge Barrett’s record opposing the Affordable Care Act and reproductive rights for women shows that she is not qualified to safeguard our constitutional rights and liberties as a member of our nation’s highest court,” Smith said in a statement. “It is for those reasons that I will oppose the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.”
Touting her record as “the only senator who used to work at Planned Parenthood,” Smith said on Twitter Monday that she’s a “firm no” on Barrett’s nomination.
As the only Senator who used to work at Planned Parenthood, I will always fight to protect reproductive rights. That starts with opposing judges whose record shows they will oppose those rights at every turn.
I’m a firm no on Judge Barrett’s nomination.
— Senator Tina Smith (@SenTinaSmith) September 28, 2020
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, was more vague in her comments, but did say she is “disappointed the president is not honoring Justice Ginsburg’s final and ‘most fervent wish’ that she not be replaced until after a new president is installed.”
“With Americans already voting, the president is trying to jam through a nominee who has already voiced serious opposition to upholding the Affordable Care Act,” said Klobuchar.
“One week after the election, the Supreme Court is set to consider the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and its guarantee that insurance companies can’t throw Americans off their insurance if they have pre-existing conditions. This is a nominee who has repeatedly signaled her willingness to overturn important Supreme Court precedents,” she added.
Republican Senate candidate Jason Lewis said the president “has made a superb choice” and urged the Senate to “confirm her as soon as possible.”
“Considering Democrats are insisting that mail-in ballots be counted after election day and are already urging Biden to refuse to concede, the potential exists for the election results to be in question and it’s possible the Supreme Court could be called upon to adjudicate the outcome,” said Lewis. “Sen. Tina Smith claims to represent women, but she’s already pledged to block Judge Barrett, a brilliant and accomplished jurist. This is just the height of hypocrisy.”