On Monday, US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas facilitated the swearing in of Amy Coney Barret as the latest member of the highest court in the US. Her addition replaces the recently deceased Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“Following a unanimous vote by the Judiciary Committee last week, the Senate confirmed Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett to become the 115th Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court,” announced the White House. With just eight days until the presidential election, the move by the GOP to place a right-wing judge into the Supreme Court to ensure a conservative sway is an unprecedented move on both sides of the aisle.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the confirmation a “partisan theft” that “will go down as one of the darkest days in the 231-year history of the United States Senate.”
What does a Barrett confirmation mean for Democrats, progressives and non-conservatives
Democrats and affordable healthcare advocates fear that Justice Barrett’s new position will position the Trump Administration to dismantle the Affordable Care Act that got passed during the Barack Obama Administration. In his campaign promises, President Trump committed to replacing ACA with another plan. Currently in the docket for the Supreme Court is the case, California vs. Texas, which challenges the annual tax ACA imposes on people without health insurance.
If the annual tax is ruled unconstitutional than striking down the ACA disrupts healthcare services and delivery for millions; leaving Black, Latino and poor communities more vulnerable in maintaining wellness in a pandemic and on.
Another concern around Justice Barrett is the looming decision on reproductive rights. During her confirmation hearings, she refused to respond to questions on abortion. “Justices can’t just wake up one day and say, “I have an agenda, I like guns, I hate guns, I like abortion, I hate abortion,’ and walk in like a royal queen and impose their will on the world,” Barrett told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Much different than former Justice GinJustice Barrett is a conservative Catholic who ascribes to rigid beliefs on rights of women and reproductive protections. She also has been documented of not seeing racial epithets in the workplace as racist. Because Supreme Court Justices can serve until they die, Justice Barrett, who is 48, will have influence on legislation for decades, and even generations.
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