Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Saturday said the Senate should not act on Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court until after “the American people select their next president and the next Congress.”
“Supreme Court decisions affect our everyday lives, and the Constitution was designed to give voters a voice on who makes those decisions,” Biden tweeted Saturday, just after President Trump nominated Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy left by late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“The Senate shouldn’t act until after the American people select their next president and the next Congress,” Biden continued. “Americans deserve to be heard.”
Biden, this week, called Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts to push a nominee through the Senate before Election Day an “exercise in raw political power.”
Biden pointed to the controversy surrounding Obama’s appointment of Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy left by late Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, and argued that “having made this their standard when it served their interest, they cannot, just four years later, change course when it doesn’t serve their ends.”
Senate Republicans refused to hold a hearing or a vote on Garland’s nomination, citing the imminent 2016 presidential election.
Biden has refused to release a list of potential Supreme Court picks should he be elected president, saying that he would make his nominations to the high court on a bipartisan basis.
“If I win, I will make my choice for the Supreme Court—not as part of a partisan election campaign—but as prior presidents did,” Biden said last week. “Only after consulting Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Senate—and seeking their advice before I ask for their consent.”
He added: “As everyone knows, I have made it clear that my first choice for the Supreme Court will make history as the first African American woman justice.”
The Trump campaign has criticized Biden for failing to release a list of his own, suggesting he is “hiding” something.
“We know he’s a tool of the radical left, so the only answer must be that he doesn’t want Americans to see the radical leftists he would appoint, with judicial histories littered with extremist rulings on issues like abortion, religious freedom, immigration, Second Amendment rights and government regulation,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told Fox News this week.
Meanwhile, Biden’s running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said that Trump’s choice to nominate Barrett would “harm millions of Americans.”
“Trump’s hand-picked successor to Justice Ginsburg’s seat makes it clear: they intend to destroy the Affordable Care Act & overturn Roe,” Harris tweeted, referring to the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
“This selection would move the court further right for a generation & harm millions of Americans,” she said.
Also Saturday, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez also weighed in, saying the president’s choice “confirms what we already knew.”
“Everything we care about is at stake in this election. Health care is on the ballot. Reproductive rights are on the ballot. LGBTQ rights, voting rights, and workers’ rights are on the ballot. The future of our planet is on the ballot,” he said in a statement. “Today’s announcement is an affront not simply to our values as a democracy, but to every organizer and activist who has fought, marched, and voted to make this country live up to its founding ideals.”
Perez added: “We must send a loud, clear, and unified message to Trump and every one of his Republican enablers at the ballot box in November by voting them out of office.”
The comments come after Trump formally nominated Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court from the White House Rose Garden Saturday. Coney Barrett accepted the nomination, pledging to “discharge the responsibilities of this job to the very best of my ability.”
“I love the United States and I love the United States Constitution,” she said Saturday. “I will do equal right to the poor and the rich and faithfully and impartially discharge my duties under the United States Constitution.”
Barrett went on to acknowledge what is likely to be a heated and controversial confirmation process.
“I have no illusions that the road ahead of me will be easy, for the short term or the long haul,” Barrett said. “I never imagined I would find myself in this position.
She added: “I will meet the challenge with both humility and courage.”
Addressing members of the Senate, Barrett said: “I will do my very best to demonstrate that I am worthy of your support.”