Ruth Bader Ginsburg‘s final wish before her death was that her seat on the US Supreme Court wouldn’t be replaced until after the upcoming Presidential Election. But, of course, with Donald Trump as President, there was almost no hope that Ginsburg’s request would be respected, and less than a month after her death, the woman who did more to reshape the landscape for women’s rights in America than anyone else has been replaced by someone who looks set to undo all of her life’s work: Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
In a rush to get a conservative judge to replace Ginsburg before the election – which takes place in just a week’s time – the Senate Republican majority voted 52-48 to confirm Coney Barrett on Monday in what is being dubbed “one of the quickest nomination proceedings in modern times.” This cements the court’s conservative majority and putting incredibly important progressive legislations, including LGBTQ+ rights, abortion access and gun-control laws in jeopardy.
But perhaps the most scary concept right now is that of the Affordable Healthcare Act – commonly known as Obamacare, which Republicans have tried to repeal over 70 times. Now, with Coney Barrett on the court, the ACA might be completely overturned, which could leave more than 20 million Americans uninsured in the middle of a global pandemic.
Minutes after the decision to appoint Coney Barrett, many politicians offered up their opinions, calling the move an abuse of power and a defiance of the American people. “Today Republicans denied the will of the American people by confirming a Supreme Court justice through an illegitimate process—all in their effort to gut the Affordable Care Act and strip health care from millions with pre-existing conditions,” US Vice Presidential Nominee Kamala Harris wrote on Twitter, adding, “We won’t forget this. Hillary Clinton wrote, “Senate Republicans just pushed through a Supreme Court justice who will help them take away Americans’ health care in the middle of a pandemic. For them, this is victory. Vote them out.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s response was a call to expand the court so that it’s a fair balance between the left and right, something which is entirely legal but highly unlikely to happen while Trump is in power.
Republicans do this because they don’t believe Dems have the stones to play hardball like they do. And for a long time they’ve been correct. But do not let them bully the public into thinking their bulldozing is normal but a response isn’t. There is a legal process for expansion.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 27, 2020
Women all across America are also petrified that Coney Barrett will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the law that protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restrictions, despite the majority of Americans agreeing with it. This would mean that in certain states across America, abortions would be made illegal and incredibly hard to get, especially for those in poorer communities.
So, what can we do? Speak to anyone who can vote in the upcoming US election and encourage them to do so. Because lives really are at stake.
Vote them out.
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) October 27, 2020