Health Care Advocates Decry Consideration of Anti-ACA Judges During Pandemic
WASHINGTON, DC, May 5, 2020 – In the midst of a national pandemic, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is risking the safety of his colleagues, Senate staff, and the public to prioritize the confirmation of two Trump judges who explicitly support taking away access to quality health care from millions. In advance of Justin Walker’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, 53 groups representing a diversity of missions and constituencies are calling on McConnell to stop prioritizing the nominations of Walker to the U.S. Court of Appeals to the D.C. Circuit and Cory Wilson to the U.S. Court of Appeals to the Fifth Circuit when he should be focused on addressing the health and economic needs of the country. The organizations made clear their grave concerns that confirmation of Walker and Wilson will “exacerbate the health crisis in this country.”
President Trump has made clear that his judicial nominees will invalidate the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Both Walker and Wilson meet this litmus test. Trump has also reiterated his support for a lawsuit challenging the law that, if successful, would eliminate health insurance for millions and important protections for scores of Americans with preexisting conditions.
Justin Walker’s record includes high praise for Brett Kavanaugh for having written a “roadmap” for judges to overturn the ACA. He called Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion upholding the law “indefensible” and “catastrophic.” As the country was already grappling with the pandemic in mid-March, McConnell and Kavanaugh flew to Kentucky for Walker’s investiture, where as a sitting federal judge Walker once again expressed his opposition to the ACA.
Cory Wilson’s record includes fierce opposition to providing people with access to health care. He called the ACA “illegitimate” and “perverse,” despite the fact that 160,000 of his fellow Mississippians gained health coverage because of it. He successfully fought Medicaid expansion in the state, leaving thousands without critical access to health care.
Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron released the following statement:
“A vote for Justin Walker or Cory Wilson is a vote to take health care away from millions of Americans. Any senator who claims to care about the safety and well-being of their constituents cannot justify confirming these nominees — let alone in the middle of a pandemic. Tens of thousands of people have already died to COVID-19, and Republicans are responding by redoubling their attacks on access to quality health care. They have no shame whatsoever.”