Vacancy Watch: Thursday, October 1, 2020


Zack Ford

AFJ is committed to keeping you informed about our fight to keep Trump from stealing #OurCourt.

COMMITTEE ON POINT: Not enough Senate Republicans attended this morning’s Senate Judiciary Committee meeting for them to be able to advance five more of Trump’s lower court nominees, but Senate Democrats seized the opportunity to speak out against Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination. Our full thread for the highlights:

NOT SO COURTEOUS VISIT: Amy Coney Barrett continues her tour of Senate visits, with most Senate Democrats refusing to dignify her illegitimate nomination with meetings. Sen. Patrick Leahy said today that he had considered meeting with her, but the White House reached out to set up the meeting while Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was still lying in state. Leahy called it “the most tasteless” move — “even coming from this administration.”

BARRETT’S ANTI-CHOICE CHOICE: Adding to the already robust evidence that she supports overturning Roe v. Wade, reporting revealed today that Amy Coney Barrett, in 2006, signed a newspaper ad run by an anti-choice group called St. Joseph County Right to Life. The ad read:

We, the following citizens of Michiana, oppose abortion on demand and defend the right to life from fertilization to natural death. Please continue to pray to end abortion. […]

It’s time to put an end to the barbaric legacy of Roe v. Wade and restore laws that protect the lives of unborn children.

The group has confirmed that it even opposes in vitro fertilization and believes it should be a crime for doctors to perform abortions.

CALLING THE QUESTION: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer forced a vote today to defund the Trump Department of Justice’s litigation against the Affordable Care Act. The effort was not successful, but six Republican senators did vote with the Democrats: Cory Gardner (CO), Joni Ernst (IA), Susan Collins (ME), Martha McSally (AZ), and Dan Sullivan (AK). Would they vote the same against a Supreme Court nominee who is prepared to take health care and preexisting conditions protections away from millions of people?

ACA OPPONENTS SPEAK: The Republican state attorneys general who are suing to overturn the Affordable Care Act in its entirety issued a statement today calling on the Senate to “promptly hold a hearing and confirm” Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, which will hold oral arguments in the case a week after the election. Barrett has made clear she believes the law is unconstitutional, which they seem to be counting on.

THE RHODES NOT TAKEN: White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany claimed today that Amy Coney Barrett is a Rhodes Scholar, referring to the distinguished scholarship awarded to postgraduate students to study at the University of Oxford. In reality, Barrett simply obtained her undergraduate degree from Rhodes College in Tennessee. “My bad,” McEnany said.

Make sure to follow AFJ on Twitter @AFJustice and check back for regular updates on the fight for #OurCourt.