Mr. Obama appointed Mr. Garland seven months before the 2016 election. Donald Trump appointed Ms. Barrett, whom Republicans are determined to confirm this year, seven weeks before the 2020 election.
“When you find hypocrisy in the light of day, look for power in the shadows,” Mr. Whitehouse said.
On one of his slides, Mr. Whitehouse featured a direct quote from the Republican Party platform from 2016 and 2020 that read: “A Republican president will appoint judges… who will overturn the long line of militant decisions – including Roe, Obergefell and Obamacare cases. “
Roe v Wade is the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that enshrines the abortion rights of American women.
Obergefell v Hodges is the 2015 court ruling that guaranteed same-sex couples the basic right to marry in all 50 states.
The Supreme Court has ruled on several cases with implications for key provisions of the 2010 healthcare law commonly known as Obamacare.
Mr. Whitehouse and other Democratic senators pointed to several other comments from the president promising to appoint federal justices – including Supreme Court justices – who would overturn Obamacare policies.
“This is the president’s statement. So when we react to that, don’t act like we’re making this stuff up. That’s what President Trump said. Here’s what your party’s platform says: “Reverse the Obamacare business,” Mr. Whitehouse said.
On abortion, Mr Trump and Vice President Mike Pence made it clear the administration’s stance at campaign rallies this fall that they had appointed judges who oppose Roe v Wade.
“The president said the cancellation of Roe v Wade would happen automatically because he puts pro-life judges on the ground. Why not believe him at his word? Asked Mr. Whitehouse.
Earlier today, Ms Barrett fought back against the idea that she had a fundamental dislike of Obamacare.
Ms. Barrett, a professor at Notre Dame Law School who sits on the United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals since 2017, refused throughout the day to “pre-judge” cases that could be her. come before the High Court.
“I think your concern is that because I criticized the statutory reasoning that I am hostile to the ACA, and because I am hostile to the ACA, I would decide a case in a particular way. She said in an exchange with Democratic Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois.
“I am not hostile to the ACA. I am not opposed to any statute you adopt, ”Ms. Barrett said.
Democrats in recent weeks have repeatedly criticized Mr. Trump’s selection of Ms Barrett as aimed at rolling back Obamacare, which has bolstered protection for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions.
While Ms Barrett has made it clear that she has made no promises to Mr Trump or to GOP senators on how she will speak out on particular issues such as abortion rights and health care, Democrats said that was not the point.
“I’m not suggesting that you made a secret deal with President Trump, but I think the reason you were chosen is precisely because your judicial philosophy, as repeatedly stated, could lead to the results sought by the President Trump, ”said Senator Chris Coons of Delaware. said Monday.
“I think this has dramatic and potentially very damaging consequences for the elections, the affordable care law and long established rights.”