Sen. Amy Klobuchar called the confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett “a sham” in her opening statement.
Klobuchar and her colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee convened Monday morning for the opening day of hearings, which will continue through Thursday. Barrett’s nomination was announced by President Donald Trump last month during an event in the White House Rose Garden.
“The president could have saved so many lives. Instead he’s been reckless, packing people in without masks for your nomination party, Judge Barrett. Thirty-five people got sick. The president himself ends up in the hospital and when he leaves Walter Reed, still contagious, he defiantly takes off his mask and walks into the White House. And then he lies and says the virus will magically go away. The truth matters,” Klobuchar said Monday.
She claimed Barrett’s confirmation to the court would jeopardize the health care of “millions of Americans,” citing Barrett’s past criticism of a court ruling that upheld the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.
“The truth is America that this judicial nominee has made her views so clear and this president is trying to put her in a position of power to make decisions about your lives,” said Klobuchar, noting that Barrett would be replacing “an icon.”
“She never gave up. She had her own hashtag well into her 80s. The notorious RBG. And her last fervent wish was that a new president, the winner of this election, would pick her replacement,” Klobuchar said of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away in September.
“To the women of America, we have come so far, and in the name of RBG we should not go backwards,” she added.
Klobuchar concluded her opening remarks by calling the hearing “a sham” and accusing Republican leadership of having “real messed up priorities.”
“To all Americans, we don’t have some clever procedural way to stop this sham, to stop them from rushing through a nominee. But we have a secret weapon that they don’t have. We have Americans who are watching, who work hard every day, believe in our country and the rule of law, whether they are Democrats, Republicans or Independents. They know what this president and the Republican Party are doing right now is very wrong,” she said.
The American Bar Association rated Barrett as “well qualified” in a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein. “Well qualified” is the highest rating a nominee can receive from the ABA, whose rating system was previously called the “gold standard” by Democrats.