CHN opposes confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett in letter to U.S. Senators


October 13, 2020

Writing on behalf of the Coalition on Human Needs, CHN Executive Director Deborah Weinstein this week called upon the U.S. Senate to reject the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, citing Barrett’s past rulings and statements in five main areas: access to health care, immigration, workers’ rights, antidiscrimination, and criminal justice.

CHN’s 7-page letter also objects strongly to the Senate’s rush to action on the Barrett nomination while refusing to take action on a COVID-19 relief bill.

“The real urgency before the Senate is responding to the needs of millions of people who are threatened by the disease itself or its economic repercussions,” Weinstein states. “Asking people who are experiencing serious hardships to wait months for a response from Congress is an unconscionable abdication of responsibility, as is failing to provide adequate funding for public health measures to combat the pandemic.”

On health care, the letter notes that the Supreme Court will hear arguments on Nov. 10 — just one week after the election — in a case engineered to overturn the Affordable Care Act, and documents Barrett’s past hostility to the ACA.

“Striking down this critical health care law would strip access to health care from millions of people and end the law’s protections for the more than 130 million Americans with preexisting conditions, including more than seven million Americans who have tested positive for COVID-19,” Weinstein writes. “Overturning the ACA would have a devastating and disproportionate impact on low-income communities, communities of color, women,  and people with disabilities.”

The letter also documents Barrett’s past negative opinions related to immigrants, workers, low-income people, people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, and people suspected of committing crimes.

“Among the extremely consequential decisions likely or certain to face the Supreme Court, in addition to the Affordable Care Act, concern the November 3 elections and the 2020 Census,” Weinstein adds. “A great deal is at stake: access to health care during the pandemic and beyond, and the very functioning of our challenged democracy. The nation demands a very careful examination of any nominee’s approach. For the Senate to rush through this confirmation process is another abdication of its responsibility, with consequences lasting decades into the future.”

The letter concludes, “The Coalition on Human Needs opposes the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett because her views will increase the likelihood of decisions that will increase inequality, ill health, and material hardship among those with the least ability to fight back, and because the Senate’s rushed process is unlikely to allow proper consideration of Judge Barrett’s views.”

You can view the letter in its entirety here.