Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

A small group of demonstrators protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the early morning of September 21, 2020 in Washington, D.C., as the group marched from the home of Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) to the court

A small group of demonstrators protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the early morning of September 21, 2020 in Washington, D.C., as the group marched from the home of Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) to the court. (Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images)

'A Truly Horrifying Pick': Fury Over Trump Nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to SCOTUS

"The American people see this rushed process for what it is. An attempt to cement a right-wing supermajority on the highest court in order to dismantle the Affordable Care Act in the middle of a pandemic and overturn Roe v. Wade."

Andrea Germanos

President Donald Trump's nomination Saturday of Seventh Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court sparked a chorus of outrage from Democrats and progressive groups who warned her confirmation could shift the court to one that would dismantle the Affordable Care Act and "work to preserve the Trump agenda for decades to come."

"To maintain security, liberty and prosperity, we must preserve our priceless heritage of a nation of laws," Trump said during the Rose Garden announcement. "And there's no one better to do that than Amy Coney Barrett." 

In her remarks at the ceremony, 48-year-old Barrett praised her former mentor, the late right-wing Justice Antonin Scalia, saying that "his judicial philosophy is mine too."

Republicans, who refused to hold hearings for President Barack Obama's SCOTUS election year nominee Merrick Garland, have already set up a lightning fast timeline for a confirmation vote to replace the seat held by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, reportedly as soon as Oct. 29. That's despite new polling showing a majority of Americans want the seat filled after Election Day. 

 "Trump's nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett means yet another ultra-conservative jurist could be confirmed to a lifetime term on the court—and that is unacceptable."
—Sean Eldridge, Stand Up America
Trump critics say the swift timeline and Barrett's voting record mean issues including access to healthcare and ballots and reproductive and LGBTQ rights—as well as the outcome of the presidential election—are under immediate threat.

In an op-ed published Friday at the Washington Post, David Cole, national legal director of the ACLU and a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, wrote that if Barrett is confirmed, "the resulting shift [to the Supreme Court] will be tectonic."

The change would "fundamentally alter the court's ideological balance, giving it six conservatives and three liberals," wrote Cole, who pointed to major rulings in the past decade that were decided in narrow 5-4 rulings, including the United States v. Windsor marriage equality case.

The top court is already scheduled to begin hearing arguments in a case challenging the legality of Obamacare November 10. 

 "Trump's nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett means yet another ultra-conservative jurist could be confirmed to a lifetime term on the court—and that is unacceptable," Stand Up America founder and president Sean Eldridge said in a statement Saturday.

"The American people see this rushed process for what it is," said Eldridge. "An attempt to cement a right-wing supermajority on the highest court in order to dismantle the Affordable Care Act in the middle of a pandemic and overturn Roe v. Wade."

 Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who made Medicare for All a pillar of his presidential bids, also warned that millions more Americans could join the ranks of the uninsured if Barrett is confirmed.

"President Trump and Senate Republicans have badly mismanaged a deadly pandemic for months. Now, in the midst of an unprecedented public health crisis, they are willing to ram through a Supreme Court nominee—within days—who will vote to destroy the Affordable Care Act, kick millions of Americans off their healthcare, and eliminate protections for millions more who have preexisting conditions," said Sanders.

"This is an absolute outrage," he said.

According to advocacy group Indivisible, "Barrett is a conservative's dream to fill RBG's seat." In a Twitter thread following her formal nomination, the group highlighted parts of Barrett's voting record to show why she is "a truly horrifying pick":

Writing at Intelligencer, Sarah Jones likened Barrett to Equal Rights Amendment foe Phyllis Schlafly to emphasize the Trump nominee's far-reaching threats. Jones wrote Saturday:

For all the power the right wing is about to hand her, though, Barrett has indeed chosen a self-limiting ideology, and not just because of her views on Roe. Conservative women aren't interested solely in abolishing abortion, or in limiting the scope of modern gender equality laws. Schlafly was an anti-communist who belonged to the John Birch Society before she ever campaigned against the ERA. Her anti-feminism comprised one strand of a comprehensively dangerous ideology. The women who serve the Trump administration aren’t much different, and neither is Barrett. A Supreme Court justice with right-wing perspectives on labor, the environment, immigration, and criminal justice can harm women from all backgrounds in all aspects of their lives. That is the intention, and not the accidental byproduct, of constitutional originalism. As embraced by jurists like Barrett and her old boss, Antonin Scalia, originalism is its own dogma; the extension of a political theology committed to an older and more exclusionary version of America.

Barrett understands all that. She's exactly as intelligent as her advocates say, and she’s made all her choices with a sound mind. Her reward is power. If she's confirmed by the Senate, she'll be able to finish what Schlafly once started. She could help lock in Trump for another four years. She'll be able to deal democracy and yes, the feminist movement the blows the Christian right has dreamed of landing for years.

In light of what's at stake, Barrett's critics are calling on senators, Democrats and Republicans alike, to refuse to vote on a replacement for RBG's seat until after the election.

"Barrett is a conservative's dream to fill RBG's seat."
—Indivisible
Among that chorus are Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, co-chairs of the Democratic Attorneys General Association.

"The nomination of arch-conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett should alarm anyone who cares about the future of this country," said Healey and Rosenblum, warning that "healthcare, marriage equality, the right to abortion, worker protections, access to the ballot box, and so much more" is on the line.

"To every member of the Senate: find your backbone, buck McConnell, and let the people vote first," they said.

People For the American Way president Ben Jealous directed his attention to Republican senators, asking in a statement: "Will they follow Trump and Mitch McConnell over the cliff in ramming this disastrous nomination through? Or will they stand up for their constituents who want their healthcare protected and expanded during this pandemic, and the millions of Americans who could lose coverage for preexisting conditions?"

"It comes down to this," said Jealous. "Senators who ignore the will of the people so they can put another nail in the coffin of healthcare are putting another nail in the coffins of their own constituents. Come November, voters will remember this betrayal."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

AOC Warns That Corporate Lobbyists Would Love People to 'Give Up Before the Deal Is Done'

"It's way easier for them to try to get away with the things that they're lobbying for and against if people at home aren't watching," said the New York Democrat

Jon Queally ·


Tlaib Leads Call for Biden to Take 'Commonsense Steps' to Aid Afghan Evacuees

"Our country has long offered shelter to those seeking refuge from catastrophe. Now is the time to continue that tradition and stand beside Afghan evacuees in need."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Huge Win': Green Groups Applaud Biden Move to Protect Minnesota Watershed

"You don't allow America's most toxic industry next to America's most popular wilderness," said one environmental campaigner.

Brett Wilkins ·


Taking Aim at Predatory Equity Firms, Warren Leads Bill to 'Stop Wall Street Looting'

"Now is the time," asserted Sen. Bernie Sanders, "to end Wall Street's greed, protect workers, and create an economy that works for everyone, not just the 1%."

Brett Wilkins ·


Arizona Groups Demand Sinema 'Stop Obstructing' on Medicare Expansion

The diverse coalition called on the Democratic senator to back "bold drug pricing reform" and "critical improvements to Medicare's coverage" in the reconciliation package.

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo