Merkley Slams Senate Judiciary Committee Rule-Breaking Vote to Force Through Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Nomination

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement today slamming Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and his Republican colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee for breaking committee rules to ram Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination through a committee vote:

“Today, yet again, Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans are trampling precedent and shredding rules to pack the judiciary, and especially the Supreme Court, with right-wing extremists.  Add the Judiciary Committee’s quorum rules to the pile of rubble Senator McConnell has made of the Senate’s and the Court’s integrity.

“Make no mistake: our most sacred rights and the fate of our ‘We the People’ government are under assault. This confirmation will make it harder to vote, and easier for massive corporations to poison our land and waters with harmful chemicals and pollution. It could tear the Affordable Care Act to shreds, rip health care away from over 20 million Americans in the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic, and send premiums skyrocketing for everyone with pre-existing conditions. It will likely enable states to criminalize women who seek reproductive health care and doctors who provide it, and even outlaw some forms of birth control. It could even result in aning the marriages of millions of Americans.

“The only people who haven’t lost today are powerful and privileged conservative extremists—who have spent the last thirty years pumping hundreds of millions of dollars through their shady networks and dark money groups to manipulate our judicial system to do their bidding—and the politicians in the White House and in Congress who work for them.

“Just like Judge Barrett’s originalism is a cover story for continuing power for the most elite and wealthy, this entire nomination is really about accumulating more power for radical special interests, an unpopular president, and an out-of-touch Senate majority. Their agenda serves themselves, not the American people.  They can’t prevail through free and fair elections, so they turn to an activist super-legislature to rewrite our constitution and laws in their favor.  Only days remain now before Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination comes to the floor for a full Senate vote. And in the eyes of hundreds of millions of Americans, that vote will decide the fate of equality, liberty, and justice in America, and reveal whether each Senator cares more about this country’s values than the wish lists of the powerful and privileged.”