- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Senate Democrats warned women on Tuesday that Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett will take them back to the 1960s, depriving them of access to birth control and abortion.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Michigan Democrat, told reporters Judge Barrett’s refusal to affirm that Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade are both long-standing precedents should “send alarm bells to women.”

The Griswold case decided in 1965 gave married couples have the right to access contraceptives without government intervention. The 1973 landmark case Roe v Wade gave women a national right to abortion.

“Republicans are working urgently to turn back the clock,” Ms. Stabenow said.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat, said Judge Barrett was evasive on many questions during her confirmation hearings last week — including inquiries related to reproductive freedom as well as voting rights.

“She really established a new standard — call it the Barrett rule — of avoiding and evading questions,” Mr. Blumenthal, who is a member of the Judiciary Committee, told reporters.

He said even Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., retired Justice Anthony Kennedy and Justice Clarence Thomas recognized Griswold as a long-standing precedent during their hearings.

Judge Barrett refused to discuss legal topics that are still being litigated, citing the judicial canons, as she is a sitting judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals since they do not allow her to weigh in on matters of public and legal dispute.

The two senators also said it is concerning Judge Barrett would be on the court ahead of the Nov. 3 election, as Senate Republicans have the votes and will likely confirm her next week.

Critics of the president believe he wants Judge Barrett on the bench before any election disputes head to the justices over mail-in ballots.

On Monday, the high court split 4-4 in allowing Pennsylvania to continue to count mail-in ballots three days after Election Day so long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3.

Four Republican appointees, Justices Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh, Samuel A. Alito Jr., and Justice Thomas, would have denied the request to extend the counting period, but Justice Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee, sided with the three Democratic appointees.

The 4-4 split upheld the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision against Republicans, allowing the count to continue past Nov. 3.

Mr. Blumenthal said he was “astonished and appalled” that four of the sitting justices would have moved to intervene on a state Supreme Court decision related to voting matters.

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