- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 27, 2020

Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden said President Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett flies in the face of precedent and is intended to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

“Never before in our nation’s history has a Supreme Court justice been nominated and installed while a presidential election is already underway. It defies every precedent,” the former vice president said a press event Sunday. “Just because you have the power to do something doesn’t absolve you of your responsibility to do right by the American people.”

Democrats have hammered Republicans for blocking President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland in 2016. Some on the left have called for expanding the court if Republicans succeed in naming a conservative judge in the liberal justice’s place.

GOP leaders have defended their decision, arguing that their party controls both the White House and Senate which fits past precedent, unlike the situation four years ago.

The ACA, which comes before the Supreme Court on Nov. 10, is at the forefront of the Democrats’ push back against Mr. Trump’s pick to replace liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died just over a week ago.

Currently, the Trump administration is supporting a lawsuit that aims to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which includes protections for those with preexisting conditions that make it difficult or more expensive to find coverage.

Congress stripped the tax penalty for not having medical coverage in the 2017 GOP tax overhaul, which led to lower courts ruling the law was not constitutional.

The fight worked its way through the court system, and now the Supreme Court will have to decide whether other parts of the Obama-era health care bill can stand without the tax mandate.

“President Trump can claim all he wants that he’a going to protect people with pre-existing conditions, but the fact is he’s already fighting to take those protections away as we speak,” Mr. Biden said.

With this court case looming, President Trump issued a new executive order on Thursday that makes it official U.S. policy that medical insurers cannot price-out those with preexisting conditions.

The Trump administration is working on their own health care plan, but has not publicly unveiled it yet.

“Obamacare will be replaced with a MUCH better, and FAR cheaper alternative if it is terminated in the Supreme Court,” Mr. Trump tweeted Sunday. “Would be a big WIN for the USA!”

Mr. Biden also raised his concerns about the legal fate of Roe v. Wade and DREAMERs, should the Senate push through Mr. Trump’s pick.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham laid out a quick timeline for Judge Barrett’s nomination proceedings, which the South Carolina senator wants to start on Oct. 12 and wrap up with a vote on his committee by Oct. 22.

Judge Barrett, if confirmed, would give conservatives a 6-3 majority, a significant shift in the court’s balance of power.

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