In the midst of the coronavirus epidemic, the Senate Democrats are using the chance to highlight to Americans that if Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice, she will move to overturn the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. This issue has also been a primary talking point for the Biden-Harris campaign.
The Democrats have pointed out to a 2017 law journal article, where ACB argued the ACA went “beyond Congress’s commerce power.” In her opening statement, Senator Feinstein said, “The president has promised to appoint justices who will vote to dismantle that law. As a candidate he criticized the Supreme Court for upholding the law and said, ‘if I win the presidency, my judicial appointments will do the right thing, unlike Bush’s appointee John Roberts on ObamaCare.”
The question of Obamacare is especially important as the Supreme Court will take up the arguments on November 10th for the case of California v. Texas. In this case, 20 Republican states are using the argument that Obamacare should be overturned due to the fact that Congress got rid of the individual mandate under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
President Trump, who failed to pass his own version of a new healthcare law in his first term, has argued that essentially, he did because he overturned the individual mandate. The individual mandate was the requirement that every American had to have health insurance, and if not, pay a fine. For many Americans, Obamacare was still too expensive, so they chose to pay the fine instead.
If ACB is confirmed, she will be able to rule on the hearing November 10th. Senator Whitehouse pointed out that the ACA survived due to Justice Ginsburg’s vote in the 2012 decision in The National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius.
While the Democrats are pushing to focus on healthcare during the hearing, Senator Cornyn came to ACB’s defense. He said, “Our Democratic colleagues want you to guarantee a result in a case as a quid pro quo for your confirmation. It’s outrageous.”