Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in a Sunday speech urged Republican senators to “step back from the brink” and rethink their positions on confirming President Donald Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Trump introduced Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Saturday in a ceremony on the White House lawn. While Democrats have admitted they have no procedural methods to stop a confirmation, they have called Republicans hypocritical for failing to confirm Merrick Garland in 2016, declaring that it will hurt them at the ballot box.
“Never before in our nation’s history has a Supreme Court justice been nominated and installed while a presidential election is already underway,” Biden declared. “It defies every precedent, every expectation, of a nation where the people, the people are sovereign and the rule of law reigns.”
Biden accused Trump and Republicans of attempting to use the vacancy to do away with the Affordable Care Act.
“President Trump sees a chance to fulfill his explicit mission, steal away the vital protections of the ACA from countless families who have come to rely on them for their health, their financial security, the lives of those they love,” said Biden, who added that Barrett “publicly criticized” Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion upholding Obamacare.
The former vice president said the Senate “has to stand strong for our democracy” and “not act on this nomination until the American people finish the process they’ve already begun, of selecting their president and their Congress.”
“As I said before, if the people choose Donald Trump, then the Senate should give his nominee a hearing and a vote,” he said. “If people do not choose Trump and choose me, President Trump’s nomination should be withdrawn.”
Calling the installment an “abuse of power,” Biden called on senators to “take a step back from the brink, take off the blinders, the politics, for just one critical moment and stand up for the Constitution you swore to uphold.” (RELATED: Tom Cotton Spars With Jake Tapper Over Amy Coney Barrett, Merrick Garland Comparison)
“This is a time to de-escalate, to put an end to the shattering of precedents that has thrown our nation into chaos under this president,” he concluded. “Just because you have the power to do something doesn’t absolve you of your responsibility to do right by the American people.”