Politics & Policy

Pelosi Calls Amy Coney Barrett an ‘Illegitimate Supreme Court Justice’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) participates in a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. October 1, 2020. (Erin Scott/Reuters)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday called newly confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett “an illegitimate Supreme Court justice.”

“The president is installing an illegitimate Supreme Court justice just one week before the election,” Pelosi said during an Election Day news conference with the chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Illinois congresswoman Cheri Bustos.

Pelosi claimed that Barrett will vote to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and noted that the judge declined to say whether she thought Medicare was constitutional during her confirmation hearings last month.

The Senate confirmed Barrett to the Supreme Court in a 52-to-48 vote last week, giving conservatives a 6-to-3 majority on the court. Senator Susan Collins of Maine was the only Republican to vote against Barrett’s confirmation.

The Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on November 10 in a case that could overturn part or all of the Affordable Care Act. The justices are expected to release their opinion sometime in the first six months of 2021.

The House speaker also snapped at a reporter who asked whether she expects the next Congress to be her last term serving as speaker, which would honor a pledge she made in 2018 to House Democrats who opposed her bid for speaker.

“That’s the least important question you could ask today,” Pelosi responded. “The fate of our nation, the soul of our nation is at stake in this election.”

Pelosi said the conversation was about “plans for our country for our future, for our children,” and “not about my plans.”

“One of these days I will let you know what my plans are, when it is appropriate and when it matters. It doesn’t matter right now,” she added.

The Supreme Court could also end up deciding Tuesday’s election should close swing state results or absentee ballot controversies end up before the justices.

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