Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Saturday called on the Senate to not act on the Supreme Court vacancy until after voters decide on whether to re-elect President Donald Trump or choose Biden as commander-in-chief.
Biden issued a statement just after Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett, a federal judge, to fill the vacancy that opened up with the recent death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Biden claimed that Americans' healthcare "hangs in the balance" and that some people are afraid of "losing their right to vote or being expelled from the only country they have ever known."
Looking ahead to November, when the court is scheduled to weigh in on the Affordable Care Act, Biden warned that Barrett "has a written track record of disagreeing with the" court's previous decision to uphold the act.
"She critiqued Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion upholding the law in 2012. The American people know the U.S. Supreme Court decisions affect their everyday lives," he said.
"The United States Constitution was designed to give the voters one chance to have their voice heard on who serves on the Court. That moment is now and their voice should be heard. The Senate should not act on this vacancy until after the American people select their next president and the next Congress," he added.
Republicans have a 53–47 majority in the Senate and all but two have signaled they'll vote to confirm Barrett.
A simple majority is required to advance Barrett's nomination from the Senate Judiciary Committee. A simple majority is then needed in the full Senate to confirm her to the nation's highest court.
Trump didn't mention healthcare during the nomination ceremony but said Barrett would be committed to applying equal justice for all, regardless of gender or race.
Barrett told the crowd at the White House that she loves the United States and the Constitution and that her judicial philosophy is the same as late Justice Antonin Scalia, for whom she once clerked.
"A judge must apply the law as written," she said.
"Judges are not policymakers, and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views that they hold."