Illinois’ elected legislators had differing opinions on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett yesterday, as her confirmation hearings kicked off on Capitol Hill. 18th District Congressman Darin LaHood was confident of Barrett’s nomination when he spoke about her career on yesterday morning’s AM Conversation on AM1180 WLDS: “If you look at her background, if you look at her record as a judge, if you look at how she exceeded in school, I think she meets all the requirements. Now, as with every nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, they are going to have to prove themselves at a hearing. That’s why we have these hearings. So, she is going to have to articulate her judicial philosophy. She is going to have to defend her background. She is going to have to talk about what it means to be on the Supreme Court, and show the American people and obviously, the U.S. Senate why she deserves to be on there. I think she will that standard and that threshold, but she has got to go through the process and answer the questions just like everybody else has in the past.”
LaHood would not directly answer whether he thought her nomination should have waited until after the General Election. However, he did support President Donald Trump’s right to nominate Barrett prior to the election.
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin painted an entirely different picture of Barrett’s nomination when he opened the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings yesterday morning on Capitol Hill. He says that Barrett’s nomination breaks the decorum set forth by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell during the nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016 by then-President Barrack Obama.
Durbin also says he disapproves of Barrett’s opinions on the record about the Affordable Care Act, which he says she wants to dismantle in the Supreme Court after the election when the court is set to hear California v. Texas, the seminal case on the constitutionality of the act: “Republicans in Congress have been obsessed with repealing Obamacare for years, but they don’t have the votes to do it. They couldn’t get it done in the House, and they couldn’t get it done in the Senate thanks to 3 brave Republicans including John McCain. Now, they have got to rely on the [Supreme] Court to do their work. Judge Barrett you are on the record where you wrote an article where you criticized the NFIB v. Sebelius case where Chief Justic [John] Roberts was the deciding vote upholding the ACA. Now, your nomination is moving forward at unprecedented speed. So what’s at stake? The entire Affordable Care Act, including protections for tens of millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions.” You can watch Durbin’s full opening statement here.
Durbin closed his statement by presenting the case of a family from Tinley Park, Illinois who had to use the Affordable Care Act to pay for treatment for their child who had heart defects and who’s father’s insurance had a health insurance cap. Other Democrat members of the committee brought forth similar stories during the first day of hearings.
Durbin is set to open the second day of questioning at the confirmation hearings today, where he will present yet another case of a Naperville, Illinois family. Durbin claims that overturning the ACA will cause an estimated 5 million Illinois residents to lose health care coverage.