Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Joe Biden should enact critical government reforms if he wins MORE said Saturday that voters should decide who nominates the next Supreme Court justice to replace the vacancy left by Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick ‘threatens’ Affordable Care Act Watch live: Trump holds campaign rally in Pennsylvania MORE.
“The American people know the U.S. Supreme Court decisions affect their everyday lives,” Biden said in a statement. “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,” Biden said.
His statement was issued shortly after Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee Saturday afternoon from the White House Rose Garden.
Biden framed the debate in the context of healthcare, noting the Trump administration’s efforts to get the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration’s signature healthcare law, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden argued that Americans’ “healthcare hangs in the balance” this presidential election.
Biden described Barrett as having a “written track record of disagreeing with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act,” noting she has criticized Chief Justice John Robert’s majority opinion upholding the law in 2012.
Democrats, like Biden, have said that the next president should be the one to choose Ginsburg’s replacement on the high court. They have pointed to Senate Republicans’ decision not to consider former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Senate GOP set to vote on Trump’s Supreme Court pick before election In a season of bad ideas, one stands out MORE’s nominee Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Senate GOP set to vote on Trump’s Supreme Court pick before election Harris slams Trump’s Supreme Court pick as an attempt to ‘destroy the Affordable Care Act’ MORE in 2016 because it was during an election year.
But Republicans argue that the current circumstances are different because the same party controls the White House and Senate. Trump has indicated he wants to see a vote before the November election, which is less than 40 days away.
Barrett is expected to begin meeting with senators next week and will face confirmation hearings beginning in mid-October.