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Hawaii Senators Oppose Supreme Court Nominee, But Democrats Outnumbered

AP Photo/Alex Brandon
President Donald Trump walks with Judge Amy Coney Barrett to a news conference to announce Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington.

Hawaii senators Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono have announced their opposition to Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's choice to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Senate Democrats opposition to Barrett appears insufficient to overcome the Republicans' 53-47 majority in the Senate. The Republicans plan a swift confirmation, with hearings set to begin Oct. 12.


If confirmed, Barrett's addition would make for the sharpest ideological swing on the Supreme Court since Clarence Thomas replaced Justice Thurgood Marshall nearly three decades ago.


“We are just weeks away from Election Day, but Republicans are rushing to confirm a justice to the Supreme Court before the American people get a chance to make their voices heard," Schatz said.


"They are hurrying their nominee onto the Court to help overturn the Affordable Care Act, kicking millions off their health care in the middle of the worst public health crisis in a century. With voting already underway, the people should decide who they think should pick our next Supreme Court justice. I will not support this nominee."


Hirono, who opposed Barrett's 2017 nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, also plans to fight the nominee's confirmation.


"Judge Barrett has an ideological agenda she won’t acknowledge and an expressed willingness to overturn Supreme Court precedent. Her ideological agenda poses a direct threat to the health care of millions of Americans, a woman’s right to control her body, the rights of LGBTQ Americans, and other individual and civil rights," Hirono said.


Hirono further said Trump expects Barrett will support any challenges he mounts to the election results.


Schatz said instead of "wasting time on this partisan confirmation process, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans should be working to pass a COVID-19 relief package that will help the millions of Americans who are needlessly suffering during this pandemic because of the president’s failed response."


Trump said Sunday that after his two male nominations to the Supreme Court, "it was definitely time for a woman." He said Barrett's background is solid and it would be difficult for her opponents to "dispute her qualifications or anything about her." 


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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