WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wants voters to see Republicans’ push for a speedy Supreme Court confirmation as an end-run of Congress and the 2010 health care law.
In remarks on Sunday, the former vice president sidestepped any talk of expanding the court to counter conservative gains should he defeat President Donald Trump in November and Democrats regain a Senate majority. Biden called that scenario a distraction from the practical effects that Trump’s nominee, conservative federal judge Amy Coney Barrett, could have if she succeeds the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“They see an opportunity to overturn the Affordable Care Act on their way out the door,” Biden said, speaking near his Delaware home. “The Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court right now, as I speak, to eliminate the entire Affordable Care Act.”
Trump, speaking at the White House later Sunday, did not necessarily dispute Biden’s characterization.
“She’s gonna be a great justice” who will “rule (based on) the law,” Trump said of Barrett. But, he added quickly that “Obamacare is terrible” and repeated his promise, now more than four years old, to scrap the law and replace it with a Republican plan.
Biden repeated his calls that the Senate delay confirmation proceedings until after the Nov. 3 election, moving ahead then if Trump wins another term or awaiting a nomination from Biden if the Democrat prevails.
Democrats’ focus on health care reflects a larger strategy that’s emerged in recent days. They tacitly concede Republicans are likely to confirm Barrett, giving conservatives a 6-3 court majority. So, rather than fight a losing battle, as they did with Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s 2018 confirmation, Democrats want to raise the pressure on Republicans by focusing on how a conservative supermajority of…
Read More: Joe Biden: Vacancy about health law, not court expansion