Justice Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation process was notably less dramatic than what we saw with Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation two years ago. Democratic senators seemed less geared toward derailing the nominee and more toward positioning themselves for the November election.
The centerpiece of Senate Democrats’ attack lay with California v. Texas, a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) brought by multiple Republican state attorneys general — scheduled for Supreme Court oral argument one week after Election Day. Democrats argued that confirming Barrett would endanger the signature health policy of the Obama-Biden administration and risk access to health insurance in the midst of a pandemic for millions of people.
However you view Barrett’s nomination and the Supreme Court more generally, I’d counsel you not to believe the Democratic Party's arguments. As a legal matter, I can state with a high degree of confidence that there is almost no chance that the Supreme Court will toss out the entirety of the healthcare law. That would have been true with or without Barrett on the high court. (And I strongly suspect that most of the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee know this; they just see the issue as politically advantageous.)
James R. Copland is a senior fellow and director of legal policy at the Manhattan Institute. He is the author of “The Unelected: How an Unaccountable Elite is Governing America.” Follow him on Twitter here.
Photo by Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images