The GOP Followed Mitch McConnell "Straight Into The Dumpster": Elizabeth Warren Responds To Supreme Court Confirmation

In an op-ed for NowThis, Sen. Elizabeth Warren addresses Americans who may feel discouraged this week after the rushed confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett: “There has never been a more righteous time to get in this fight.”

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett | Getty Images
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett | Getty Images

Mitch McConnell’s to-do list has one thing on it — in large, thick font: hold onto power at any cost. Covid-19 cases are rising and our economy is on the brink of collapse — but he refuses to pass a stimulus package because relief for American families isn’t on his list. Instead, he rammed through a Supreme Court confirmation in the middle of an election.

Here are 5 things every American should know about it:

1. Why this confirmation is good timing for Republicans who want to tear down the Affordable Care Act.

  • On November 10th, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether the Affordable Care Act should be overturned. Republicans already tried to “repeal and replace Obamacare” in Congress, but they failed. So now, they’re trying to get it done in the Supreme Court.
  • Nominating a Supreme Court Justice who will likely side against the ACA is the last gasp of a right-wing, billionaire-fueled party that can’t enact their extremist agenda the democratic way, so they’re stacking the Court instead.
  • And it’s not just health care that’s on the line. It’s also Roe v. Wade, the right to join a union, protection for our Dreamers, and the fight to be an America where no one is discriminated against because of the color of their skin, because of how they worship, or because of who they love.

2. How Senate Republicans cheated.

  • In 2016, Senate Republicans blocked President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee — claiming it was too close to an election. President Obama had a year left in his term. Meanwhile, Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed just 8 days before the end of the election, after millions of people had already voted.
  • In 2016, Mitch McConnell made up a rule to benefit his party — and then he shamelessly discarded that rule in 2020. Time and again he takes the rule of law and throws it in the garbage — and his Republican colleagues follow him into the dumpster. When those in power change the rules to benefit themselves, they’re playing the game of tyrants.

3. How the confirmation hearings were a sham.

  • The nominee spent days ducking and weaving around questions that should be uncontroversial. She refused to say whether it’s wrong to separate children from their parents to deter immigration. She refused to say whether climate change is happening. She even refused to say that a president should commit to a peaceful transfer of power.
  • This was no democratic hearing. This was a puppet show where the Federalist Society was pulling the strings. What is the Federalist Society, you might ask?

4. That brings me to #4: Why this nomination is a win for dark money.

  • Imagine a spider web of dark money — the Federalist Society is basically at the center of it, with other groups like Judicial Crisis Network. In just a few decades, they’ve gotten very powerful — raising millions of dollars to fund law schools to train conservative lawyers, think tanks to promote their big business agenda, and lobbyists to influence public opinion. Who funds these groups? Billionaires who stand to benefit from conservative judges. People like Joseph Coors, the Koch brothers, and Robert Mercer. People who want to be accountable to no one.
  • The rich and powerful pour money into winning the presidency and Congress, but a lesser-known fact is they pour money into our courts, as well. The Federalist Society supported the nominations of Gorsuch, Kavanagh, and Barrett. Clearly, their decades-long investment paid off — they now have a judiciary tilted towards corporate power. And it’s not just the Supreme Court. Trump and Mitch McConnell have rammed through a record number of judges to serve lifetime appointments in the Circuit Courts, as well.

5. Why this nomination doesn’t reflect the views of the majority of our people.

  • Amy Coney Barrett — along with Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — were appointed by a president who lost the popular vote. And confirmed by a Republican Senate majority that represents less than half of Americans. So if you do the math, millions of Americans are silenced in the halls of power.
  • Corrupt Republican leadership is numb to its own hypocrisy and doesn’t reflect the views of the majority or the values we hold dear.

So, that’s the bad news. Here’s the good news: this election, we tell them we’re watching. We’ve seen what they’ve done to our democracy and we’re fighting back. And look — I get it, these fights are hard. At times it can feel hopeless. But remember, hope is not given to us — hope is created by us. So we can’t give into fear and we can’t back down. Because the side that is undermining our democracy wants you to despair.

So I urge you — dig a little deeper. There has never been a more righteous time to get in this fight. The White House, the Senate, the House, and every single state and local election matters in protecting the values we share. Vote, vote vote — and organize your community to vote. Our democracy depends on you staying in the fight.

Watch the video version of this op-ed here:

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