Following President Trump’s formal nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, more Senate Democrats weighed in on whether they would be willing to meet with the nominee, despite widespread disapproval within their party of the expedited confirmation process.
Some Democratic senators, including Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Mazie Hirono, have said they won’t meet with Barrett.
Although he has said he would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court justice before Election Day, Sen. Joe Manchin, the only Democrat who voted to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday he would meet with the judge, saying he thinks the “greatest responsibility” of a US senator is to “hear all sides of whatever the debate might be” and noting it is the duty of the Senate to “meet and confirm” with presidential nominees.
Manchin specifically mentioned that he would like to discuss the Affordable Care Act with Barrett.
“How do I explain to 800,000 that their pre-existing condition is not going to be covered, that they’re not going to have the ability to even buy insurance?” the West Virginia Democrat asked.
Sens. Cory Booker and Chris Coons, both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also intend to meet with Barrett.
Booker said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” it’s his “spirit” to sit down and have conversations with people. Coons told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he would meet with the nominee either in-person or by phone and that he would also press her on the ACA.
Sen. Dick Durbin, the Democratic Whip and also a Judiciary Committee member, reiterated on ABC’s “This Week” that he would meet with Barrett, as he told CNN’s Michael Smerconish on Saturday.
“I’ve met with every Supreme Court nominee since I’ve been in the Senate, I will extend that courtesy, if she requests it, for at least a socially distanced safe meeting, perhaps over the phone,” Durbin explained.