New York’s senators are vowing to do everything they can to oppose President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Democrats say among the rights that would be threatened, health care is at the top of the list.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) said Trump promised he would appoint a nominee that would undo health care in the form of the Affordable Care Act and reproductive and abortion rights like Roe v. Wade.
“We Democrats believe the number one issue in America is health care, and the ability for people to get good health care for prices they can afford," Schumer said. "The nomination of Mr. Kavanaugh, would put a dagger through the heart of that cherished belief that most Americans have.”
Schumer said Trump picked Kavanugh because he thought the candidate would protect him from the Robert Mueller investigation.
“Not only did Mr. Kavanaugh say that a president should not be subpoenaed, he said a president shouldn’t be investigated," Schumer said. "Mr. Kavanaugh, is the president above the law?”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said the new judge will have the power to decide if insurance companies can charge more or offer any coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. And she said overturning Roe v. Wade would be a direct threat against women.
“Women’s lives are on the line," Gillibrand said. "If this judge is confirmed by the Senate, the Supreme Court could take away women’s reproductive rights. If this judge is confirmed, the Supreme Court could tell employers that they don’t have to provide birth control to their workers.”
Gillbrand said Kavanaugh authored a dissenting opinion arguing employers have the right to deny their employees health care coverage for birth control.
“He’s got a lot of horrible decisions that puts corporations over people, that undermines individuals’ free speech rights, that don’t value women, that don’t want women to make their own reproductive choices," Gillibrand said. "These are serious flaws to this nominee."
She said stopping Kavanaugh’s nomination will depend on the American people speaking out to convince senators he is not worthy of their votes.
"I’m going to do absolutely everything I possibly can to speak out against this nominee and make the case based on his own words, his own decisions, what he’s said, that he’s not appropriate for the Supreme Court," Gillibrand said. "He’s so ultra-conservative, so far right from the main stream, that he would move our court in a direction that certainly New Yorkers don’t support for 20-30 years.”
But Republicans, who control the Senate, only need 50 votes to get Kavanaugh confirmed. Mohawk Valley Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) is urging her colleagues in the Senate to confirm Kavanaugh. In a statement, Tenney said Kavanaugh has an outstanding and diverse record on the compelling constitutional issues of the day.
Read Tenney's full statement below.
“I commend President Trump for his excellent choice of Judge Brett Kavanaugh as the next member of the United States Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh’s outstanding and diverse record on the compelling constitutional issues of the day proves that he is an intellectual leader on the bench and will be a superb member of our nation’s highest court. His strong commitment to constitutional originalism will enable the Supreme Court to restore its role in American government, ensuring the court decisions are not greater or more consequential than the other two branches of our Constitutional Republic. I urge my Senate colleagues to swiftly confirm him.”