ME, IA & AZ-Sen: These GOPers Brag About Defending Obamacare But Vote For Judges To Kill It

The Daily Beast has been on a roll with terrific pieces about the upcoming U.S. Senate races and Eleanor Clifft’s latest piece highlights three Senate GOPers hypocrisy on their claims to their constituents that they are protecting and defending the Affordable Care Act:

With the election looking iffy for the president, McConnell has dropped all pretense of an unbiased judiciary in his rush to beat the clock. At a sparsely attended Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday morning, 37-year-old Kentucky District Judge Justin Walker, a McConnell favorite who’s trashed Obamacare in dozens of appearances on Fox News, defended his trail of partisan comments, including calling the Supreme Court decision to uphold the ACA “catastrophic” and “indefensible,” and mocking Chief Justice Roberts rationale ruling it a tax as “the worst words” handed down.

“Why in the middle of a pandemic would we support a nominee who would take health care away from millions of people,” asked California Democrat Dianne Feinstein. “It’s not the role of a judge to opine on health-care policy,” Walker replied, falling back on the standard dodge that if elevated to the DC Circuit Court, he would respect precedence and “go where the law leads.”  

Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin asked Walker if he would recuse himself from cases having to do with the ACA in view of his critique of the law in multiple appearances on Fox News. Walker predictably declined, pledging fealty to the law. Durbin noted, “After 162 television appearances, it is painful to hear you say you have an open mind on the ACA.”

Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal presented a poster with the picture of a 9-year-old constituent battling a debilitating disease and who would be uninsurable without the ACA’s protections for people with preexisting conditions. Walker recalled being a little kid when his mother battled breast cancer, and batted away any responsibility he might have as a judge other than to follow the law. “I don’t think Connor would be satisfied by that answer,” Blumenthal replied.

And neither would most Americans. Yet the same Republican senators who profess to uphold the ACA’s protections for people with preexisting conditions vote in lockstep for judges like Walker who are on the record with their contempt for the law. Three GOP women running competitive races for reelection are the worst offenders. Arizona Senator Martha McSally, Iowa’s Joni Ernst, and Maine’s Susan Collins routinely proclaim their support for Obamacare’s protections while voting for judges they know will overturn those protections if given the chance.  

“They think they’re free votes,” says Daniel Goldberg, legal director for the liberal advocacy group, Alliance for Justice Action Campaign (AFJAC), which just launched an accountability project to expose the gap between what these senators say and who they’re voting for. “There should be consequences for these senators who through their votes put on the bench judges that will roll back protections that they tell their constituents they care about.”

Give the whole piece a read and when you’re done, please do donate and get involved with these Democrats campaigns:

Sara Gideon

Theresa Greenfield

Mark Kelly