WILMINGTON, Del. – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) joined Erin Burnett on CNN to discuss the potential impacts of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act, including protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions and protections against gender discrimination. 

“The Affordable Care Act, as you know, hangs by a thread. It was Chief Justice Roberts who decided a 5-4 decision upholding its constitutionality now eight years ago, and Judge Barrett criticized that decision,” Senator Coons said. “That's on the docket of the Supreme Court just a week after the election and Erin, as you well know, Justice Ginsburg dedicated her life to gender equality, and the Affordable Care Act prevents insurance companies from discriminating against women.”

Full video is available here. A transcript is provided below.

Q: You're also going to meet with Judge Barrett. Several Democrats though, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, say they won't. Are they making a mistake? 

Sen. Coons: Well, frankly, what they are trying to do is to highlight just how unconventional, how unacceptable this rushed and partisan process is. And I understand that. Frankly, it's a tough choice between giving some legitimacy to something we shouldn't be doing, which is proceeding with this highly partisan nomination with just 36 days to go before an election where more than half the states are already voting. But I think to miss the opportunity to highlight for the American people the consequences of Judge Barrett's confirmation hearing would be a missed opportunity. 

Q: So let me just ask you one thing to this point. I understand your point about the timing, but yet, Noah Feldman, Harvard Law professor, obviously, he testified in favor of Trump's impeachment last year. He wrote in an op-ed that he's known Barrett for more than 20 years, she's more than qualified. He says, “It is better for the republic to have a principled, brilliant lawyer on the bench –referring to her, calls her brilliant and principled – than a weaker candidate. That's Barrett.” What do you say to that? Is it possible that forgetting that the timing is unfortunate, she's qualified, capable, and deserves her spot. 

Sen. Coons: What I would say frankly is that this isn't about her qualifications. It's about the motivation of Donald Trump in picking her. There are two things that President Trump said he needed her on this Court to do. One is to decide any election related dispute in his favor, and the other is to overturn the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act, as you know, hangs by a thread. It was Chief Justice Roberts who decided a 5-4 decision upholding its constitutionality now eight years ago, and Judge Barrett criticized that decision. That's on the docket of the Supreme Court just a week after the election and Erin, as you well know, Justice Ginsburg dedicated her life to gender equality, and the Affordable Care Act prevents insurance companies from discriminating against women.

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