Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) claimed that an “orange cloud” hangs over the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett during Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
“You’re the first nominee to ever be considered in the midst of an election. I don’t know if that’s ever happened before,” Durbin began.
“What’s the hurry? Why couldn’t we wait until November or December, or even January after leaving a vacancy on the court for ten months after Antonin Scalia’s passing. Well, because there is a political agenda here,” the Democrat senator continued. “It has to do with the Affordable Care Act [ACA].”
“Unfortunately, that’s the orange cloud over your nomination,” he added.
"Whether you are privy to it, part of it, notwithstanding — it has to do with the Affordable Care Act. Nov. 10 is the absolute date they have to fill the vacancy."
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) October 14, 2020
Although Durbin did not explain his use of the “orange cloud” phrase, he did state earlier in an interview CNN that the “orange cloud” hanging over the nomination is linked to President Donald Trump’s Twitter activity.
There is an orange cloud hanging over Judge Barrett’s nomination.
President Trump has promised his nominee will end the Affordable Care Act, overturn Roe v. Wade, & help him win this election if need be. Those are the realities of her nomination. She needs to answer for them. pic.twitter.com/TzyzSlVIxl
— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) October 14, 2020
Tuesday, Barrett was questioned for 11 hours as Democrats tried to pin down her views on controversial issues including abortion and the ACA, which Democrats fear will be struck down with Barrett as a justice on the high court.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on Wednesday called Democrats’ focus on the ACA “a distraction,” citing Barrett’s earlier testimony that she “has no agenda” to dismantle the healthcare law and has never made any commitments to anyone, including Trump, to eliminate it.
Each of the 22 committee members were again allotted 30 minutes Wednesday to question Barrett, as the hearings drew closer to the panel’s scheduled vote on her nomination Thursday.
Wednesday’s hearing opened with praise from committee chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for her “historic” nomination.
The UPI contributed to this report.