Schumer: Barrett Confirmation ‘One of the Darkest Days’ in Senate History

October 26, 2020

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said on Monday that Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation to the Supreme Court will "go down as one of the darkest days" in the Senate's history.

At the close of his speech ahead of the Senate's confirmation vote, Schumer lamented that "generations yet unborn will suffer the consequences" of Barrett's nomination and characterized Monday as "one of the darkest days in the 231-year history of the United States Senate."

While notably more civil than the last confirmation battle to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Democrats have sought to cast Barrett as a retrograde jurist and a political pawn of the GOP. They have argued, among other things, that a Barrett appointment to the Supreme Court would end Obamacare or provide President Donald Trump with an advantage in the event of a contested election.

Senate Democrats also lambasted Barrett for her use of the term "sexual preference" while discussing the Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges, even though leading Democrats have used the term for years.

For her part, Barrett has sought to return focus to her originalist jurisprudence, arguing that her appointment would not lead to dramatic changes in Supreme Court precedent.

But when Republicans voted to approve Barrett's nomination last week, Democrats boycotted the vote, leaving in their empty seats poster pictures of constituents who would be harmed if Obamacare were overturned. Legal experts said it is highly unlikely the Supreme Court will undo the health care law.