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Rosen will oppose Trump's SCOTUS nominee, but wouldn't turn down a meeting

Catherine Cortez Masto, left, (D-Nev.) and Congresswoman Jacky Rosen, candidate for U.S. Senate, after voting at Cardenas Market in east Las Vegas on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)

Sen. Jacky Rosen will vote against President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett but wants to meet with her to make the case for preserving the Affordable Care Act. 

“If given the opportunity to meet with the nominee, Senator Rosen wants to make clear to Judge Barrett the consequences that repealing the Affordable Care Act would have on hardworking Nevada families who do not want to go back to the days when insurance coverage could be denied based on a pre-existing condition,” said Rosen spokesman Jorge Silva.

There is a tradition of Supreme Court nominees meeting with senators, but not necessarily all 100, to help secure votes for confirmation. Barrett has already started meeting with Senate Republicans. 

Rosen’s openness to a meeting comes as Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, who leads the Senate Democrats, has announced that he would not meet with Barrett. 

Silva also noted that Rosen will oppose Barrett’s confirmation. Both Rosen and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto voted against confirming Barrett in 2017 when Trump tapped her for her current post on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in Chicago.

“Senator Rosen will not support the nomination of a Supreme Court justice who does not support the ACA and women’s reproductive rights,” Silva said. 

Cortez Masto announced her opposition the day Trump nominated Barrett. 

Her spokesman, Ryan King, underscored that fact in a statement. “The Senator already vetted Amy Coney Barrett’s record, writings, and answers during her confirmation hearing for the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and did not support her nomination to the Circuit Court.”

Barrett is a staunch conservative and her confirmation would give the court a conservative majority that could threaten Democratic priorities like abortion rights and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a sweeping Obama-era health care law designed to insure more people, including through expanding Medicaid eligibility, establishing insurance exchanges and requiring insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing medical conditions.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Nov. 10 a case brought by a group of Republican attorneys general and supported by the Trump administration that contends that the ACA is unconstitutional.

Cortez Masto said that the White House is rushing the process to install Barrett so she can hear the ACA case. A vote is expected shortly before Election Day. Barrett is a protégé of late Justice Antonin Scalia and has adopted his originalist approach to interpreting the Constitution.

Cortez Masto cited Barrett’s criticism of Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision in the 2012 NFIB v Sebelius case challenging the ACA that provided a key vote upholding the law. 

“Judge Barrett was on the record then stating her belief that Chief Justice Roberts wrongly decided NFIB v Sebelius in order to save the Affordable Care Act,” King said. “The Senator believes this lifetime appointment is being pushed by the White House prior to oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act in order to rip away health coverage and preexisting condition protections for over a million Nevadans and millions of Americans.”

Cortez Masto does not expect to meet with Barrett. “The Senator has no plan to meet with Amy Coney Barrett,” King said.

Both Nevada Democrats, similar to their Senate colleagues, said they believe the next president should fill the vacancy created following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a consistently liberal vote on the Supreme Court. 

“Senator Rosen strongly believes that the American people must be heard at the ballot box before the Senate confirms a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court,” Silva said in an emailed statement.

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