Protesters against the nomination of Amy Comey Barrett gather at Williamsport courthouse
On Wednesday afternoon, members of American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today (ADAPT) took to the Federal Courthouse in downtown Williamsport in peaceful protest against the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
The protestors, many of whom were disabled, gathered in front of the courthouse with homemade signs promoting their message as drivers slowed in passing.
“We are out here to express our concern about the possible appointment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Her disregard for all lives, and the potential to strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is great concern,” said Karen Koch of Northcentral ADAPT.
ADAPT is a national organization with chapters across The United States. It was originally founded by a group of veterans who felt they were excluded from access to their community after returning home from the war, according to Koch.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett has undergone three days of questioning in the Senate as part of her confirmation hearings. Barrett was recently nominated by President Trump to fill the spot on the Supreme Court previously held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who died Sept. 18, 2020.
Barrett has a history of juridical decisions and statements which have been critical of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The NAACP recently issued a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee "strongly opposing the nomination" of Barrett to the Supreme Court because of "the danger it poses to our civil rights and to the future of our democracy."
Barrett addressed concerns regarding her stance on the ACA on Tuesday during her Senate hearing.
“I think that your concern is that because I critiqued the statutory reasoning that I’m hostile to the ACA, and because I’m hostile to the ACA that I would decide a case in a particular way. And I assure you I am not,” said Barrett.
Senator Fred Keller (R-Pa.) expressed his support for Barrett, stating "criticisms of Judge Barrett" were "nothing more than an election year scare tactic."
"After all, if Washington Democrats truly believed that Obamacare is constitutional, they should have nothing to worry about given Judge Barrett’s strict adherence to the Constitution," wrote Keller.
The protestors did not share Congressman Keller's belief and cited Barrett's other political stances as further evidence for their opposition to her nomination.
“We’re here to protest the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. She has radical views on The Affordable Care Act. She wants to overturn that [the Act], and it [the Act] protects citizens with pre-existing conditions. She doesn’t want to allow women to have control of their bodies and reproductive rights, she is anti-gay marriage," said Jay Harner, a member of the protest. "She is a far right, radical extremist that is being appointed by Donald Trump even though there is an election.”
The committee hearings are expected to conclude on Thursday. The committee vote is expected to take place on Oct. 22, after which the vote will move to the Senate Floor.