October 9, 2020
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
The undersigned religious, religiously-affiliated, values-based, and faith‐centered organizations and communities represent millions of people of faith committed to compassion, justice, and equal rights for all, including equal access to health care. We are deeply concerned about the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett and what it would mean for the millions of people who rely on the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
President Trump has stated he will only nominate judges who would dismantle the ACA. Judge Amy Coney Barrett would seem to fit that bill given her demonstrated opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to the very premise that all deserve quality, comprehensive, and nondiscriminatory health coverage and services. In the midst of an ongoing pandemic with more than 200,000 deaths and record unemployment, we need a principle defender of justice on the Supreme Court who is committed to upholding civil and human rights, including equal access to health care, while serving on the highest court in the land.
People of faith believe in the dignity of all — and that means all. Our tradition teaches that each of us is made in the image of the divine. As such, every single person’s health is paramount and unassailable. We have an obligation to care for and to protect our bodies and to ensure all others can do the same. This is especially true for the most marginalized members of our society — particularly for Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities; young people; low-income people; people living with disabilities; rural communities; immigrants, and LGBTQ individuals. Responding to the urgent needs of these vulnerable populations disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus requires nothing less than the full attention of the Senate.
Notably, the ACA represents a critical source of health care coverage for these historically underserved communities and was instrumental in covering a wide range of life-saving preventive services, including immunizations, without cost-sharing requirements. However, the fate of this landmark legislation, which had a transformative impact on all aspects of health care by increasing the scope of benefits and improving access to coverage for millions of Americans, hangs in the balance as the Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in California v. Texas on November 10.
At stake are protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, Medicaid expansion that covers 16 million people, 12 million seniors who will have to pay more for prescription drugs, and so much more. Should the ACA be struck down, tens of millions of Americans will immediately lose access to coverage as an unprecedented health crisis rages on, plunging our entire health care system into confusion and chaos. People of faith refuse to remain idle while the health, safety, and lives of countless individuals are on the line and believe that our next Supreme Court justice must commit to upholding precedent affirming the constitutionality of the ACA.
During her time on the bench, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg exemplified a federal judiciary that is of and for the people; that is fair, independent, and qualified; and that is committed to upholding constitutional rights for everyone. We now ask the Senate to follow her powerful example by putting the health and security of our nation and its people first by opposing the
nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to a lifetime seat on the US Supreme Court. It is the moral thing to do.
National Council of Jewish Women
African American Ministers In Action
Alliance of Baptists
Bayard Rustin Liberation Initiative
Bend the Arc
Catholics for Choice
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Clergy Advocacy Board of Planned Parenthood Federation of America Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice
Community Renewal Society
Faith in Public Life
Franciscan Action Network
Habonim Dror North America
Interfaith Voices for Reproductive Justice (IVRJ)
Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action
Jewish Women International
Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
Peaceful Families Project
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Saint Mark United Methodist Church
Society for Humanistic Judaism
T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
Ta’amod: Stand Up!
The Shalom Center
Union for Reform Judaism
Unitarian Universalist Association
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
Women of Reform Judaism