NationalStacy M. Brown

National Bar Association Declares Supreme Court Nominee a Pandemic for Black and Brown Americans

President Trump’s decision to tab 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has led political watchers and others to brace for a majority conservative bench.

Most important, more than 20 million Americans could lose health insurance because a conservative majority, at the urging of the president and Republican attorneys general, is likely to strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as early as November.

Further, the American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC) reported that any Trump appointee, including Barrett, creates an opportunity for the erosion or complete reversal of other landmark cases instrumental in ensuring female reproductive rights.

Justice Ginsburg repeatedly sided with pro-choice abortion advocates and dissented when the Supreme Court upheld a federal ban in 2007 on a specific abortion procedure.

A report from the Urban Institute determined that without the pandemic’s added stress, repealing the ACA would result in a loss of coverage for 1-in-10 Black Americans and 1-in-10 Hispanics compared with 1-in-16 white individuals.

“The result is that about 1-in-5 Black people and nearly 1-in-3 Hispanic people would be uninsured if the act is repealed,” according to the AJMC.

Should the act be repealed, women would lose guaranteed access to birth control at no out-of-pocket cost and Medicaid patients would lose enhanced prescription drug coverage.

National Bar Association President Tricia C.K. Hoffler declared that a Trump appointee to the high court would result in another pandemic for African Americans, Hispanics, women and immigrants.

“First of all, Justice Ginsberg was a champion not just of women’s rights and gender equality but of civil rights, voting rights and racial equality,” Hoffler stated.

“So, to move so rapidly without allowing the American public to nominate someone is ridiculous,” exclaimed Hoffler, whose path to excellence began with early education in Switzerland and matriculation from prestigious schools like the University of Geneva and Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

“To place a right-wing conservative on the bench would be devastating for voting rights, for civil rights, for equality, for immigration, for access to housing and access to healthcare,” Hoffler continued.

“When you think of Justice Ginsburg, you can’t help but think of the 2013 Shelby v. Holder decision when she wrote a crushing dissenting opinion. That opinion put it plainly that it was gutting the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” she said.

Hoffler warned that African Americans specifically would fare worse under a majority conservative court.

“Things will be so bad during this pandemic and it’s only going to get worse for Black and brown people,” Hoffler predicted.

“With all of these police brutality cases … with Breonna Taylor, we just saw a settlement that was historical between the city of Louisville and Breonna’s family because it included police reform.”

“Well, at some point, we know that will face a challenge in other states where there’s a different application of the laws, so you know the Supreme Court will eventually hear those issues.”

“If you have a conservative court, do you think they are going to uphold policing reform? Do you think they will uphold protections for immigrants in this country? Do you think they will uphold the ACA or anything that passed during President Barack Obama’s administration related to health care, or anything regarding human rights, civil rights, voting privileges, women’s rights and women’s equality?”

“The answer to all of that respectfully would be no. We need to do everything that we can to voice our concerns as Black folks because this will have – like everything else – a disproportionate impact on our community,” she concluded.

 

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Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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