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Disability Groups Raise Concerns About Trump's Supreme Court Nominee

On Monday, more than 50 disability advocacy groups across the United States sent a letter to members of the U.S. Senate opposing President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the signed letter, disability advocacy groups shared they “are deeply troubled about the impact that this nomination would have on people with disabilities.” They expressed that “Judge Barrett’s view that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional” would harm disabled people, not only because it provides health insurance for millions, but “provides particularly crucial protections for people with disabilities.”

Both Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-Ny.) and Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) have tweeted about their concern that Barrett might “take away health care and eliminate protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions.”

The letter also pointed to Judge Barrett’s dissent in a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling about the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “public charge” rule, which made it difficult for immigrants with disabilities to come to the United States and gain permanent residency status. The letter also highlighted how Judge Barrett would replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a justice who stood up for disability rights. That section of the letter read:

Justice Ginsburg authored and joined decisions of tremendous importance for the rights of people with disabilities, including the Olmstead v. L.C. decision affirming that the unnecessary segregation of people with disabilities is discrimination actionable under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and that public entities must administer services to people with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate.

There has not yet been a public response to the disability groups’ letter from the members of Congress addressed in the letter. National and state-level advocacy organizations signed the letter, including Autistic Self Advocacy Network, American Association of People with Disabilities and many state Disability Rights chapters.

Image via Wikimedia Commons/The White House/Shealah Craighead