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Maria Cantwell, Amy Coney Barrett
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Washington Sen. Cantwell: Amy Coney Barrett will ‘chip away at the rights of American women’

Washington Senator Maria Cantwell. (Getty Images)

Washington Senator Maria Cantwell spoke on the Senate Floor Sunday, about what she says is at stake in the wake of a speedy process to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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“I am beyond frustrated that this debate is even happening,” Cantwell said. “The other side of the aisle wants to nominate people who are out of the mainstream view of America.”

Republicans are set to confirm Barrett after a Monday vote, effectively cementing a conservative majority on the Supreme Court for the foreseeable future. With that, there are concerns among Democrats that she could be the deciding vote on a number of major issues, including the Affordable Care Act, gay marriage, and abortion.

Cantwell echoed that Sunday, specifically citing health care and abortion as her primary worries.

“Someone wants to chip away at the rights of American women to have access to health care — my state is going to take it personally,” she said, pointing out that “a majority of Americans support a woman’s right to choose.”

According to regular polling from Gallup, 79% of Americans think abortion should either be legal in all circumstances or at least in certain situations. Just 20% say that it should be illegal in all cases. That polling has held steady for decades, rarely wavering more than a couple percentage points in either direction in any given year.

Adding insult to injury, Cantwell says, is the fact that the Senate “is not dealing with the economic crisis facing America.”

“Instead, Republicans continue to pursue judicial nominees that are out of the American mainstream and  go after a woman’s right to choose,” she said.

Fellow Washington Senator Patty Murray shared similar objections to Barrett’s nomination Monday, warning that “Republicans are counting on her to help them overturn the protections that provided 62 million women with access to no-cost preventative care like birth control, cancer screenings, and more.”

Murray pointed to further concerns over “more than 200 partisan judges Senate Republicans have fast-tracked onto the federal bench,” who she says represent “pro-big business and pro-wealthy special interests.”

Monday’s vote represents the closest date to a presidential election a Supreme Court justice has ever been confirmed. With Republicans expected to have enough votes to confirm Barrett’s nomination, a swearing-in ceremony is scheduled to take place Monday evening at the White House.

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