The latest on the 2020 election and SCOTUS battle

By Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 5:38 PM ET, Sun September 27, 2020
15 Posts
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1:20 p.m. ET, September 27, 2020

Biden: The Senate "must not act on this nomination"

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden gives a speech on September 27 in Wilmington, Delaware.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden gives a speech on September 27 in Wilmington, Delaware. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden urged the Senate not to act on President Trump's Supreme Court nomination because the 2020 election — which includes mail-in ballots already sent out in some places — is already underway.

"Never before in our nation's history has a Supreme Court justice been nominated and installed while a presidential election is already underway," Biden said.

President Trump yesterday nominated Amy Coney Barrett to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Supreme Court seat. Senate Republicans have outlined a timeline to confirm the nomination before Election Day.

"There are senate Republicans out there who know in their hearts that if they shut out the voices of those during a voting period, during an election, closing the door on American democracy thereafter," Biden said while speaking in Delaware today.

He continued:

"The Senate has to stand strong for a democracy. They must not act on this nomination until the American people finish the process they've already begun, of selecting their president and their Congress."
12:20 p.m. ET, September 27, 2020

Biden: Republicans want to "overturn the Affordable Care Act" with this SCOTUS pick

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said President Trump's nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and Senate Republicans' promise to quickly confirm her is about overturning the Affordable Care Act.

Biden said Republicans are going against their own standards, which they set when they refused to hold a hearing for former President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee in 2016 because it was an election year.

"All that matters is they see an opportunity to overturn the Affordable Care Act on their way out the door," Biden said.

He continued:

"It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what the American people want. President Trump sees a chance to fulfill his explicit mission — steal away the vital protection of the ACA for countless families who have come to rely on them for their health, their financial security, the lives of those they love."

What this is about: Senate Republicans have outlined a possible confirmation hearing for Barrett that could have her confirmed before Election Day.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments just after the election in a case about the Affordable Care Act. The case is brought by a coalition of Republican state attorneys general and the Trump administration, who argue the law's individual mandate is unconstitutional, and the entire law must fall.

1:24 p.m. ET, September 27, 2020

Some Senate Democrats say they will meet with Barrett

From Ali Main, Daniella Mora and Nick Neville

Judge Amy Coney Barrett speaks after being nominated to the US Supreme Court by President Donald Trump on September 26 in Washington, DC.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett speaks after being nominated to the US Supreme Court by President Donald Trump on September 26 in Washington, DC. Oliver Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

Following President Trump's formal nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, more Senate Democrats weighed in on whether they would be willing to meet with the nominee, despite widespread disapproval within their party of the expedited confirmation process.

Some Democratic senators, including Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Mazie Hirono, have said they won't meet with Barrett. 

Although he has said he would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court justice before Election Day, Sen. Joe Manchin, the only Democrat who voted to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh, told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday he would meet with the judge, saying he thinks the "greatest responsibility" of a US senator is to "hear all sides of whatever the debate might be" and noting it is the duty of the Senate to "meet and confirm" with presidential nominees.

Manchin specifically mentioned that he would like to discuss the Affordable Care Act with Barrett.

"How do I explain to 800,000 that their pre-existing condition is not going to be covered, that they're not going to have the ability to even buy insurance?" the West Virginia Democrat asked.

Sens. Cory Booker and Chris Coons, both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also intend to meet with Barrett.

Booker said on NBC's "Meet the Press" it's his "spirit" to sit down and have conversations with people. Coons told CBS's "Face the Nation" that he would meet with the nominee either in-person or by phone and that he would also press her on the ACA.

Sen. Dick Durbin, the Democratic Whip and also a Judiciary Committee member, reiterated on ABC's "This Week" that he would meet with Barrett, as he told CNN's Michael Smerconish on Saturday.

"I've met with every Supreme Court nominee since I've been in the Senate, I will extend that courtesy, if she requests it, for at least a socially distanced safe meeting, perhaps over the phone," Durbin explained.

1:19 p.m. ET, September 27, 2020

NOW: Joe Biden speaks about the US Supreme Court

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden gives a speech on September 27 in Wilmington, Delaware.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden gives a speech on September 27 in Wilmington, Delaware. Andrew Harnik/AP

Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden is now delivering remarks on the US Supreme Court from Wilmington, Delaware this afternoon.

The former Vice President had been expected to be largely out of the public eye this weekend as he prepares for Tuesday’s debate. However, the campaign announced this event early Sunday morning. 

Last night, shortly after President Trump announced he was nominating Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Biden released a statement focused on health care and protecting the Affordable Care Act.

“Today, President Trump has nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett as the successor to Justice Ginsburg’s seat. She has a written track record of disagreeing with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act. She critiqued Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion upholding the law in 2012,” Biden said.

He added that the Senate should not act on the vacancy until after the American people select their next president. 

Remember: Senate Republicans have outlined a possible confirmation hearing for Barrett that could have her confirmed before Election Day.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments just after the election in a case about the Affordable Care Act. The case is brought by a coalition of Republican state attorneys general and the Trump administration, who argue the law's individual mandate is unconstitutional, and the entire law must fall.

1:14 p.m. ET, September 27, 2020

White House chief of staff doubles down on attacks on FBI director and voter fraud investigation

From CNN's Sarah Westwood

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows Sunday again criticized FBI Director Chris Wray. He said that his “problem” with Wray, who the White House has criticized recently, is that Wray has done so little to investigate voter fraud – and he declined to affirm President Trump’s confidence in the director. 

“To suggest that there is a process that is full of integrity is trying to make a verdict before you’ve actually heard the case,” Meadows told CBS’ “Face the Nation,” referring to Wray’s testimony on Capitol Hill denying widespread voter fraud. Meadows first criticized the comments Friday. 

“That’s my problem with Director Wray. They need to investigate it, and make sure that the voting populace — makes sure that their vote counts and no one else’s does,” Wray said Sunday. 

Meadows declined to offer the President’s confidence in the FBI director, while noting Trump will consider replacing those in whom he does lose confidence. CNN has reported Trump is highly unlikely to dismiss Wray before the election.

“Well, I mean, as we look at this, we want to make sure he’s doing his job. There are different degrees of confidence in different Cabinet members. Certainly, he's still there,” Meadows said. “The minute the President loses confidence in any of his Cabinet members — they serve at his pleasure — he will certainly look at replacing them.”

The FBI has not commented on Meadows’ comments.

What is this about: Wray during his testimony last week did say the FBI does investigate voter fraud when there are accusations.

“Well, senator, I think what I would say is this. We take all election related threats seriously, whether it's voter fraud, voter suppression, whether it's in person, whether it's by mail, and our role is to investigate the threat actors.
Now, we have not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it's by mail or--or otherwise. We have seen voter fraud at the local level from time to time and so my comment should, in no way, be construed as minimizing how seriously we take our responsibility to investigate such incidents or the potential impact those things could have at the local level. So, it's in our radar.
Certainly to change a—a federal election outcome by mounting that kind of fraud at scale would be a major challenge for an adversary, but people should make no mistake, we're vigilant as to the threat and watching it carefully.”
11:06 a.m. ET, September 27, 2020

Here's the timeline for Barrett's Senate confirmation, according to the Judiciary Chair

From CNN's Ali Main

Rachel Malehorn via AP
Rachel Malehorn via AP

Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham this morning clarified his committee's timeline to address the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Graham said in an interview with Fox Business's Maria Bartiromo that confirmation hearings for Barrett would begin on Oct. 12 with an introduction day.

After that, there will be two days of questioning, and on Oct. 15th, the committee will begin its markup.

They will hold a committee vote to send her nomination before the entire chamber on Oct. 22.

Last night on Fox News, Graham said the committee would vote on Barrett's nomination by Oct. 26. 

10:59 a.m. ET, September 27, 2020

Trump arrives at his Virginia golf club

People gather outside the Trump National Golf Club as President Donald Trump arrives on September 27 in Sterling, Virginia.
People gather outside the Trump National Golf Club as President Donald Trump arrives on September 27 in Sterling, Virginia. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump arrived at Trump National golf club in Sterling, Virginia at just after 10 a.m. today, according to pool reports.

This is his 397th visit to one of his properties and 298th visit to one of his golf clubs during his presidency.

The President's trip comes a day after he announced he's nominating Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

As Trump arrived at the golf club, there was a woman dressed in a "Handmaid's Tale" costume with a sign that said "VOTE" and a large crowd right near the entrance of the club with a sign that read “204k.” 

A woman wearing a "Handmaid's Tale" costume stands outside the Trump National Golf Club as President Donald Trump arrives on September 27 in Sterling, Virginia.
A woman wearing a "Handmaid's Tale" costume stands outside the Trump National Golf Club as President Donald Trump arrives on September 27 in Sterling, Virginia. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

More than 204,500 people have died from coronavirus in the US since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University's latest tally.

There were a few Trump supporters as well although only a fraction of the crowd, per CNN's Allie Malloy.

10:56 a.m. ET, September 27, 2020

Jill Biden: Under Joe Biden, "we have calm. We have steady leadership."

Jill Biden speaks with CNN's Jake Tapper
Jill Biden speaks with CNN's Jake Tapper CNN

Asked about President Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose the election, Jill Biden said her husband, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, will bring "calm" back to the US.

"This is Donald Trump's America. this is the chaos," Biden said in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper.

"We go back to Joe Biden, we have calm. We have steady leadership," she added. "We don't have all of this chaos in America."

Some background: Earlier this week, Trump would not commit to providing a peaceful transition of power after Election Day, lending further fuel to concerns he may not relinquish his office should he lose in November.

"Well, we're going to have to see what happens," Trump said when asked whether he'd commit to a peaceful transition, one of the cornerstones of American democracy.

Trump has previously refused to say whether he would accept the election results, echoing his sentiments from 2016. And he has joked — he says — about staying in office well past the constitutionally bound two terms.

9:47 a.m. ET, September 27, 2020

Jill Biden: "We should have a Commander in Chief who supports our military family"

Jill Biden, Joe Biden's wife, said reports that Trump called fallen US military members losers "heartbreaking," if it's true.

"If it is true, it's pretty heartbreaking," she said in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper. "We should have a Commander in Chief who supports our military family, as Joe says it's our one sacred obligation to take care of our military and their families."

What this is about: Earlier this month, a report in The Atlantic magazine cited sources who said Trump rejected the idea of a visit to Aisne-Marne cemetery in France to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. He and proceeded to refer to the fallen soldiers as "losers" and "suckers," according to the sources.

Trump has forcefully denied the report in The Atlantic.