Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) says he is friends with Debbie Stabenow, his Democratic colleague from Michigan, so he tried to be as "gentle" as he could with his reprimand after Stabenow predicted that new Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett would be the vote to upend health care in America.
"Sell crazy somewhere else, we're all stocked up here," Kennedy said gently on Fox News Sunday. "Unless Debbie's clairvoyant I don't think she knows how the nominee is going to vote."
Before Kennedy appeared on Fox, Sen. Stabenow told guest anchor Brit Hume that President Trump's SCOTUS nominee was going to be the nail in Obamacare's coffin, and, as she sees it, the nail in health care at large. Her proof was a comment that ACB made about Chief Justice John Roberts's tie breaking decision to save the individual mandate by declaring it as a tax.
"Chief Justice Roberts pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute," she wrote in a Notre Dame law article in 2017. "He construed the penalty imposed on those without health insurance as a tax, which permitted him to sustain the statute as a valid exercise of the taxing power; had he treated the payment as the statute did—as a penalty—he would have had to invalidate the statute as lying beyond Congress’s commerce power."
Hume challenged Stabenow on that point. Now that the mandate was repealed, he wondered what made the senator think that Barrett would be the inevitable end to the ACA.
"It's called common sense," the Democrat replied. "The No. 1 priority of Donald Trump is to take away people's health care."
Stabenow added that Barrett has given "clues and writings" on this issue. Again pressed by Hume, Stabenow said she didn't want to give away too much "legalese" ahead of the hearings, before changing the subject to the coronavirus.
Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia argued that it's nonsense to paint Barrett as an opponent of health care.
"There's absolutely zero reason to believe that Judge Barrett is somebody that does not have views of the importance of health care," Scalia told Hume. "She's a working mother of school aged children, she's the mother to a child of disability. The suggestion that she's opposed to health care is absurd."
Kennedy made a prediction of his own - one that foreshadows how the Democrats are going to act during Barrett's confirmation hearings. When now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh was on the stand, it was an ugly, all-out war, with decades old sexual assault allegations tossed in at the eleventh hour and accepted as gospel by Democratic senators who were supposed to be offering the nominee a fair trial.
"If my Democratic friends want to turn it into an intergalactic freak show and bring back the protesters with the genitalia shaped headgear, I can't stop them," Kennedy said of Barrett's upcoming hearings. "I just hope they won't. I'm going to do my job."