Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden accused Donald Trump Sunday of rushing to install a new Supreme Court justice to "eliminate the entire Affordable Care Act," known as Obamacare, in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Trump has nominated Amy Coney Barrett, a darling of conservatives for her religious views, to replace the late liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a lifetime seat on the top court, potentially impacting some of the most partisan issues in America, from abortion to gun rights to health care.
His decision to push her nomination through just weeks before the tense and potentially disputed November 3 election, in which polls show he is the underdog, has galvanized Democrats, who are calling for the decision to be made by the winner of the vote.
Trump and the Republican Party are pushing Barrett's confirmation through because they "see an opportunity to overturn the Affordable Care Act on their way out the door," Biden told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware.
He again urged the Senate to delay the confirmation until after the election, noting that early voting had already begun.
"Never before in our nation’s history has a Supreme Court justice been nominated and installed while a presidential election is already underway," he said.
"There are Senate Republicans out there who know in their hearts that if you shut out the voice of the people during an election, you are closing the door on American democracy thereafter," Biden continued.
Subverting that "so needlessly... would be an irreversible step toward the brink."
He continued: "The voters will not stand for this abuse of power. And if we are to call ourselves a democracy, their voices must be heard."
Earlier, Trump expressed confidence about the confirmation Sunday in an interview with "Fox & Friends."
"I think we're going to have it done easily before the election," he said.
"I think it would be nice to do. Get it out of the way," he continued, adding: "We have plenty of time."
Barring a huge surprise, Republican senators, who have 53 out of 100 votes in the upper house of Congress, are expected to confirm Barrett.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, has already announced that a vote will be held "this year."