Senators Will Pay a Price For Elevating a Climate Denier to the Supreme Court

Washington, D.C. — Today, Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett tripled-down on her climate denial — calling climate change a “contentious matter” despite universal-acknowledgment from scientists and experts that human action is fueling the crisis.

This climate denial is politically hurtful for a number of Republican senators running for re-election in tight races this November. Sens. Lindsey Graham, Thom Tillis, Joni Ernst, and John Cornyn – all members of the Judiciary Committee — will have to account to voters for their decision to elevate a climate denier despite increasing support by voters in their respective states for climate action. 

Sens. Cory Gardner, Martha McSally, Susan Collins, and Kelly Loeffler are running behind their challenges and have faced heavy criticism over their climate denial throughout the election. Barrett’s decision to deny climate change multiple times over the course of the hearing will force these senators to further justify their support of her nomination to their climate-conscious voters.

In response to a question from Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Barrett said she does not “have views that are informed enough.” Later, under questioning from Sen. Kamala Harris, Barrett refused to agree that climate change is threatening clean air and water, referring to climate change as too “contentious” and “controversial” to weigh in on. “I’m not a scientist” and similar refrains are long-used diversion tactics employed by Republicans to dodge questions on climate change and their anti-science records. 

“If they vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett, Senators are about to find out that voters will hold them accountable for rushing a climate denier onto the Supreme Court,” said Climate Power 2020 Executive Director Lori Lodes. “This illegitimate, sham process has been an affront to voters, and Amy Coney Barrett’s science denial at a time when the climate crisis is upending daily life across the country only adds insult to injury. Voters are rushing to the polls in droves to vote for climate action and Barrett just further cemented climate change’s place on the ballot come November.”