WASHINGTON, DC, March 31, 2020 – The coronavirus crisis may have interrupted the flow of business in Congress, but health care groups are sounding the alarm about business still waiting in the wings. Today, a coalition of 20 groups advocating to protect access to quality health care issued a joint letter opposing the confirmation of Cory Wilson to the U.S. Court of Appeals to the Fifth Circuit. President Trump had previously nominated Wilson to the district court for the Southern District of Mississippi, but just yesterday issued a new nomination that would elevate him to the higher court.
Wilson has an extreme ideological record, including fierce opposition to providing people with access to health care. He called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) “illegitimate” and “perverse,” despite the fact that 160,000 Mississippians gained health coverage because of it. Describing the law as “big intrusive government,” Wilson called upon the Supreme Court to invalidate the ACA, stating, “For the sake of the Constitution, I hope the Court strikes down the law.”
Mississippi is party to a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the entire ACA, and it was judges on the Fifth Circuit that have kept that suit alive. That is the very circuit to which Wilson has now been nominated to serve. It’s incredibly possible that, if seated, Wilson would have the opportunity to weigh in on future challenges to the law.
Elena Hung, Executive Director, Little Lobbyists:
“If Cory Wilson is confirmed, he could spend his lifetime tenure attacking access to affordable health care that children with complex medical needs and disabilities like my daughter rely on to survive and thrive. Wilson’s record on health care is troubling, and his confirmation would mean decades of rulings undermining the rights of those most in need of protection, in favor of the wealthy and powerful. American families cannot afford that.”
Margarida Jorge, Executive Director, Health Care for America Now (HCAN):
“Cory Wilson’s hyper-partisan opposition to the Affordable Care Act should invalidate his nomination. We need judges committed to upholding the Constitution and protecting people from powerful interests, not someone who has spent years railing against the ACA and working to keep thousands of Mississippi’s most vulnerable from getting access to care. Lies can’t change his record, and his actions speak volumes about his real priorities. He must not be confirmed.”
Melvin Wilson, Manager of Social Justice & Human Rights, National Association of Social Workers:
“The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is in opposition to the appointment of Cory Wilson to the federal appeals court for the Fifth Circuit. In brief, Wilson’s judicial positions social policy philosophies are not in line with NASW’s values. We are particularly concerned about his antagonistic positions to major civil rights and public health issues such as being – against the Affordable Care Act; Anti- LBGTQ rights; against anti-gun violence legislation; opposed to Voting Rights and being strongly against polices and laws that protect reproductive health.”
Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE):
“Cory Wilson has made clear that he wants to bring back the days when simply being transgender was a ‘pre-existing condition.’ His clear commitment to taking away care from millions is unbecoming of a judge, but it’s exactly why President Trump wants him on the bench for decades to come.”
Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO, National Women’s Law Center:
“At a time when the country is suffering from the COVID-19 public health crisis, it would be unconscionable for the Senate to advance an extreme judicial nominee like Cory Wilson. His hostility to the Affordable Care Act, abortion rights, and LGBTQ equality has worsen the shaky foundation many Americans stand on today. This global pandemic has revealed the glaring deficiencies in our health care system and our country clearly needs judges who will fortify it- not someone who has a history of undermining it.”
Nan Aron, President, Alliance for Justice:
“Cory Wilson has fought access to quality health care for millions. He called the Affordable Care Act ‘illegitimate’ and ‘perverse.’ He also opposed expanding Medicaid in Mississippi, which would have provided health care coverage to 100,000 Mississippians. As the coronavirus crisis has quickly confirmed, guaranteeing coverage is not only essential for the health, and very life, of every American, but necessary to protect our society. Yet, even during a pandemic, Republicans remain intent on using the courts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Somebody who can so cavalierly dismiss its importance does not belong on the federal bench. We deserve judges who are committed to protecting the health care of all people, not accomplishing a partisan agenda to benefit the wealthy and powerful.”