AP File Photo/Rogelio V. Solis Cory Wilson
AP File Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell led a confirmation hearing for Cory Wilson, a staunch opponent to reproductive healthcare and the Affordable Care Act.

In the midst of the worst healthcare crisis of the modern age, Senate Republicans are focused on pushing through judicial nominees. Ignoring the new coronavirus relief bill passed by the House last Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell instead led a hearing Wednesday for Cory Wilson, a staunch opponent to reproductive healthcare and the Affordable Care Act.

Wilson is President Trump’s latest nominee to 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. 

A Republican member of the Mississippi House of Representatives from 2016-2019, Wilson repeatedly voted to constrict healthcare rights, including supporting 6- and 15-week abortion bans in Mississippi. A supporter of “the complete and immediate reversal” of Roe v. Wade, he also voted to defund Planned Parenthood. 

Calling the ACA “big intrusive government” that “is less about healthcare than it is about redistribution of wealth and power,” he has issued dozens of tweets advertising his opposition to the law that provides roughly 20 million Americans with healthcare coverage. Since 2019, he has served on Mississippi’s Court of Appeals. 

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Democrats asked pointed questions about his record at Wednesday’s hearing. 

“Did you call the passage of the Affordable Care Act ‘perverse’ and ‘illegitimate’ and say that you ‘hope the court’ — you meant the Supreme Court — ‘strikes down the law?'” Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii asked Wilson.

“Senator, before I ever became a judge, I wrote commentary and served in the Legislature where I took a number of…”

Hirono cut him off: “The answer is yes.” 

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears cases from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, has swayed far right under the influence of the last five Trump nominees and is known for defying a Supreme Court precedent to uphold abortion restrictions and upholding laws that facilitate voter suppression. Wilson’s confirmation would take the total of Trump judges appointed to the federal bench to 196. Many of these are lifetime appointments that could alter the course of the legal system for decades. 

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“Cory Wilson’s record demonstrates consistent hostility toward expanded health access and reproductive health care,” Anisha Singh, director of judiciary affairs for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, wrote in a statement. “A global pandemic is not the time to play political games with people’s lives — or nominate a partisan ideologue to a lifetime position on a federal court. The Senate must halt any votes on Wilson or any other lifetime nominees — they must put the needs of the country first.”