Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins announced today that she will oppose the nomination of Chad Readler to be a Judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
“I will oppose the nomination of Chad Readler to be a Judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
“As the Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, Mr. Readler was both a lead attorney and policy advisor in the Department’s decision not to defend the Affordable Care Act, including its provisions protecting individuals with pre-existing conditions.
“Rather than defend the law and its protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions – such as asthma, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease – Mr. Readler’s brief in Texas v. United States argued that they should be invalidated.
“I strongly objected to DOJ’s position to not defend the law, and it is telling that this position also concerned some other career attorneys in the Department. In fact, three career attorneys withdrew from the case rather than support this position, and one of those attorneys eventually resigned.
“In my view, the Justice Department’s severability argument is wrong and implausible. On June 27, 2018, I wrote to Attorney General Sessions and urged the Justice Department to reverse course and to defend the law’s critical protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. Even the Justice Department acknowledged that it was ‘rare’ for the government to refuse to defend the laws of the United States against constitutional challenges.
“I have continuously stressed the importance of protecting Americans who suffer from pre-existing conditions, including 45 percent of Maine’s population – 590,000 Mainers. In July 2017, I voted to block several proposals to repeal the ACA, which I feared would reduce protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. In October 2018, I voted to overturn a Trump Administration rule that expands the duration of short-term health insurance plans, which could deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
“Given Mr. Readler’s role in the government’s failure to defend provisions under current law that protect individuals with pre-existing conditions, I will oppose his confirmation to the bench.”