WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett is appearing before the Senate for the first day of confirmation hearings Monday.
The Senate Judiciary Committee hearings will span four days, beginning with members and Barrett herself making opening statements. You can stream the hearings live right here.
The process marks a crucial step before a final full Senate vote by the end of October on Barrett’s nomination to fill the seat left vacant by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It also gives the public an opportunity to hear from the candidate, in her own words, typically on issues related to judicial philosophy as well as opinions on hot-button social issues like abortion.
Recent nominees have typically kept those views close to their chests. Senators often follow up the testimony with further questions posed to the nominee in writing.
The 48-year-old U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit judge is President Trump’s third nomination to the Supreme Court, after Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., made the first opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Monday for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, discussed the legacy of late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
After the brief lunch break, Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-HI, resumed the hearing by breaking down the importance of the Affordable Care Act with personal stories from American families.
“The consequences of Judge Barrett’s confirmation would be devastating for millions of Americans who would lose their health care during this pandemic. Even in normal times without the threat of a pandemic, no one in our country should have to confront a major illness worried that it might bankrupt their families. But we all know these are not normal times. Health care is the number one concern for so many people in our country and they are rightly terrified that Judge Barrett will provide the deciding vote to overturn the ACA and take away their health care,” said Hirono.
Barrett is expected to tell senators that as a judge she seeks to “reach the result required by the law, whatever my own preferences might be,” according to a copy of her prepared remarks released on Sunday.
Barrett, 48, said in the statement that it will be an “honor of a lifetime” to serve alongside the current eight justices.
Her confirmation would create a 6-3 conservative majority on the court that could lead to rulings rolling back abortion rights, as well as expanding religious and gun rights.
Besides Barrett, the first remarks Monday will be delivered by Republican Senators Todd Young and Michael Braun, as well as Notre Dame Law School Professor Patricia O’Hara.
Barrett will face questions from senators on Tuesday and Wednesday in lengthy all-day sessions. The hearing is expected to conclude on Thursday, with outside witnesses testifying about her qualifications.
Hearing Witness Schedule
As of Oct. 10, 2020, this is the schedule. Testimony by those who know Judge Barrett and legal experts is expected to follow the questioning of Barrett.
MONDAY, OCT. 12
- Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.)
- Sen. Michael Braun (R-Ind.)
- Patricia O’Hara, professor emerita of law, Notre Dame Law School
- Judge Amy Coney Barrett (opening statement)
- Opening statements from Judiciary Commitee members
TUESDAY, OCT. 13
- Judge Amy Coney Barrett (Questioning begins)
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 14
- Judge Amy Coney Barrett
THURSDAY, OCT. 15
- Judge Amy Coney Barrett
You can watch today’s portion of the confirmation hearing on WETM-TV, on the 18 News Mobile App, or in this story above.