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Amy Coney Barrett hearing: 5 takeaways from Monday

October 12, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett is sworn into her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill on October 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The first day of confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett featured plenty of fiery speeches -- many of them aimed at next month's presidential election rather than the nominee herself.

(CNN)The first day of confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett featured plenty of fiery speeches -- many of them aimed at next month's presidential election rather than the nominee herself.

Republicans defended the decision to confirm Barrett so close to the election and sought to preempt any questions about her Catholic faith, mainly by criticizing Democratic comments from 2017.

Democrats put their clear focus on the threat Obamacare faces when a Republican-led, and Trump-backed, case to strike it down goes before the Supreme Court just a week after the election.

Republicans, meanwhile, went after Democrats for attacks on Barrett, and in particular her faith -- while frequently citing the bitter 2018 fight over Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation, which helped Republicans in several 2018 Senate contests in red states.

A Democratic committee aide said the decision to use personal stories stemmed from an effort to to make Barrett's confirmation as tangible to people as possible that focused on "the real-life effects of a Justice Barrett's decisions. "

Republicans in their opening statements criticized Democrats for previous questions about Barrett's Catholic faith and for stories about her association with the Christian group People of Praise.

At Monday's hearing, however, it was only the Republicans, not Democrats, discussing religion.

Still, Republicans had plenty of fodder from past hearings to knock Democrats over, including Barrett's 2017 confirmation hearing for the federal appeals court, such as when the panel's top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, said, "the dogma lives loudly within you. "

Senators will each get a half-hour to question Barrett on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Republicans and Democrats alternating turns.

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