Confirmation hearing for Amy Coney Barrett to begin in Senate
October 12, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trumps nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, meets with Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020. (Stefani Reynolds/Pool via AP)
With Election Day just weeks away, a bitterly divided Senate on Monday will launch the confirmation hearing of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's choice to fill the seat of the late liberal icon, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
(CNN)With Election Day just weeks away, a bitterly divided Senate on Monday will launch the confirmation hearing of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's choice to fill the seat of the late liberal icon, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The hearings will serve as a touchstone for the bases of both parties, highlighting the potential of a hard-right turn that could last for decades in areas such as abortion, religious liberty, LGBTQ rights and the Second Amendment, distracting voters from the realities of Covid-19 and leaving liberals to contemplate new tools, including adding seats to the Supreme Court, to staunch their wounds.
And Barrett, who sat through contentious hearings just three years ago for her seat on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, will give her opening statement at the end of the first day.
She makes clear that she believes some issues are better handled by the political branches, which mirrors what conservative justices said in dissent when the high court cleared the way for same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015.
Democrats are also likely to focus on the Affordable Care Act. A week after Election Day, the justices will hear the most important case of the term and decide whether to invalidate the entire law.
Critics of Barrett will point to some of her previous writings, before she took the bench, where she expressed skepticism about the reasoning Chief Justice John Roberts used back in 2012 to uphold the law under the taxing power.
At her 2017 Senate confirmation hearing for a seat on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, she was pressed on whether her own personal convictions would impact how she applies the law.
Her critics note, however, that even though she voted in favor of supporters of abortion rights, the opinion makes clear the lower court was bound by Supreme Court precedent.
Last term, four conservative justices urged the court to take up a Second Amendment case, yet by the end of the term they had declined to do so.
Like Thomas, Barrett suggested that lower courts are thumbing their nose at Supreme Court precedent to uphold gun restrictions treating the Second Amendment like a "second class right. "
In the upcoming hearings Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, has vowed to make her views "front and center" to show how "Judge Barrett's extremist, hard-right views of the Second Amendment will do real harm to real lives in real ways. "