By LISA MASCARO, MARK SHERMAN and LAURIE KELLMAN
WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett returned to Capitol Hill for a third day of confirmation hearings Wednesday, called “unashamedly pro-life” by her Republican Senate champion with Democrats running out of time to stop her quick confirmation.
Senators are trying to dig deeper into the conservative judge’s outlook on abortion, health care and a potentially disputed presidential election, but Barrett has been batting away questions in long and lively exchanges, insisting she would bring no personal agenda to the court but decide cases “as they come.”
Her nomination by President Donald Trump to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has ground other legislative business to a halt as Republicans excited by the prospect of locking in a 6-3 conservative court majority race to confirm her over Democratic objections before Election Day.
“She’s going to the court,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the committee chairman, said as the proceedings got under way Wednesday after a nearly 12-hour session the day before.
Graham said Trump had made history by nominating someone “who is unashamedly pro-life.” But Graham said, as Barrett has, that she’d be able to set her personal views aside when deciding cases on abortion. Democrats worry that Barrett will vote to undermine abortion rights.
Barrett’s nomination has been the focus at a Capitol mostly shut down by COVID-19 protocols, frustrating Democrats who are virtually powerless to stop a judge from confirmation. They warn she will be seated on the court in time to cast a vote to undo the Affordable Care Act next month, causing millions of Americans to lose coverage during a pandemic.
“People are fed up,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., criticizing GOP priorities in forcing the Senate action as the country suffers from the pandemic and Congress squabbles over approving additional economic aid.
The 48-year-old appellate court judge declared her conservative views in often colloquial language, but she refused many specifics Tuesday. She aligns with the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative mentor, and declined to say whether she would recuse herself from any election-related cases involving Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
“Judges can’t just wake up one day and say I have an agenda — I like guns, I hate guns, I like abortion, I hate abortion — and walk in like a royal queen and impose their will on the world,” Barrett told the committee during its second day of hearings.
“It’s not the law of Amy,” she said. “It’s the law of the American people.”
Trump seemed pleased with her performance. “I think Amy’s doing incredibly well,” he said at the White House departing for a campaign rally.
Trump has said he wants a justice seated for any disputes arising from his heated campaign against Biden, but Barrett testified she has not spoken to Trump or his team about election cases. Pressed by Democrats, she skipped past questions about ensuring the date of the election or preventing voter intimidation, both set in federal law, and the peaceful transfer of presidential power. She declined to …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment