Amy Coney Barrett returns to the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday for the third day of the confirmation hearing. The hearings begin at 8 a.m. Central, 9 Eastern.
During almost 11 hours of grilling on Tuesday, which ended a little after 8 p.m., Barrett fielded questions from senators from both sides of the aisle from a range of topics including ones relating to politically-charged issues, legal doctrines, judicial processes, as well as questions about her record.
Senate Democrats often failed to ask questions and were criticized what appeared to be long campaign speeches. They focused the questions they did ask on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, as well as other social issues such as access to abortion, LGBT, gun regulation, and the 2020 presidential election. Many of the senators attempted to get Barrett to reveal how she would rule on certain issues or commit to recusing from cases related to Obamacare or the upcoming election.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) asked Barrett about her views on race in the country and George Floyd, which prompted the judge to share her story about how the incident had impacted her family. Barrett and her husband, Jesse Barrett, have seven children, two of whom are adopted from Haiti.
“As you might imagine, given that I have two black children, that was very, very personal for my family,” Barrett said, recounting how her husband was with their sons on a camping trip in another state when the video showing Floyd being arrested by police officers in a chokehold in Minnesota emerged.
BARRETT’S OPENING STATEMENT:
“I was there and my 17-year-old daughter, Vivian, who’s adopted from Haiti, all of this was erupting. It was very difficult for her. We wept together in my room. It was also difficult for my daughter, Julia, who’s 10. I had to explain this to them,” she added.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) promoted the false narrative that President Trump has yet to denounce white supremacists and racism. Trump, in fact, has done so over a dozen times dating back to the 2016 election. He pressed Barrett about whether presidents should commit to a peaceful transfer of power whether they win or lose the November election. President Donald Trump has been repeatedly questioning the reliability of the election infrastructure, including raising concerns about voter fraud due to the push for universal mail-in ballots.
Barrett said as a judge she wanted to “stay out” of such a “political controversy.”
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans predominately focused their questions on Barrett’s judicial philosophy, legal doctrines, as well as defending the judge of their colleagues’ claims.
WATCH THE HEARINGS LIVE:
At one point in the hearing, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) shared his opinion on expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court, also known as court-packing. Numerous Democrats from both chambers have threatened to expand the Supreme Court if Senate Republicans move forward with filling a vacancy left by liberal Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in September.
The effort to expand the court size would be aimed at reshaping the bench in favor of liberals if Democrats were to regain control of the Senate and White House in the the November election.
“Court-packing is itself manipulative, it’s something that has great danger to do immense political and constitutional harm towards this mode of government in part because it would set up a one-way ratchet,” Lee said.
Barrett, throughout the hearing, repeatedly refused to pre-commit on how she would rule on cases or what she thought of Supreme Court precedents.
Today’s hearing for the Barrett confirmation is being streamed and broadcast live.