The Senate is pushing forward with the confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett as lawmakers begin questioning President Donald Trump's pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.
Both parties set the tone of the confirmation hearings during their opening statements on Monday (October 12). Democrats blasted the Republicans for moving forward with hearings so close the election and called them hypocrites for refusing to hold hearings for Merrick Garland, who was nominated by President Barack Obama during his final year in office. They also suggested that she could be the deciding vote that strikes down Obamacare and overturns Roe v. Wade.
"If they succeed, it will result in millions of people losing access to health care at the worst possible time in the middle of a pandemic," California Senator Kamala Harris, who is the Democratic nominee for vice president, said, speaking via videoconference.
Barrett defended herself against those accusations and said that she would not let her personal opinions dictate how she rules on cases.
"Courts have a vital responsibility to enforce the rule of law, which is critical to a free society," Barrett said. "But courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life. The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the people. The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try."
After the hearing, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham told reporters that the Democrats were trying to debate the Affordable Care Act as a policy issue instead of focusing on the legal merits of the law.
"Her job will be to talk about the law and how you would apply the law to any litigation — whether it be guns, health care, abortion, campaign finance, and I think she'll do a good job," Graham said.
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