Blog, Vacancy Watch

Vacancy Watch: Barrett Hearing Day 2, Part 1

October 13, 2020

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Questioning began this morning in the confirmation hearing of Amy Coney Barrett. Here are a few highlights.

DISRESPECT FOR PROCESS: Sen. Lindsey Graham announced Monday afternoon that he would be holding the first Senate Judiciary Committee markup for Barrett’s nomination on Thursday morning — before the hearings are even complete. It shows that Senate Republicans do not actually care about vetting her nomination, just rushing it through as quickly as possible.

ALL ABOUT THE ACA: Graham opened this morning’s session by criticizing the Affordable Care Act. Several other Senate Republicans joined in echoing their contempt for the law, all while unconvincingly trying to make the case that Barrett’s nomination has nothing to do with overturning it. This was particularly evident when Sen. Mike Lee, just 11 days off from testing positive for COVID-19, said that the stories of those impacted by overturning the ACA are irrelevant — before praising Barrett for her criticism of the law:

IT’S ALL ON THE TABLE: Under questioning from Sen. Diane Feinstein, Barrett tried to claim that the current Supreme Court challenge to the ACA is “not a challenge to preexisting conditions coverage,” despite the fact that the Trump administration is calling for the law to be overturned in its entirety, including those protections.

THE ACA IMPACT: Sen. Patrick Leahy asked Barrett directly if she knew the impact of the ACA, including how many people stand to lose health coverage if it is overturned. She did not.

VIRTUOUS CITIZEN: Sen. Dick Durbin cornered Barrett on her record, which suggests she believes a felony should not prevent someone from purchasing a gun, but could prevent someone from voting. The rights to vote and sit on a jury, she wrote in a 2019 opinion, traditionally only belong to “virtuous citizens.”

Stay tuned for more updates from the hearings.

Make sure to follow AFJ on Twitter @AFJustice and check back for regular updates on the fight to #BlockBarrett.