Here are the main takeaways from the final day of Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings – National


Health care once again played a leading role in Supreme Court candidate Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, as Democrats sought to highlight an issue they wanted voters to review on election day.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Barrett maintained his view that it would be inappropriate to comment on national health care law or other matters that may come before him as a judge. She also declined to say if a president can forgive himself.

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Amy Coney Barrett keeps Democrats at bay on final day of Supreme Court hearings

The Republicans didn’t seem disheartened and were likely to get Barrett confirmed ahead of the election, in just three weeks.

Takeaways from the third day of the hearing:

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Fill a seat in time for the ‘Obamacare’ case

Democrats noted that Trump had made it clear he wanted to overturn the Affordable Care Act, saying Republicans in Trump and the Senate were rushing to confirm Barrett so she could be seated in time to hear a case in the month. next challenging this “Obamacare” law.

Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Said there was an ‘orange cloud’ hanging over Barrett’s nomination – a political blow to Trump’s tan and a reference to the president’s oft-stated wish to overthrow the law.

Barrett told senators she was not “hostile” to the law and promised to consider all arguments.

Republicans played down the threat to the health law posed by the lawsuit. “This hearing has been more about Obamacare than you,” committee chair Senator Lindsey Graham, RS.C., told Barrett. He added: “Obamacare is on the ballot” next month.

SCOTUS candidate Amy Coney Barrett says the decision to challenge any election-related case would be a process

SCOTUS candidate Amy Coney Barrett says the decision to challenge any election-related case would be a process

Republicans oppose the health care law because “it was written and passed on a partisan line,” Graham said. “Most of the big changes in society are more favorable (to the public and both political parties) than this. You talk about a fifth of the US economy. ”

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Yet Graham and other Republicans pointed out that even if parts of the law were struck down, important aspects such as coverage for pre-existing conditions could still be preserved, under a concept known as severability. “The doctrine of divisibility involves – and its purpose is – to preserve (key elements of) status if at all possible,” Graham said.

Barrett agreed, saying, “The presumption is always in favor of divisibility.”

Republicans have introduced bills to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions and bring down drug prices, said Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. “And if we take action, (voters) don’t have to worry about you doing away with pre-existing conditions in a future event to come,” he told Barrett.

No one is above the law

On another issue where Trump’s opinions and tweets are well known, Barrett declined to say whether a president can forgive himself. But she said she agreed that no one is above the law.

When asked by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Barrett said the issue of self-pardon has never been brought to court. “This question may or may not arise, but it is a question that calls for a legal analysis of the scope of the power of pardon,” Barrett said. She said offering an opinion now “would be an opinion on an open question … it is not a question in which I can offer a point of view. ”

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Here are the key takeaways from day two of Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings

Multiple tax inquiries focus on Trump, his businesses and associates, and he has said he has “an absolute right” to forgive himself.

While refusing to question whether Trump would be able to forgive himself, Barrett said she agreed with Leahy’s claim that “no one is above the law.”

No overview of judicial opinions

For the second day in a row, Barrett has repeatedly declined to give her personal perspective, or preview how she might rule, on issues that may become in court. Like other Supreme Court candidates, Barrett said he was prohibited from expressing those views through “canons of judicial conduct.”

In addition to a possible presidential self-pardon and the opportunity to repeal the health care law, Barrett said she could not rule on whether she would withdraw from any election-related litigation. involving Trump. When he appointed her, he said he wanted the nine judges to be in place before any possible election decision.

Barrett also said she could not express an opinion on climate change because it was a “very controversial public policy issue”. Asked by Senator Kamala Harris, D-Calif., The party’s running mate, Barrett called climate change “politically controversial,” adding that discussion of the issue is “incompatible with the judicial role as I l ‘explained’.

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SCOTUS Candidate Amy Coney Barrett Says “Judges Are Not Royal Queens”

SCOTUS Candidate Amy Coney Barrett Says “Judges Are Not Royal Queens”

Scientists claim that climate change is being caused by people burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas and is worsening sharply. The parched lands of the American West are increasingly drier and suffering from deadly wildfires, while the much wetter east continues to be inundated with hurricanes and other mega-rains. Climate change amplifies both extremes.

Breakthrough for conservative women

Graham opened Wednesday’s hearing by proclaiming that Barrett’s awaited confirmation was a historic victory for conservative women. Like “conservatives of color”, conservative women, he said, are often “marginalized” in public life.

“This hearing, for me, is an opportunity not to break through a glass ceiling but a reinforced concrete barrier around conservative women,” Graham told Barrett. “You are going to break this barrier. “

Graham said he had “never been more proud of a candidate” than Barrett, a judge on the Indiana Federal Court of Appeals. “This is the first time in American history that we name a woman who is unabashedly pro-life and embraces her faith without excuses, and she goes to court. This is history, my friends.

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Amy Coney Barrett answers Democrats’ questions on day two of hearings

Barrett declined to comment on how she would rule on a challenge to the Roe v. Wade who established the right to abortion, but made it clear that she opposed the right to abortion and signed a 2006 letter opposing “abortion on demand”.

Changing the balance of the Supreme Court

Senator Chris Coons, D-Del., Asked Barrett if she would admit that her confirmation would mean a shift to the right of the Supreme Court that would have “profound” implications.

Coons referred to an interview Barrett gave in which she spoke of a shift in balance if Merrick Garland, a 2016 federal appeals judge appointed by President Barack Obama, was elevated to the high court. Obama picked Garland after Judge Antonin Scalia died, but Senate Republicans refused to give Garland a hearing, citing the presidential election within months of the year.

Barrett told Coons she was referring in the interview to Garland’s judicial approach, not his more liberal views. Unlike conservative Scalia, Garland was not an originalist, which refers to a way of interpreting the Constitution that focuses on the text and the intentions of the Founding Fathers in resolving legal disputes.

“It would be moved away from one balance and towards another in terms of how the judges perceive the text,” said Barrett, who like Scalia is an originalist.

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Coons noted that Barrett, who claims Scalia as his mentor, would replace Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was not an originalist and was the liberal leader of the court. Barrett’s confirmation would move the court’s previous 5-4 Conservative majority to 6-3.

Americans need a better understanding of the originalist philosophy, Coons said, “because I think it means that all of our modern understanding of certain constitutional commitments around freedom, privacy, and equality under the law could , in fact, to be brought back to 19th or even 18th century understandings. in a way that most Americans cannot recognize. ”

Noises of silence

The hearing was interrupted twice on Wednesday due to audio problems in the Dirksen Senate building. The sound in the courtroom went off shortly before 2 p.m. and was muted for 40 minutes. He cut himself off again after the hearing resumed, this time for about 15 minutes.

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‘Illegitimate committee process’: Biden and Harris target Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s Supreme Court candidate

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The problem first occurred right after Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Asked Barrett if she had rested after a long day of questioning on Tuesday. “I had a glass of wine. I’ll tell you, I needed this at the end of the day, ”she said.

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On this point, “You have the right to remain silent,” Blumenthal told Barrett.


Associated Press editor Colleen Long contributed to this report.

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