Technical difficulties hampered Judge Amy Coney Barrett's second day of questioning, interrupting an allegedly smooth session for a Supreme Court candidate whose confirmation is all but certain.
The microphones in the auditorium stopped working for about 40 minutes on Wednesday afternoon, causing the verification process to be paused while staff tried to fix the sound system.
Then it happened again, less than 10 minutes after the hearing restarted.
"Let's not pay the bills," asked Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, after it happened the second time.
"This is embarrassing," said Republican Senator John Kennedy as the legislature waited for the retrial.
Barrett's nomination was plagued by bumps in the road.
Before President Donald Trump named her as Ruth Bader Ginsburg's successor, the late judge's family announced that the RBG wanted to have their replacement named by the election winner in November. Then the Rose Garden event, at which Trump officially nominated Barrett, became a coronavirus super-spreader that saw at least 12 people – including the President, First Lady, and Senators on the Judiciary Committee – test positive for the virus after attending .
An agent inspects a microphone because of technical difficulties on the second day of Judge Amy Coney Barrett's questioning
Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal jokes with Republican Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, as Republican Senator Lindsey Graham stands by (right) while lawmakers wait for the microphones to be fixed
Barrett was answering questions from Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal when her microphone went off for the first time.
The senators tapped their own microphones and the room found that the sound system was down.
Graham put the panel on hiatus while the staff worked to fix the problem.
"It was the Russians," he was heard jokingly as Barrett left the room and the senators waited for the session to resume.
Senators paced up and down, clapping in groups – wearing face masks – and checking their phones while they waited. Republican Kennedy appeared to be seeing something on his iPad while he waited.
"What's going on here, guys?" Graham asked the staff once.
After lawmakers returned, the microphones went off a second time, resulting in a 15-minute break while repairs were made. Graham said those in the room could hear, but the sound was not broadcast to those watching the camera feed.
& # 39; Does it work now? & # 39; Barrett asked about her microphone as interrogation continued for the second recording.
The failure came shortly after Barrett admitted, in a rare moment of personal candor, that she had had a glass of wine on Tuesday after the long day of questioning. On the second day of her confirmation hearing, she was barbecued by senators for 11 hours.
“I had a glass of wine. I'll tell you I needed that at the end of the day, ”she said to Blumenthal during his interview.
"Let me just say, on this point, that you have a right to remain silent," he joked, and Barrett laughed.
Republican Senator Thom Tillis speaks to Judge Amy Coney Barrett's family
Judicial Committee chairman Lindsey Graham waits with staff while the panel paused after microphones went down
This is the second year in a row that a Supreme Court candidate has brought up his drinking habits during his confirmation hearing.
As is known, Brett Kavanuagh said during his verification hearing that he “liked” beer when questions surfaced about his drinking after making sexual assault allegations as a teenager, which he denied.
"I drank beer with my friends," Kavanaugh said during his opening speech, describing his younger days. & # 39; Almost everyone has done it. Sometimes I had too many beers. Sometimes others did. I want beer. I still like beer. & # 39;
Barrett is far from dead on her last day of confirmation with her Supreme Court seat.
It remains unclear how she will proceed on key issues the Supreme Court will hear over the next few months, including the legality of the Affordable Care Act. If the November presidential election is challenged, the Supreme Court could make the final decision, as in the Bush v Gore case in 2000, which turned the presidency over to George W. Bush.
Graham has said he plans to elect Barrett to the committee on October 22nd. Republican Senate Chairman Mitch McConnell said he plans to put it to the Senate vote shortly thereafter. Democrats have neither the voices nor the power to do much to prevent this from happening.
Wednesday was the third day of Barrett's hearing process. Monday was the opening speech and Tuesday was the first day of the marathon for the survey.
At the start of Wednesday's barbecue, Graham promised that a Supreme Court seat would be "waiting" for Barrett as he praised the candidate for her lifelike views and attacked other senators for hearing on other subjects.
"This is the first time in American history that we have nominated a woman who is outrageous for life and accepts her belief without apology, and she goes to court," said Graham. "A seat at the table is waiting for you."
He continued, "I've never been more proud of a candidate like you."
Graham claimed during his allotted 20 minutes on Wednesday opening day three of the hearing and day two of questions that female Conservatives and Conservatives of color "have a hard time".
He said their contributions are marginalized by the left because they are "on a different side of an issue – especially on abortion".
Barrett spent much of Tuesday answering questions about her personal views on life, especially if she would be in favor of Roe v. Overthrow Wade, which Democrats would fear if confirmed, but they were featured far less Wednesday morning.
However, the 48-year-old candidate said she would not speak up or commit to how she would lean or govern in future or potential cases, adding that she had made no pre-commitments or promises.
Graham began day two of the poll by bringing his fellow panelists – particularly vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris – to their knees.
"Senator Harris mentioned how much more open justice Ginsburg was," said Graham. "And with all due respect to Senator Harris, I disagree."
The California Democrat put Barrett on trial Tuesday night for saying she was following Ginsburg's refusal to say how she would govern in future cases at her confirmation hearing, but not following the late justice example for a clear defense their beliefs – in the case of the RBG on abortion rights – at this hearing.
Amy Coney Barrett arrives on Capitol Hill for the second full day of interrogation of Senators conducting their confirmatory hearing
Family arrival: Liam Barrett, Amy Coney Barrett's eldest son, leads the way in court, followed by his sisters Vivian, Tess, Juliet and Emma
Remote Consultation: Senator Patrick Leahy appeared on a video link for the socially distant hearing
Harris – and other Democrats – had also challenged Barrett over the Affordable Care Act, which Graham declared an electoral problem. The Supreme Court will hear a Republican-led and Trump-backed challenge to Obamacare days after the election, with the potential for judges to quash the entire act.
But Graham said he wanted to focus on Barrett, not a hypothetical decision.
“That hearing was more Obamacare than about you. Obamacare is on the ballot, ”he said.
“Today is about you. And today is about whether you are qualified to serve in the highest court in the country, ”said the Republican from South Carolina.
Barrett arrived at the Hart Senate Office Building on Wednesday with her extended family in tow, including six of her seven children and her six siblings.
As in the two days before arguments and questions were asked, clashes broke out on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Those who resisted Barrett's endorsement held signs reading "Stop Amy" and "Save the ACA" as they sang against the candidate. Pro-life counter-protesters also appeared in droves to show their support for Barrett.
Young protesters wore T-shirts that read “The voices of the pro-life generation”.
As Barrett stood on the Justice Committee ahead of her second day of grilling Senators, a new poll released Wednesday morning shows she is growing in popularity with registered voters.
Politico / Morning Consult poll, October 9-11, shows that 48 percent of American voters would like Barrett's endorsement to get 11 points from those who believed it was in the same poll that was conducted on the day of Her nomination should be brought before the Supreme Court.
And that poll also shows that Democratic support for their endorsement has increased 13 points from September 26th to date.
Barrett saw a surge in popularity Wednesday morning, with 48 percent of voters approving her affirmation versus 37 percent who felt the same on the day of her nomination
The poll was conducted three times, once on the day Barrett's nomination for President Donald Trump was announced, again last week when she met with senators prior to their confirmation hearings and most recently in the days leading up to the first day of the hearing.
Barrett, 48, began her verification process with less support than it does now, as the public appears to learn more about the judge and gain more favor.
The even-tempered judge would not be unsettled during the hearings, even if she was vigorously questioned by Democrats on Tuesday and Wednesday about what personal beliefs and decisions she had and what her endorsement meant for crucial cases related to health care, abortion and the 2020 election could.
REPUBLICANS accuse DEMOCRATS of ignoring ACB to turn the hearings into an OBAMACARE campaign
The Democrats on Wednesday continued their strategy of making the Affordable Care Act a cornerstone of their arguments against Barrett's confirmation.
On the third day of the hearing, members of the minority party shared personal anecdotes about families and individuals who would be affected if Obamacare were crushed at Supreme Court level.
"That hearing was more Obamacare than it was about you," Justice Chairman Lindsey Graham said at the start of the hearing.
"Obamacare is on the ballot," he went on. "If you want socialized payer health care, that's on the ballot."
“Today is about you. And today it's about whether you are qualified to serve in the highest court in the country, ”said the Republican from South Carolina as he tried to reassign the interview to the judiciary candidate.
Oral arguments on a case that could overturn the Obama-era health bill will begin November 11, just days after the presidential election.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar pointed out that Trump tweeted in 2015 that his judicial appointments would "do the right thing" and overturn Obamacare if he won the presidency.
She also continued to press Barrett when she knew of Trump's campaign promises to appoint judges and judges who would overturn the health measure.
The 7th Circle judge said she was well aware of the president's position against Obamacare, but claimed she was unaware of his public promise to appoint judges he believed would rule against the ACA.
Judicial Committee chairman Lindsey Graham predicted Barrett's confirmation no later than Tuesday, October 27, just before election day.
Barrett's large family, including her husband, six of her seven children, and her six siblings, rejoined her on the third day of her confirmation hearing
On each of the three days of the hearing, Barrett was accompanied by her extended family to the Hart hearing room, with her husband Jesse, six of her seven children, and her six siblings sitting behind her for most of the two days.
Their youngest son with Down syndrome stayed home.
While Republicans focused on Barrett's family, faith as a Roman Catholic, and academic and legal records, Democrats focused on abortion, affordable care law, and whether she'll reuse herself if confirmed and the election results before her lies the Supreme Court.
Barrett refused to commit to anything in one way or another, saying it was inappropriate to say that she was going to reuse herself before considering the facts of a particular case.
Many Democrats argue Barrett's confirmation shouldn't go through until Nov. 3, claiming the rush job is an insurance policy from Trump to a Conservative 6-3 Supreme Court in the event that electoral disputes end there.
They also claim the swift action is coming to ensure they are in court before any oral disputes with the ACA from November 11 – just days after the election.
If Barrett is upheld – the most likely course of action in a GOP majority Senate – Trump will have dramatically impacted the composition of the Supreme Court by appointing an unprecedented three justices in his first term.
Most worrying for many progressives is Barrett's view of abortion as a devout Catholic who has publicly shared her stance on life in the past.
But the mother of seven has assured her integrity as a judge, saying that personal views would not be reflected in her decision-making based on her originalist view of the Constitution.
Democrats protest that Barrett could overturn Roe's landmark decision against Wade, which made women's access to safe and legal abortion the status quo across the country without undue government restrictions.
Can the President apologize? AND CAN YOU FOLLOW YOUR DECISIONS? & # 39;
In terms of whether presidents are required to obey Supreme Court decisions – and whether they, like all other citizens, will be held accountable for those decisions – Barrett has sidestepped the issue.
As a member of the legal department, she said she had no power over whether the decision is enforced and could not force the presidents to obey the verdict.
Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, who virtually attended the hearing, asked what Barrett, as a Supreme Court Justice, would do if a President or a member of the legislature or executive did not obey a court decision.
"I asked (Judges Gorsuch and Kavanaugh) what happened," Leahy said, recalling the confirmation hearings of the other two Trump nominees. "And they made it clear that a president cannot refuse to obey a court order and that the word of the Supreme Court is the final word on this matter."
"Do you agree that a president has to obey a court order and the word of the Supreme Court is final, or is it only final for the lower courts?" he asked
Leahy was referring to a conversation he had with Barrett last week in which she said the Supreme Court would have the final say on the lower courts, but did not comment on the validity in other situations at the time.
"First, I know Judges Gorsuch and Kavanaugh said that no man was above the law – and I agree," Barrett replied.
“But I spoke to Senator Lee yesterday about Federalist 78, who said the courts have no violence or will. In other words, there is nothing we can do to enforce our own judgments. What I meant when talking to you is that while the Supreme Court has the last word for legal reasons, the Supreme Court lacks control over what happens afterwards.
Ready for Questions: Amy Coney Barrett takes off her mask and gets ready to answer questions at the beginning of the second day of the question session of her confirmation hearing
Her children were commended for their behavior and manner during the hearing as they sat behind her right shoulder and temporarily left the listening room for a break from the long three days of the trial
Great setting: the Senate hearing takes place in the largest of its committee rooms to allow for the most social distancing possible
"The Supreme Court and any federal court have no authority, no violence, and no will. Therefore, it relies on the other branches to respond appropriately to its judgments," she concluded.
This situation could be directly challenged if the Supreme Court election ends – and also if Trump were to forgive himself for a crime for which he was convicted.
There are concerns that the President would disregard a court decision if he believed it was wrong or unfair to him.
"If a president refused to obey what he said, could it be a threat to our constitutional governance?" Leahy pressed.
Barrett claimed that while the court can make decisions, it cannot enforce them.
“Well, like I said, the Supreme Court has no control over whether or not President Abraham Lincoln, who once broke an order during a county court's Civil War, is obeying. So a court can pronounce the law and issue a judgment, but it lacks control over how the political branches react, ”she said.
“Then let me ask you about a specific point that came up. President Trump claims he has an absolute right to apologize to himself, ”Leahy asked. "Does a president have an absolute right to apologize for a crime?"
As far as I know, this question has never been challenged. That question never came up, ”Barrett said. & # 39; This question may or may not arise. But it is one that requires a legal analysis of the scope of the pardon. & # 39;
She also said she could not give an "opinion" on her opinion without actually going through legal proceedings in a future potential case.
CAMERAS IN THE COURT? ACB SAYS SHE WOULD NOT UNDERSTAND
Barrett said in a break with fellow judges that she was open to allowing cameras in the Supreme Court, a move that news organizations and public interest groups have advocated for years.
When questioned Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, one of the oldest members of the Justice Committee, Barrett said she would look into the matter.
"I, probably 87 years old, won't live long enough to finish, but I was talking on cameras in the courtroom," Grassley said during his time interviewing the candidate.
Barrett replied, "I would definitely be open to allowing cameras in the Supreme Court."
The Supreme Court does not allow cameras in the courtroom when the court is in session, a policy that has been the subject of much debate, especially given that the House of Representatives and Senate allow cameras when they are in session.
Both recording devices and still cameras are banned by the country's highest court.
For legal proceedings, oral arguments are available later in the day and audio recordings at the end of the week.
And there is no indication that this will change anytime soon.
Associate Judges Elena Kagan and Samuel Alito both opposed the idea when they testified before a House committee on the court's budgetary needs in March.
"I think we'd filter each other in ways that would be unfortunate," said Kagan.
Alito agreed that arguments should stay off camera.
"If the arguments are televised, it would undermine their value to us as a step in the decision-making process," he said.
But the coronavirus pandemic has led the court to adopt a more open policy.
In May, the Supreme Court held oral arguments over the phone and allowed the public to listen through a feed. For the first time in its history, oral arguments were recorded in real time.
The no-camera policy has also led to a unique tradition in Washington DC – trainee leadership.
When the court announces a decision on an important case, it is printed out in the clerk's office and distributed to the waiting interns from various news organizations, who then forward it to the correspondents waiting outside the camera.
DEMOCRATS WANT CHARLES MANSON TO VOTE CLAIMS TED CRUZ (BUT THE SERIAL KILLER IS DEAD)
During his interrogation, Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz accused the Democrats of voting for criminals when they quoted and criticized Barrett's dissenting opinion in a case arguing that nonviolent criminals should be able to obtain a gun .
The Senator specifically referred to Charles Manson as a person the opposing party was about to put to a vote this November – even though the cult leader died in custody in 2017.
“Anyway, I'm a little confused. I'm not sure our democracy will be better if we change the law to allow killers to vote, ”he said. "I'm not sure the Republican operation would be better if Charles Manson had a bigger voice in the electoral system."
"And I want to point out that one of our colleagues, Senator Sanders of Vermont, argued not only criminals out of prison, but also criminals in prison, literally Charles Mason, who is serving a life sentence during the Democratic President's primary election – or I think multiple life sentences for murder – should be able to choose, ”he continued.
& # 39; Should Charles Manson be allowed to vote? No, ”Cruz complained during the hearing.
Manson, the infamous head of the & # 39; Manson family & # 39 ;.
Cruz had to recover from the flub when social media immediately ridiculed Cruz for the mistake.
& # 39; (N) obody told Ted Cruz that Charles Manson is dead. One would expect the Zodiac Killer to know, ”wrote a Twitter user, attaching a video with the senator's comments.
The user was referring to an ongoing satirical conspiracy alleging that Cruz is the as-yet-unidentified serial killer linked to murders in Northern California in the 1960s and 1970s.
The Texas Senator tweeted right back and wrote of Manson's death, “I didn't know. But unfortunately it still doesn't stop him from being a Democratic voter. & # 39;
He added a shrugging emoji at the end of the post.
Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz said during his questioning that Democrats want criminals like Charles Manson to be able to vote for them – despite the infamous cult leader's death in 2017
& # 39; Should Charles Manson get to vote? No, ”Cruz complained during the hearing when speaking to Barrett
Cruz nutzte auch seine Chance während seiner 20-minütigen Befragung, um Demokraten zu verspotten, weil sie am zweiten Tag von Barretts Anhörung abwesend waren, und schlug vor, dies liege daran, dass sie keine "inhaltliche" Kritik an Präsident Trumps Kandidat haben.
"Es ist bemerkenswert, dass, während wir gerade hier in diesem Ausschussraum sitzen, nur zwei demokratische Senatoren im Raum sind", sagte er. 'Die demokratischen Senatoren nehmen nicht mehr teil. Ich gehe davon aus, dass sie für ihre Zeit auftauchen werden, aber es ist ein Hinweis darauf, was sie zugeben, nämlich, dass sie keine inhaltliche Kritik haben. & # 39;
Der demokratische Senator Dick Durbin aus Illinois protestierte und sagte, einige Senatoren hätten wegen des Coronavirus aus der Ferne teilgenommen. Er und Chris Coons waren zu dieser Zeit die beiden demokratischen Senatoren im Anhörungsraum.
„Wir befinden uns mitten in einer COVID-19-Krise, einer Pandemie. Einige Mitglieder sind in ihren Büros, um dies im Fernsehen zu verfolgen «, sagte Durbin.
Die demokratischen Senatoren Patrick Leahy und Kamala Harris befragten Barrett über Kameras aus ihren jeweiligen Senatsbüros und führten Bedenken hinsichtlich COVID an.
Cruz arbeitete auch während eines Teils des Bestätigungsprozesses per Telearbeit und gab seine Eröffnungserklärung am Montag vor der Kamera ab, als er nach einer möglichen Exposition gegenüber COVID unter Quarantäne gestellt wurde. Er hatte Kontakt zu dem republikanischen Senator Mike Lee, der kurz nach der offiziellen Nominierungszeremonie von Präsident Trump für Barrett im Weißen Haus, die zu einem Super-Spreader-Event wurde, positiv auf das Coronavirus getestet wurde.
Der republikanische Senator Thom Tillis gab am Montag auch seine Eröffnungsrede aus der Ferne ab, nachdem er positiv auf COVID getestet hatte. Er war auch bei der Rosengarten-Nominierungszeremonie für Barrett.
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Amy Coney Barrett (t) Donald Trump