Amy Coney Barrett arrived at the Capitol Monday morning to begin a controversial confirmation hearing.
The Supreme Court candidate will make an opening statement Monday afternoon after each member of the Senate Judiciary Committee delivers an opening speech.
Justice Chairman Lindsey Graham started the morning with an opening address praising Barrett.
"This is going to be a long, contentious week," said Graham, adding, "Remember – the world is watching."
Interrogation of Barrett's Senators begins Tuesday.
Protesters gathered outside the Dirksen Senate office building early Monday morning when women's rights activists claimed Barrett's confirmation would endanger women's reproductive rights – particularly abortion.
Democratic lawmakers are also concerned that a Conservative majority court with 6-3 Roe v. Wade could fall.
The other 20 members of the Judiciary Committee each have 10 minutes to deliver their own opening speeches.
Republican Senator Mike Lee, who tested positive for coronavirus after attending the Super Spreader event announced at Barrett's nomination last month, will be in attendance.
The confirmation hearing of Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett began Monday
Barrett's family, including her husband and seven children, sat behind her for the hearing
The committee is chaired by Senator Lindsey Graham (pictured) – and together with Judge Barrett, all 22 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will give an opening speech for the day before the interview begins on Tuesday
Protesters gathered outside the Dirksen Senate office building Monday to protest Barrett's confirmation in the Supreme Court
The protesters brave the rain to speak out against their confirmation
Capitol police arrested protesters who blocked the entrance to the Dirksen Senate office building
While many senators and staff members chose to attend the hearing in person, some chose to stay away amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris will attend the hearing through Zoom as she will be staying in her office in the same building.
One in four registered voters supports the Supreme Court, the Roe v. Wade falls. A new poll on Monday found Amy Coney Barrett is preparing for the first day of her hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In the ABC News / Washington Post poll, 62 percent of respondents said the Supreme Court said Roe v. Wade must confirm – the landmark case of the Supreme Court that serves as the basis for the abortion law in the United States.
On the other hand, 24 percent of American voters say they want the case overturned, which would effectively end what they are called the abortion law.
Fourteen percent of the 879 registered voters polled say they have no opinion on whether the case will be overturned or confirmed.
The results, largely split between political, ideological, and religious foundations, come as President Donald Trump's Supreme Court candidate Amy Coney Barrett drives to Capitol Hill to begin the verification process.
Democrats Worry Barrett, a devout Roman Catholic woman who has publicly shared her views on life in the past, is a threat to women's health care – primarily the current right to abortion.
The Candidate Comes: Barrett, 48, is shown in her hearing room on Capitol Hill Monday morning for the first day of her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee
Five of Barrett's children are organic to her and her husband, Jesse Barrett, and two are adopted from Haiti
In the October 6-9 poll, after Trump announced Barrett as the unprecedented third Supreme Court in his first term, 66 percent of women said Roe v. Wade should be confirmed – and 58 percent of men feel the same way.
Among the party lines, 81 percent of Democrats and Liberals combined say the case needs to be enforced and confirmed, while 75 percent of voters who identify as moderates also say it should be confirmed.
That number drops to 37 percent for Conservatives and 40 percent for Republicans.
Three in four people who have no religious preference want the case to be confirmed, while only 44 percent of Protestants feel the same.
A poll released Monday shows that 62 percent of registered voters want the Supreme Court to see Roe v. Complying with Wade and resulting abortion laws – as Democrats fear Barrett's affirmation could threaten the landmark case
During her opening speech, Barrett will praise her mentor, the late Judge Antonin Scalia, and tell the Senatorial Courts not to seek politics.
A transcript of the remarks Barrett plans to deliver later Monday afternoon was released in the media on Sunday.
The 48-year-old mother of seven will speak with the Republican-led panel about how Scalia, who she worked for after graduating from law school, shaped her philosophies about the law as well as about the family.
"Justice Scalia taught me more than just law," the statement said. "He devoted himself to his family, was determined in his faith and was not afraid of criticism."
"When I started my own legal career, I decided to keep the same perspective," she continues. “In our profession there is a tendency to treat legal practice as consuming everything and to lose sight of everything else. But that makes for a flat and unfulfilled life. & # 39;
Barrett's remarks came to light when Senator Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a staunch ally of Trump, predicted that Barrett would be confirmed no later than October 27.
Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, the South Carolina Republican said there would be a vote a week after the hearing closes on October 22nd.
"I think it will be confirmed no later than Tuesday, a week before the election," said Graham.
& # 39; That's my hope. It will be up to Senator (Mitch) McConnell what to do after the 22nd, but we can easily get them confirmed before the election. & # 39;
About a dozen activists disguised as characters from The Handmaid & # 39; s Tale protested in front of the Supreme Court on Sunday morning at Barrett's confirmation hearing
One of the protesters is holding a sign that reads: "Vote while you still can!"
One of the key points in Barrett's opening address was her belief that political decisions should be left to the political branches of government – Congress and the Presidency – rather than the courts.
"The courts have an important responsibility for enforcing the rule of law, which is vital to a free society," said the Seventh Circle judge's statement.
“But courts are not designed to solve every problem or correct every injustice in our public life. Government policy decisions and value judgments must be made by the political branches, elected by the people and accountable to the people. "
Barrett not only praises Scalia, who passed away in 2016, but also pays tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose seat she hopes to occupy.
"When I was 21 years old and just starting my career, Ruth Bader Ginsburg sat on this seat," says her statement. She told the committee, "What I've become can only happen in America."
I was nominated to fill Justice Ginsburg's seat, but no one will ever take her place. I will forever be grateful for the path she marked and for the life she led. & # 39;
Barrett will also talk to husband Jesse Barrett about her seven children, joking that she is "used to being in a group of nine children".
She will say she looks forward to being the first mother of school-age children to "open up some new perspectives" at the nine-headed court.
In her opening speeches, Barrett will pay tribute to Justice Antonin Scalia (left), for whom she has worked, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (right), whose seat she hopes to occupy
The confirmation hearing takes place just three weeks before the 2020 presidential election and has been the subject of heated debate between Republicans and Democrats.
Republicans in control of the Senate are moving at a breakneck pace to bring Barrett to the Supreme Court before the election, amid heavy criticism from Democrats who say President Donald Trump should have waited until after the election to nominate Ginsburg's successor .
The GOP is hoping Barrett – a Conservative – will be sustained in time for a high-profile challenge to the Affordable Care Act and any election-related challenges.
Should the Democrats regain control of the Senate in the election, Barrett's endorsement would be much more difficult.
In his interview with Fox News on Sunday, Graham criticized some Democrats who threatened to fill the Supreme Court with liberal judges if Biden wins and his party takes over the Senate
Barrett would be Trump's third Supreme Court Justice. No Supreme Court judge has ever been sustained this close to a presidential election.
Barrett's nomination was messy to say the least, compounded by suspicions that a coronavirus outbreak in the White House was triggered by an event where Trump ceremoniously knocked on her in the Rose Garden on Sept. 26.
The outbreak fueled cries from Democrats to postpone the confirmation hearing because of the ongoing pandemic.
In his interview with Fox News on Sunday, Graham criticized some Democrats who threatened to fill the Supreme Court with liberal judges if Biden wins and his party takes over the Senate.
"It's changing America as we know it," said Graham. “If we lose the House, the Senate, and the White House, they'll change the rules of the Senate. So you just need a majority, everything that comes out of the house sails through the Senate.
“They're going to expand the court from nine to the number they need to make it liberal … A liberal supreme court is a corporate nightmare, a social policy nightmare.
"If (Democrats) win, it's not about a health debate, but about structural change in the country."
Biden has refused to reveal his stance on the trial.
President Trump announced his appointment from Barrett during a rose garden ceremony Sept. 26 (pictured). This event was believed to have sparked a coronavirus outbreak in the White House
The country will look closely at Barrett for three days, beginning with her opening speech late Monday and the hours of questioning on Tuesday and Wednesday.
As a mother of seven, Barrett will describe how she uses her children as a test in deciding cases, wondering how she would view the decision if one of her children were the party she ruled against.
"Even if I didn't like the result, would I understand that the decision was lawful and founded in law?" She says.
As a Catholic she believes in the "power of prayer" and thanks those who have come forward with messages of support.
Usually she would show off her large family. The White House event, which announced their nomination and which saw most of the audience unmasked, was labeled a "superspreader" for the coronavirus.
More than two dozen people linked to the September 26 Rose Garden event have since signed COVID-19, including North Carolina Republican Sens Thom Tillis and Mike Lee of Utah, both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee .
In an interview with the AP, New York City Democratic Senate Chairman Chuck Schumer said Sen Graham had "an obligation to be tested for COVID-19 before the hearing begins" due to exposure to those affected.
Barrett and her family were maskless at the event. Barrett and her husband Jesse tested positive for the virus earlier this year and are recovering, two government officials said.
Barrett and her family (pictured) went maskless at their nomination event on Sept. 26
While senators can attend remotely, it is unclear if anyone will. Most Democrats have announced they will be attending, and Tillis and Lee have both hoped to rest and be present.
Democrats were already furious that Republicans were moving so fast after their actions kept a seat open four years ago after Scalia died in February 2016 ahead of this year's election and President Barack Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to take his place . The Senate didn't even give Garland a hearing, let alone a vote.
External groups are urging the Democrats to vigorously oppose what is known as illegitimate confirmation that is so close to an election when some states are already voting.
"The Democrats have a very strong hand to play politically even if they don't have the votes to stop it," said Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice, who campaigns against right-wing candidates.
"The public is with them that this should not happen before the elections."
Democrats have made it clear that they will push Barrett on health care, particularly with the upcoming Supreme Court arguments and abortion, among other things if their vote could push the court further to the right.
"I intend, and I think everyone else on the Democratic side will focus on getting her to be brought to the Supreme Court on time for the November 10th hearing on the Affordable Care Act," said Sen Mazie Hirono (D. – Hawaii ) said. "That leaves millions and millions of families in the cold when it comes to healthcare."
Barrett is also the most outspoken Supreme Court against abortion candidate in decades, and her vote could offer a majority to curtail, if not repeal, abortion rights. She has also expressed skepticism about some gun legislation.
Sen Richard Blumenthal (D – Connecticut) pointed to a dissenting opinion Barrett had penned last year to allow guns for people convicted of nonviolent crimes. Federal law currently provides for a general ban on the possession of weapons by convicted criminals. "She is extreme on this issue," said Blumenthal at a press conference.
Republicans will highlight Barrett's belief in abiding by the text of the law and the original meaning of the constitutional provisions, both trademarks of Scalia.
Your personal story will also be a frequent topic of conversation when Republicans ask questions.
"She's proven that a mother can do anything," said Sen Joni Ernst (R – Iowa) after meeting Barrett last week.
Opening address by Amy Coney Barrett at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing
Below is a transcript of the statement Barrett will make at the start of their confirmation hearing on Monday:
Graham, Ranker Feinstein Chairman, and Committee members: It is my honor and humility to appear before you as a candidate for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
I thank the President for entrusting me with this deep responsibility and for the kindness he and the First Lady have shown my family during this process.
I thank Senator Young for introducing me as he did at my hearing to serve on the seventh circuit. I thank Senator Braun for his generous support. I am particularly grateful to the former Dean Patty O & # 39; Hara of Notre Dame Law School. She hired me as a professor almost 20 years ago and has been a mentor, colleague and friend ever since.
I thank the members of this committee – and your other colleagues in the Senate – who have taken the time to meet with me since my appointment. It was a privilege to meet you.
As I said before, when I was nominated to be a judge, I am used to being in a group of nine people – my family. Nothing is more important to me and I am so proud to have them behind me.
My husband Jesse and I have been married for 21 years. He was a selfless and wonderful partner at every step. I once asked my sister, “Why do people say marriage is difficult? I think it's easy & # 39; She said, "Maybe you should ask Jesse if he'll agree." I decided not to take her advice. I know that I'm much more fortunate in love than I deserve.
Jesse and I are parents to seven wonderful children. Emma is in her sophomore year of college and could follow her parents into a career in law. Vivian came to us from Haiti. When she arrived she was so weak that we were told she could never walk or speak normally. She now deadlifts as much as the male athletes in our gym, and I assure you that she has no trouble speaking. Tess is 16, and while she shares her parents 'love for the liberal arts, she also has a math gene that seems to have skipped her parents' generation. John Peter came to us shortly after the devastating Haiti earthquake, and Jesse who brought him home is still describing the shock on JP's face when he stepped off the plane in Chicago that winter. After that shock subsided, JP adopted the happy-go-lucky attitude that is still his signature trait. Liam is smart, strong, and kind, and to our delight, he still loves watching movies with mom and dad. 10-year-old Juliet is already pursuing her goal of becoming a writer by writing several essays and short stories, including one that she recently submitted for publication. And our youngest – Benjamin with Down syndrome – is the unanimous favorite of the family.
My own siblings are here, some in the classroom and some nearby. Carrie, Megan, Eileen, Amanda, Vivian, and Michael are my oldest and dearest friends. We have seen each other through both the happy and difficult parts of life, and I am so grateful that they are with me now.
My parents, Mike and Linda Coney, watch from their New Orleans home. My father was a lawyer and my mother a teacher, which explains how I ended up as a law professor. More importantly, my parents modeled a life of service, principle, faith, and love for me and my six siblings. I remember preparing for a spelling bee in elementary school versus a boy in my class. To boost my confidence, Dad sang, "Anything boys can do, girls can do better." At least as I remember, I wrote my way to victory.
I received similar encouragement from the dedicated teachers at St. Mary & # 39; s Dominican, my girls' college in New Orleans. When I went to college, it never occurred to me that anyone would think girls were less capable than boys.
In my freshman year, I took a literature course filled with upper-class English majors. When I gave my first presentation – over breakfast at Tiffany's – I feared I had failed. But my professor filled me with confidence, became a mentor, and when I graduated in English gave me Truman Capote's collected works.
Although I was considering studying in English, I decided my passion for words was better suited to deciphering statutes than novels. I was fortunate to have wonderful legal mentors – especially the judges I worked for. Legendary judge Laurence Silberman of the D.C. Circuit gave me my first legal job and continues to teach me to this day. He was by my side during my seventh circuit hearing and investiture, and he's cheering me on from his living room now. I worked for Justice Scalia too, and like many law students, I felt I knew justice before I ever met him because I had read so many of his colorful, accessible opinions. More than the style of his writing, however, it was the content of Justice Scalia's argument that shaped me. His legal philosophy was straightforward: a judge must apply the law as it was written, not as the judge wishes. Sometimes this approach meant getting results he didn't like. But as he put it in one of his most famous opinions, that means we have a government of law, not men.
Justice Scalia taught me more than just law. He was devoted to his family, determined in his faith, and not afraid of criticism. And when I started my own legal career, I decided to keep that perspective. In our profession there is a tendency to treat legal practice as all consuming and to lose sight of everything else. But that makes for a flat and unfulfilled life. I've worked hard as a lawyer and a professor. I owed that to my customers, my students and myself. But I never let the law define my identity or displace the rest of my life. A similar principle applies to the role of the courts. Courts have an important responsibility for enforcing the rule of law, which is vital to a free society. But courts are not designed to solve every problem or correct every injustice in our public life. Government policy decisions and value judgments must be made by the political branches, elected by the people and accountable to the people. The public should not expect courts to do this, and courts should not try.
That's the approach I took as a judge on the seventh circuit.
In each case, I have carefully examined the arguments put forward by the parties, discussed the issues with my colleagues in court and done my best to achieve the result required by law, regardless of my own preferences. I try to keep in mind that while my court decides thousands of cases each year, each case is the most important for the parties involved. After all, cases are not statutes that are often named after their authors. Cases are named after the parties that can win or lose in the real world, often through their freedom or livelihood.
When I write a case resolution statement, I read every word from the perspective of the losing party. I wonder how I would see the decision if one of my children were the party I voted against: even if I didn't like the outcome, would I understand that the decision was legitimately founded and legally founded? That is the standard that I have set myself in any case, and it is the standard that I will follow as long as I am a judge in a court of law.
When the president offered this nomination, I was deeply honored. But it wasn't a position I was looking for and I thought carefully before accepting. The confirmatory process – and the work of serving in court when I am confirmed – requires sacrifice, especially from my family. Ich habe mich für die Nominierung entschieden, weil ich fest an die Rechtsstaatlichkeit und den Platz des Obersten Gerichtshofs in unserer Nation glaube. Ich glaube, Amerikaner aller Herkunft verdienen einen unabhängigen Obersten Gerichtshof, der unsere Verfassung und Gesetze so auslegt, wie sie geschrieben sind. Und ich glaube, ich kann meinem Land dienen, indem ich diese Rolle spiele.
Ich komme vor dieses Komitee mit Demut über die Verantwortung, die ich übernehmen soll, und mit Anerkennung für diejenigen, die vor mir kamen. Ich war neun Jahre alt, als Sandra Day O'Connor die erste Frau war, die auf diesem Platz saß. Sie war ein Vorbild für Anmut und Würde während ihrer Amtszeit am Hof. Als ich 21 Jahre alt war und gerade meine Karriere begann, saß Ruth Bader Ginsburg auf diesem Platz. Sie sagte dem Komitee: "Was aus mir geworden ist, kann nur in Amerika passieren." Ich wurde nominiert, um den Sitz von Justiz Ginsburg zu besetzen, aber niemand wird jemals ihren Platz einnehmen. Ich werde für immer dankbar sein für den Weg, den sie markiert hat, und für das Leben, das sie geführt hat.
Wenn dies bestätigt wird, wäre es die Ehre Ihres Lebens, neben dem Obersten Richter und sieben assoziierten Richtern zu dienen. Ich bewundere sie alle und würde jeden als geschätzten Kollegen betrachten. Und ich könnte ein paar neue Perspektiven auf die Bank bringen. Wie der Präsident bei der Bekanntgabe meiner Nominierung feststellte, wäre ich die erste Mutter von Kindern im schulpflichtigen Alter, die vor Gericht steht. Ich wäre der erste Richter seit 45 Jahren, der sich vom siebten Stromkreis dem Gerichtshof anschließt. Und ich wäre der einzige sitzende Richter, der keine juristische Fakultät in Harvard oder Yale besucht hätte. Ich bin zuversichtlich, dass Notre Dame mithalten wird, und vielleicht könnte ich ihnen sogar ein oder zwei Dinge über Fußball beibringen.
Abschließend möchte ich, Herr Vorsitzender, den vielen Amerikanern aus allen Lebensbereichen danken, die sich im Laufe meiner Nominierung mit Unterstützungsbotschaften gemeldet haben. Ich glaube an die Kraft des Gebets und es war erhebend zu hören, dass so viele Menschen für mich beten. Ich freue mich darauf, die Fragen des Ausschusses in den kommenden Tagen zu beantworten. Und wenn ich das Glück habe, bestätigt zu werden, verpflichte ich mich, meine Pflichten gegenüber dem amerikanischen Volk als Associate Justice des Obersten Gerichtshofs treu und unparteiisch zu erfüllen. Dankeschön.
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