Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris persecuted Amy Coney Barrett on the Affordable Care Act and abortion on Tuesday when the Senate first interviewed Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee.
The high profile conflict came towards the end of the Hours of Questions, when alternate Republican and Democratic senators put forward two very different versions of the nomination.
Republicans focused them on Coney Barrett's family, religious, and academic and legal records, while Democrats focused them on abortion, the Affordable Care Act and whether she will reuse herself if confirmed and the election result before the Supreme Court lands.
"I'm not here to destroy the Affordable Care Act," Barrett replied to repeated questions. "I'm only here to apply the law and obey the rule of law."
Barrett, 48, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that if she received the lifelong appointment, she would not be used as a political "farmer" as she was forced to defend her integrity as Democrats claimed the rushed nomination was one GOP insurance in the event of an election dispute ends in the Supreme Court.
"I definitely hope that all committee members have more faith in my integrity than believing that as a farmer I would stand up for this election for the American people," Barrett said when asked if she was would withdraw all election-related cases.
The conflict between Harris, the committee's most prominent senator, and Coney Barrett was at the start of TV prime time and saw the vice-presidential candidate sticking strictly to the Democratic script of speaking out about Obamacare and women's suffrage.
Harris, a former prosecutor, remotely selected Harris again and asked about a law in Louisiana that would reach the Supreme Court. He addressed a restriction that would have made it extremely difficult for women in the state to access abortion services by requiring doctors who perform them to receive licensing privileges in local hospitals.
"We have to be honest about the effects of her death," Harris said of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“Let's make no mistake. If President Trump can determine who will occupy the seat of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an advocate for women's rights and a critical vote on so many decisions that have upheld the right to vote, it will be a threat to safe and legal abortion in our country. & # 39;
"After all, President Trump said that in my opinion the overthrow of Roe v. Wade will happen automatically because I bring real judges to justice."
She called on Barrett to quote Ginsburg repeatedly during her testimony, avoiding direct responses to specific cases, but said Ginsburg was "far more open in her affirmation of the essential rights of women."
Nominated: Amy Coney Barrett was examined by the Democrats for abortion, Obamacare, election results, and same-sex marriage on the first of two days of questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee
Remote Questions: Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris made Obamacare and abortion rights the focus of her questions to Coney Barrett
Ginsburg offered a clear defense of her position on abortion as a fundamental right for women when it was upheld in the Supreme Court in 1993, while Barrett repeatedly refused to consider whether she would agree, saying it was a "hypothesis" and she could be asked to decide on the topic.
Barrett also brushed aside claims to reveal whether she would vote to overturn the landmark gay marriage decision or get out of cases on Obamacare.
She pointed to the precedent of other judicial candidates standing before her by refusing to make any commitments regarding potential or future cases during her nomination or confirmation process.
She also suppressed rumors that she discussed cases with President Donald Trump before nominating her in late September.
Like other candidates before her, Barrett withheld the most controversial cases from the ideologically divided court – including an Affordable Care Act case pending just days after the election.
Instead, relying on well-established language about precedents and the laws of opposition, she let Senate Democrats look for information on how to act in court when they questioned them on issues of the Culture War and Obamacare, which was key to their campaigning is.
At the same time, Barrett spoke of her decision to undergo the "excruciating process" of accepting President Trump's nomination in the Supreme Court, telling Senators she tried never to impose her own decisions on others.
Addressing her Catholic faith, she said that she did not and would not have brought him to her decisions as a federal appeals judge if confirmed in the Supreme Court and said she knew her and her family's beliefs would be. & # 39; caricatured & # 39; as a result of the nomination.
“I've decided to pursue a career and have a big family. I have a multiethnic family. Our faith is important to us. & # 39; Hey, are my choices. I never tried to get my decisions through in my private life, ”she said. She also said that her family has a gun.
“We knew our lives would be searched for negative details, and he knew our beliefs would be caricatured. We knew our family was going to be attacked. & # 39;
Questions on Contentious Issues: Amy Coney Barrett was asked about her positions on Roe v. Wade was asked about same-sex marriage, the Affordable Care Act, and whether she would refuse to rule on cases related to the upcoming elections but would choose to take a position on them
Family Arrival: Six of Amy Coney Barrett's children arrived for the hearing just before her
“I want to be careful to say that if I am confirmed you would not get Justice Scalia. You would have Justice Barrett, ”she distinguished
CLASH AFTER CLASH ON ABORTION, WHEN DEMOCRATS KNOW WHEN ROE V. WADE IS LEGAL
Barrett resisted attempts by the Democrats, who repeatedly urged her whether she believed Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided – which would be an obvious indication of whether she would vote to put it down, a prime target for some conservatives, but also a rallying cry for liberals.
"If, in one way or another, I express a view on a precedent, it signals to litigants that I might tip one way or another in a pending case," she explained, when she answered the question on Roe v . Wade placed Feinstein by filing the Democratic Senator Dianne.
The senior legislature then asked Barrett if she agreed with the late Judge Antonin Scalia's view that the case had been misjudged.
Scalia expressed the view in dissent and speeches, and Barrett said she was inspired by his philosophy – but repeatedly declined to answer questions about whether she agreed.
"ABOUT GEORGE FLOYD VIDEO"
Coney Barrett said the May police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis had "very personal" impact on her family, and she and her children wept over his death.
Barrett was asked by Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin if she had seen footage of a police officer holding the black man's knee on the neck until he stopped breathing.
Barrett said she had.
"Given that I have two black children, it was very, very personal for my family," she said.
& # 39; My 17 year old daughter Vivian who was adopted from Haiti, all of this broke out, it was very difficult for her. We cried together. & # 39;
Personal: Coney Barrett highlighted how her children, including adoptive son John Peter, cried over the George Floyd video
She said Vivian was upset at the potential "to happen to her brother or the son she might have" and she also needs to explain to her youngest daughter the existence of racism in American society.
"Up until this point in their lives, my children had the advantage of growing up in a cocoon in which they had not yet experienced any hatred or violence," she said.
Barrett made a distinction between her feelings as a person and her role as a judge, refusing to voice her thoughts on systemic racism as Durbin had requested.
She said commenting on what policies should be used to combat racism would "go way beyond what I can do as a judge".
Whether Roe v. Wade is a regulated law is a central liberal-conservative dispute. The Liberals see the right to vote as settled as the prohibition of racial segregation in Brown v. Board of Education, while the Conservatives do not, saying they would like to see it overturn.
This would remove federal abortion rights and bring abortion back to potentially being banned by some states.
In decades of confirmation hearings, judges on both sides were called after Roe v. Wade asked, with most candidates giving Coney Barrett similar answers – although Ruth Bader Ginsburg clearly told the senators at her confirmation hearing that she believed in abortion rights.
Coney Barrett didn't offer a view.
"Senator, I fully understand why you are asking the question," she said to Feinstein when asked if Roe v. Wade was "wrongly decided".
"I can't decide in advance or say: yes, I'm going with an agenda because I'm not," she said.
“I don't have an agenda. I have an agenda to uphold the rule of law and resolve cases as they come. & # 39;
Nor would she say "as a person" whether it should be overturned. Barrett said she understood "why it would be comforting for you to have an answer," but again refused to do so.
But she said she would not take her personal views to justice and act like a "royal queen".
The judges can't just wake up one day and say, I have an agenda. I like guns, I hate guns, I like abortion, I hate abortion, "and go in like a royal queen and impose her will on the world," Barrett said.
Feinstein told her: "For something that is really a major cause and has a significant impact on more than half the population of this country – women after all – it is depressing not to get a straight answer."
Senator John Cornyn drew attention to the numerous materials and papers presented to the members of the committee when they questioned Barrett to further demonstrate their qualifications for the service, established by Republicans prior to their appointment.
“Most of us have several notebooks and notes and books and the like in front of us. Can you stop what you were referring to while answering our questions? & # 39; The Texas Republican asked the candidate.
She held up a blank notepad.
"Is there anything on it?" he asked.
"The letterhead that read" United States Senate, "" she read on the top of the notepad that Congress had given her.
"That's impressive," Cornyn applauded.
The Senator only used 12 of his 30 minutes.
Rhode Island Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse initiated a second block of testimony by breaking into the process and making previous comments from Republicans on the committee. He said there were "outside forces pulling strings" in the nomination.
"We have colleagues here who supported you, this candidate before there was a candidate," he said.
"We have the ram political job that we have already complained about and we are running this process at breakneck speed in the middle of a pandemic while the Senate is closed for security reasons," he continued.
"We have some very uncomfortable 180s from colleagues," he said, pointing to Graham's infamous comment
He quoted Trump calling for "Obamacare end health care" and the GOP platform calling for Roe to be reversed. v. Calf. Whitehouse held up a quote from Trump that Roe would be automatically overturned for putting conservative judges on trial.
"So don't be surprised if we ask questions about this," he said to Barrett.
"I knew our family would be chosen."
Barrett responded with a lengthy response defending her own life choices, vowing not to impose her lifestyle on others – and saying it was her belief in the "rule of law" that led her to accept the nomination – in a comment who hinted at the steep national differences that serve as the backdrop for their confirmation struggle.
“Well, Senator, I've tried a media outage for my sanitary reasons, but you can't shut yourself off, Barrett began.
"And I am aware of a lot of cartoons floating around. I think in response to this question I would like to say that I made different choices.
“I've decided to pursue a career and have a big family. I have a multiethnic family. Our faith is important to us. & # 39;
“All of these things are true, but they are my choices and my personal interactions with people. I mean, I have a life full of people who have made different decisions and I have never tried to impose my decisions on them in my private life, and that goes for my professional life too, ”said the judge and former law professor.
I've decided to pursue a career and have a big family. I have a multiethnic family. Our faith is important to us. All of these things are true, but they are my choice.
Her defense of her life choices comes after media scouring her background in the two weeks since Trump named her for the lifelong date. With Obamacare, abortion rights, and a possible Biden agenda, some outlets have scoured her bio for clues as to whether she would follow the shape of her influence: Justice Anthony Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas.
Barrett brought their seven children, including two adopted from Haiti, to the White House to celebrate their nomination and effectively get them on the public stage.
The practicing Catholic had her dean of Notre Dame Law School testify on her behalf. The media have also been scrutinizing their membership of People of Praise, a charismatic religious group. Other details only became known through the questionnaire process – like registering for a newspaper ad in which Roe was blown up. V. Wade, which it did not initially disclose.
But, as in previous interviews with Graham – and like many judges before her – Barrett described herself as someone who was bound by precedents and the principle of rigid decision-making – not a judge trying to crush Obamacare in her first few weeks at work, or setting precedents like Roe v. Tearing Wade away, even if her allies think this is wrong.
Barrett introduced her husband, children, and siblings by pointing to each after Feinstein asked to share who they are with the room
Each of the 22 senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee will have 30 minutes on Tuesday to chat and ask Barrett's questions. Pictured are chairman Lindsey Graham (left) and Democratic ranking member Dianne Feinstein (right) speaking with masks on before the second day of the hearing
"I mean, I am applying the law and, Senator, I think I should say why I am also sitting on this question to answer this question. Why I agreed to be here because I believe it is not a secret to any of you or the American people, that this is a really difficult process, some might say that an excruciating process and (husband) Jesse and I had a very short amount of time to make a decision with dire consequences for our family.
“We knew our lives would be searched for negative details, and he knew our beliefs would be caricatured. We knew our family was going to be attacked. We had to decide whether these difficulties would be worth it, because what sane person would go through this if there was no benefit on the other side?
“I think the upside is that I am committed to the rule of law and the role of the Supreme Court in providing equal justice to all, and not the only person who can do this job – but I was asked and it would be you difficult for anyone. So why should I say someone else should do the difficulty when the difficulty is the only reason to say no? I should serve my country and my family is fully involved because they share my faith and the rule of law. & # 39;
Barrett spoke about her conversations with the family about her high profile nomination as she began her second day of hearings to hide clues as to how she might rule over critical faces of the nation.
She also revealed another detail of her background during Graham's key judicial questioning when he asked if she owned a gun.
"Ah, we have a gun," replied Barrett. Graham then moved on to other subjects.
Barrett was commended by several senators on both sides for the good behavior of their children, who sat quietly for hours during their hearing.
Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana brought blank pads and pencils for Barrett's children to use during the hearing.
BARRETT ASKED ABOUT THAT SAYING, "It sounds kind of radical to say that FELONS MAY HAVE FIREWORKS."
While questions related to the second amendment were not a central topic of the second day of the hearing, questions arose from several Democrats about Barrett's decision in Kanter v Barr while serving as judge on the 7th circuit.
In her dissenting opinion, Barrett eventually wrote that the U.S. government should not prohibit nonviolent criminals convicted of a crime from legally buying a firearm after serving their sentence.
Currently convicted criminals along with others are being deprived of their second amendment rights – including the right to vote.
Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal brought up the language of their opinion in which Barrett admitted the reasoning might seem "radical".
“It sounds kind of radical because it's radical. In fact, no appeals court, except perhaps the 7th Circuit, has adopted this line of reasoning. Blumenthal quipped at Barrett when she said she didn't remember writing this.
Barrett's 7th circuit jurisdiction includes Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. She alleged that the 3rd District Court of Appeals, which includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, could have the same reasoning.
Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota also called on Barrett for her decision in Kanter vs. Barr.
You said these rights belong only to virtuous citizens. I'm trying to understand what that means, ”said Klobuchar.
Barrett argued that nonviolent offenders should be given the right to a firearm as it is a civil right. She argues that voting is an individual right that could still be protected from criminals without violating the Constitution.
Klobuchar pushed back, claiming that it was inherently racist to argue for the right to a firearm but against voting in the case of offenders.
CORY BOOKER TRUMPF TRUMPF TO EVALUATE THE PROCESS WITH QUESTIONS – AND ITS GOAL IS ON TWITTER
Sen. Cory Booker attempted to bring President Donald Trump to justice during intense interrogation – and immediately drew an angry response from his target.
Trump hit Booker after Democrat Barrett cornered questions for 30 minutes for 30 minutes more than eight hours after appearing in the Senate to seek approval from the Supreme Court.
In addition to questioning her on hot court issues like abortion and same-sex marriage, Booker touched on issues that Trump immediately brought up – including his refusal to denounce white supremacy in the first presidential debate and his refusal to promise a peaceful transfer of power.
"I wish the president would say that as clearly," he told Barrett after she condemned white supremacy in response to a question.
When Booker finished, Trump accused him of making "false accusations", calling him an "empty suit" and accusing him of not living in Newark when he was mayor.
& # 39; How dare a failed presidential candidate (1% and fall!) @CoryBooker makes false accusations and testimony about me when addressing Judge Barrett. He never lived illegally in Newark when he was mayor, "Trump said in two tweets as soon as Booker finished.
& # 39; Guy is a total loser! I want better health care for a lot less money, always … to protect people with pre-existing conditions. He didn't do anything in health care, neither expense nor anything or practically anything else. An empty suit !!! & # 39;
Using a gentle tone and smile while repeatedly dealing with difficult issues, Booker tried to get Barrett – who maintained her "originalist" status during her hearings – to break up with Trump in order to achieve a peaceful transfer of power demand.
Trump's comments on white supremacy and a peaceful transfer of power became the fodder for Judge Amy Coney Barrett's confirmatory hearings
Trump turned down a booker immediately after his interview
Trump would only say for days that he would agree to a peaceful transfer if there was a "fair" election.
"To the extent that this is currently a political context, I as a judge would like to point it out," Barrett said.
"Given our founding fathers, given our traditions … I just ask you to commit, as I believe our founding fathers had the clear intention … to work for a peaceful transfer of power," Booker tried again.
Barrett simply replied, "One of the beauties of America … is that we have had peaceful transfers of power," while many other nations do not, she said.
Booker then hit Trump's candidate for the Supreme Court with an arcane question also debated by scholars: whether the constitution allows a president to apologize to himself.
This is a potential problem as the New York Federal Attorney's Trump investigation and the New York Times have received Trump tax returns that experts said could open up to investigations into potentially fraudulent tax deductions. Trump paid just $ 750 in federal income taxes in 2016, the Times reported.
& # 39; That would be a legal question. That would be a constitutional question, ”Barrett said apologetically. “I think I agree with you. That it's a problem right now that our president can try to forgive himself, ”Booker said.
It was one of several topics that Barrett wanted to dodge, and it's one that she may need to consider if she makes it to the Supreme Court and Trump takes the action.
The booker inquired about Trump's reported debts of several million to foreign companies. "I find it worrying that we are having this conversation," he told the witness.
“Presidents should disclose their debts. Especially when it comes to foreign nations, ”Booker said.
Booker quoted former Trump Defense James Mattis and called Trump a "danger to our democracy". Mattis blew up Trump in June after protesters across from Lafayette Park were evacuated.
"The legitimacy of our institutions is at stake," said Booker. "It is not normal for the president to further overshadow your nomination," he added. "It's an illegitimate process. Most Americans think we should wait."
Trumps Angriff schien eine Behauptung von Bookers ehemaligem Gegner aus dem Jahr 2013 wiederzubeleben, obwohl seine Kampagne zurückschoss, dass Eigentumsaufzeichnungen und andere Beweise belegen, dass Booker von 2006 bis 2013 in Newark lebte, als er Bürgermeister war. Die Kampagne von Booker lieferte Mietschecks sowie Zahlungen von seinem Sicherheitsdetail, das nach Drohungen auf einer Etage eines Hauses lebte.
DEMOKRATEN DRÜCKEN AUF OBAMACARE
Die Richterin des Berufungsgerichts weigerte sich, sich darauf zu beschränken, ob sie sich aus dem Fall des Affordable Care Act zurückziehen würde – obwohl Präsident Trump wiederholt gesagt hat, er wolle das Gesetz streichen.
Demokraten haben die angebliche Bedrohung, die sie für Obamacare darstellt, zum Zentrum ihrer Strategie für die Anhörungen gemacht. Sie sehen ihre Bestätigung als unvermeidlich an, setzen aber die Gesundheitsversorgung im November als vorteilhaft für sie ein.
Auf die Frage, ob sie von dem Fall zurücktreten würde, sagte sie: "Das ist keine Frage, die ich abstrakt beantworten könnte."
Sie versuchte wiederholt, Senator Richard Durbin zu versichern, dass sie dem Gesetz über erschwingliche Pflege nicht „feindlich“ gegenübersteht – obwohl sie anerkannte, dass sie in juristischen Schriften die Begründung einer Entscheidung des Obersten Gerichtshofs angegriffen hat, die den größten Teil des Gesetzes im Jahr 2012 bestätigte.
„Und ich versichere dir, dass ich es nicht bin. Ich bin nicht feindlich gegenüber dem ACA. Ich bin nicht feindlich gegenüber einem Gesetz, das Sie verabschieden «, sagte sie.
Die Richter können nicht einfach eines Tages aufwachen und sagen: Ich habe eine Agenda. Ich mag Waffen, ich hasse Waffen, ich mag Abtreibung, ich hasse Abtreibung 'und gehe hinein wie eine königliche Königin und zwinge der Welt ihren Willen auf.
Der texanische Republikaner John Cornyn beschrieb die Frage der Demokraten als "ACB gegen ACA".
Die mündlichen Auseinandersetzungen mit dem ACA beginnen im November – nach der Wahl, jedoch zwei Monate vor der Amtseinführung.
Sie konzentrieren sich auf einen von Republikanern geführten Versuch, das gesamte Gesetz mit der Begründung niederzuschlagen, dass das Einzelmandat verfassungswidrig sei, was die Trump-Regierung unterstützt, die Demokraten jedoch ablehnen.
Barrett wurde über ihre früheren Schriften befragt, einschließlich eines Artikels, in dem sie die früheren Entscheidungen von Chief Justice John Roberts zum Gesetz der Obama-Ära kritisierte.
Die Richterin des Berufungsgerichts distanzierte sich von diesen Schriften und sagte, sie befasse sich nicht mit bestimmten Aspekten des Gesetzes, über die sie möglicherweise entscheiden muss, wenn sie bestätigt wird. Das Gericht wird voraussichtlich am 10. November eine Anfechtung des Gesetzes anhören.
Barrett sagte zu den Senatoren: »Ich wende das Gesetz an. Ich folge dem Gesetz. Sie machen die Politik. & # 39;
Trotzdem schien Barrett ratlos zu sein, als er von dem demokratischen Senator Patrick Leahy aus Virginia über Einzelheiten des Gesetzes, auch Obamacare genannt, gegrillt wurde. Barrett konnte keine Angaben machen, darunter, dass 23 Millionen Menschen gesetzlich abgesichert sind oder dass mehr als 2 Millionen Menschen in der Krankenversicherung ihrer Eltern sind.
Mark Meadows, Stabschef des Weißen Hauses, nahm am zweiten Teil des Tages persönlich an der Anhörung teil und nahm am Rande des Anhörungsraums Platz
Fauststoß: Meadows und Graham teilten einen "COVID-freundlichen" Gruß, indem sie sich gegenseitig mit der Faust stießen, bevor sie für Teil 2 des zweiten Tages von Barretts Bestätigungsverhandlung in den Hörraum gingen
DEMOKRATEN DRÜCKEN AUF WAHLBESTIMMUNGEN
Sie würde sich auch nicht zur Ablehnung verpflichten, sollte der Oberste Gerichtshof einen umstrittenen Fall aufgreifen, der sich aus den Präsidentschaftswahlen ergibt. Trump reichte den Demokraten die Angelegenheit, als er als Grund angab, die freie Stelle des Gerichts teilweise zu besetzen, um etwaige Wahlstreitigkeiten über die Wahl beizulegen, nachdem er wiederholt Briefwahlzettel angegriffen hatte.
"Ich habe keine Gespräche mit dem Präsidenten oder einem seiner Mitarbeiter darüber geführt, wie ich in diesem Fall entscheiden könnte", sagte sie dem demokratischen Senator Patrick Leahy aus Vermont.
"Ich kann keine Stellungnahme zur Ablehnung abgeben, ohne den gesamten Prozess kurzzuschließen", sagte sie.
Der republikanische Präsident hat gesagt, er erwarte, dass der Oberste Gerichtshof über das Wahlergebnis entscheidet, wenn er sich dem demokratischen Herausforderer Joe Biden stellt.
Barrett sagte, niemand im Weißen Haus habe sie um eine Zusage gebeten, wie sie über dieses oder ein anderes Thema entscheiden würde.
'It would be a gross violation of judicial independence for me to make any such commitment or for me to be asked about that case,' Barrett told the committee of possible election cases.
Leahy connected Trump's statements about getting a full court to rule on his election with the decision to 'ram through' Barrett's nomination just weeks before Election Day.
All she would allow is that 'I commit to you to fully and faithfully applying the law of recusal,' and that she could 'consider any appearance questions' – meaning the appearance of a conflict of interest even if none actually existed.
Senator Chris Coons insisted Barrett's impartiality could come into question if a case on deciding the presidential election ended up at the Supreme Court – and pushed the judge on whether she would recuse herself from such a case.
'Given what President Trump said, given the rushed context of this confirmation, will you commit to recusing yourself from any case arising from a dispute in the presidential election results three weeks from now?' the Delaware senator asked of Barrett during her second marathon hearing day Tuesday.
'I want to be very clear for the record and to all members of this committee that no matter what anyone else may think or expect, I have not committed to anyone or so much as signaled… – I haven't even written anything that I would think anybody could reasonably say, 'Oh, this is how she might resolve an election dispute,' Barrett explained.
She also said she would commit to consider all relevant factors when deciding whether to recuse herself from a case where there is an 'appearance of bias.'
'In describing the recusal process of the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg said that it is always done with consultation of the other justices,' Barrett said, inciting the words of the late justice whose vacant seat she would fill if confirmed.
'So I promise you, if I were confirmed and if an election dispute arises – you know, both of which are ifs – then I would very seriously undertake that process and consider every relevant factor,' she continued. 'I can't commit to you right now…. But I do assure you of my integrity and I do assure you that I would take that question very seriously.'
Her remark seemed designed to assure a skeptical block of outvoted senators and the public that she would not use her powerful lifetime position to foist her religious views or conservative social beliefs on the nation.
On Tuesday, she spoke at length after Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham tossed her a softball question, asking the appeals court judge: 'How does it feel to be nominated for the Supreme Court of the United States?'
High-profile hearing: The confirmation is being held in the Senate's largest hearing room to ensure social distancing
Look no notes! Coney Barrett was asked to show what materials she was relying on as she was questioned and held up a blank notebook of headed Senate paper – which is left on the desk for all witnesses
WILL CONEY BARRETT OVERTURN GAY MARRIAGE RULING?
Coney Barrett didn't provide much more information on the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges case, which established a right to same sex marriage when she was asked about it.
It was the subject of a fiery dissent earlier this month by conservative justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, who said it should be overturned – suggesting that it could in fact be something the high court comes to rule on again.
Barrett was asked because Scalia – her mentor – firmly expressed the view that Obergefell was not constitutional.
But Barrett said that a challenge to the ruling would be about 'substantive due process' that was not explicitly spelled out in the Constitution, after explaining her philosophy as a textualist.
She said the Supreme Court has 'grounded' rights in the Constitution which 'are not expressed,' and that this included same-sex marriage.
But she explained there also was a 'reliance interest' in that there are 'people in the United States who have ordered their affairs around it.'
Barrett explained that any effort by a state to try to take away the rights established by the ruling must go through a multi-phase process.
If (a state) outlawed same-sex marriage, there would have to be a case challenging it. And for the Supreme Court to take it up, you'd have to have lower courts going along and say, 'We're going to flout Obergefell,' she said.
'And the most likely result would be that lower courts, who are bound by Obergefell, would shut such a lawsuit down and it wouldn't make its way up to the Supreme Court. But if it did, it would be the same process I've described,' she said.
She also said 'I do not discriminate on sexual preference,' a use of language which was different from the more normal term sexual orientation.
Later on in the day, Democratic Senators Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Cory Booker of New Jersey called out Barrett for using the term 'sexual preference' to describe those within the LGBTQ community.
The Hawaii senator said even though Barrett did not give a direct response on if she agreed with her mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, that same sex marriage should not be protected under the Constitution her response did 'speak volumes.'
'Not once, but twice, you used the term 'sexual preference' to describe those in the LGBTQ community. And let me make clear, 'sexual preference' is an offensive and outdated term,' Hirono said.
She continued: 'It is used by anti-LGBTQ activists to suggest that sexual orientation is a choice. It is not. Sexual orientation is a key part of a person's identity.'
'If it is your view that sexual orientation is just a preference, as you noted, then the LGBTQ community should be rightly concerned whether you would uphold their constitutional right to marry,' she said.
Hirono accused that if Barrett were confirmed she could adopt the same 'resistant' view as Scalia that those within the LGBTQ community do not have equal rights and protections under the Constitution.
'YOU WON'T GET JUSTICE SCALIA, YOU'LL GET JUSTICE BARRETT'
Barrett embraced her classification as a 'female Scalia' on Tuesday as questioning of the Supreme Court nominee commenced on Day 2 of her confirmation hearing – but made sure to distinguish herself from the last Justice.
'Justice (Antonin) Scalia was obviously a mentor,' Barrett began of the Supreme Court Justice she clerked for, adding her previous claim that 'his philosophy is mine too.'
'He was a very eloquent defender of originalism, and that was also true of textualism' she said.
'But I want to be careful to say that if I'm confirmed, you would not be getting Justice Scalia. You would be getting Justice Barrett,' she distinguished. 'And that's so because originalists don't always agree and neither do textualists.'
Barrett arrived with her family in tow for the second day of her confirmation hearing Tuesday morning as she prepares to field questions from all 22 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee – each receiving 30 minutes.
Like Monday, pro-abortion and anti-Trump protesters and healthcare activists immediately gathered outside on Capitol Hill to express their opposition to Barrett's nomination.
Barrett would not say if she believed the court could overturn Roe v. Wade in the future
Like the first day of the hearing Monday, demonstrators immediately gathered outside on Capitol Hill to protest Barrett's nomination
The demonstrators were met by pro-life and pro-Trump protesters holding signs with images of Barrett reading 'Hope'.
Chairman Lindsey Graham started the day off asking Barrett to explain her 'originalist' views in plain English.
'I interpret the Constitution as a law,' she detailed. 'I understand it to have the meaning that it had at the time people ratified it. That meaning doesn't change over time and it's not up to me to update it or infuse my own policy view into it.'
Graham, a Republican Senator from South Carolina, kicked off the day by telling Barrett she could relax and remove her white face cover and then launched a monologue claiming he wanted to distinguish between politics and judgeships.
He railed against the Affordable Care Act, which Democrats spent the majority of their time during Monday's opening remarks claiming was at risk if Barrett were confirmed.
Six of Barrett's seven children and her husband sat in a row over her right shoulder while her youngest child, who has Down Syndrome, remained at home for the hearings – but she assured he was watching her on TV.
The row behind her children and husband were seated all six of Barrett's siblings.
Behind her to the left sat White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and for the second half of the day, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows joined the hearing room.
On Monday, all members of the committee, along with Barrett, made their opening statements.
Democrats argued against Barrett's nomination, claiming it's a political move made just weeks before the 2020 election by President Donald Trump to strike down the Affordable Care Act at the Supreme Court level.
They also claim her religion could get in the way of her being a 'fair' Justice, and say her devout Catholic beliefs would lead to the dismantling of abortion rights with a 6-3 conservative Supreme Court likely to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Republicans, on the other hand, said Democrats are playing politics and making a judgeship into a campaign issue. The GOP is also accusing the opposition party of creating a religious test for Barrett, which they lament is against the Constitution.
CLASH WITH KLOBUCHAR ON IN GRUDGE MATCH FROM KAVANAUGH HEARINGS
Tuesday's hearings featured a tense clash between the nominee and Sen. Amy Klobuchar – following Klobuchar's televised battle with now Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his own hearing. Klobuchar had asked Kavanaugh whether he had ever experienced a blackout, after testimony about his high school drinking, amid rape and sexual assault allegations that he vigorously denied.
With Barrett, Klobuchar asked a series of questions about court cases, and tried to get to whether Barrett considered them binding precedent.
Barrett avoided substantive answers, even when Klobuchar about voter intimidation, which is already on the legal books.
'Judge Barrett under federal law is it illegal to intimidate voters at the polls?' Klobuchar asked.
'Senator Klobuchar, I can't characterize the facts in a hypothetical situation, and I can't apply the law to a hypothetical set of facts. I can only decide cases as they come to me, litigated by parties on the full record,' she said.
When she tried again, Barrett responded: 'Sen. Klobuchar that is eliciting – I'm not sure if it's elicidating (eliciting) a legal opinion from me … or just an opinion as a citizen but it's not really something that's appropriate for me to comment on.'
Then Klobuchar asked about a legal article she wrote, about cases such as Brown v. Board of Education that are considered 'super precedents' that are essentially accepted as binding.
'Is Row a super precedent?' Klobuchar wanted to know.
'How would you define super precedent?' the nominee shot back.
'Actually, I might (have' thought someday I'd be sitting in that chair. I'm not so I'm asking you,' Klobuchar responded.
'I'm answering a lot of questions about Row, which indicates that Row doesn't fall in that category,' Barrett explained, signaling it is outside of that category.
'Why won't you say that about Row v. Wade?' Klobuchar said, pushing for a straight answer.
'Senator I can just give you the same answer that I just did,' Barrett told her.
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