WASHINGTON – Senators on Wednesday will get to grill Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett again on her career and views that could offer insights on how she would rule on the nation’s highest court.
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will get another chance to question Barrett on her views on the law and a number of hot-button issues that could come before the court.
On Tuesday, Barrett fielded questions from senators for more than 11 hours, where she attempted to differentiate her legal views from her personal beliefs and largely escaped any controversial confrontations with Democrats eager to block her nomination.
Barrett repeatedly refrained from offering her stance on key issues and cases, such those that could decide the fate of abortion, healthcare and gun laws.
Throughout the lengthy hearing, the 48-year-old federal appeals court judge and law school professor from Indiana sought to define herself as someone who puts personal views aside and addresses legal issues with an open mind.
“I’m committed to the rule of law and the role of the Supreme Court and dispensing equal justice for all,” she said during Tuesday’ hearing.
Democrats repeatedly highlighted the history of remarks and opinions she’s offered over her career that liberals argue endanger the future of a woman’s right to abortions and the Affordable Care Act, which provides healthcare for millions of Americans.
“If I’m confirmed, you would not be getting Justice Scalia, you would be getting Justice Barrett,” she said in reference to her more outspoken mentor, the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.
She repeatedly stated under oath that she’d offered “no commitment to anyone, not in the Senate, not over at the White House, about how I would decide any case.”
On Wednesday, each senator will be given at least 20 minutes to pepper Barrett with questions. The following day, on Thursday, is scheduled to mark the end of Barrett’s public vetting, when senators are scheduled to hear from additional witnesses who know Barrett.
Republicans are eager to confirm Barrett to the Court before Election Day and have sped along the confirmation process. A final vote by the full Senate is expected before the end of the month.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will not vote on Barrett’s confirmation this week but rather will hold it for one week, a common practice by the panel, before an expected vote around Oct. 22. Barrett’s nomination is likely to split along party lines, 12 Republicans and 10 Democrats, before the full Senate takes up her nomination.
She will need at least a majority of the 100-member chamber to be confirmed to the high court, a feat she is expected to cross as Democrats have acknowledged they lack the votes to block her confirmation.
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