Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing Day Three

Grant Boone
October 17, 2020

Senate Democrats were united in driving home one message in the opening day of Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation hearing: President Donald Trump's nominee could threaten the future of the Affordable Care Act.

"Can you hear me?"

"If I expressed a view on a precedent one way or another.it signals to litigants that I might tilt one way or another in a pending case", she said.

Republicans said that such allegations were unfounded, given that Republicans universally support policies such as a guarantee that insurance will cover pre-existing conditions, a provision of the ACA.

But amid her criticism, Klobuchar acknowledged there was little Democrats could do to stop Barrett's confirmation by the Republican-led Senate, urging voters to show Republicans that "enough is enough" at the ballot box.

Every single Democrat on the committee brought with them a photograph and a story of at least one constituent for whom the Affordable Care Act had made a difference. However, Democratic senators made clear in advance of the hearing that they didn't plan to question the judge on the specifics of her religious faith.

Democrats put up poster-sized photographs inside the hearing room of Americans who rely on coverage from the ACA or have struggled with medical bills, and they talked about the individuals throughout the day to highlight the stakes of Barrett's nomination.

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett (R) attends her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., the United States, on October 12, 2020.

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One by one, Democrats related anecdotes of sick Americans who had been helped by the health law, connecting it to a looming deadline: The fate of the law comes before the Supreme Court on November 10.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal said it wasn't hard to decide to emphasize health care.

The Trump administration argues that the entire law must be struck down, including its protections for patients with pre-existing health conditions. Justice Ginsburg said, 'We were different, yes, in our interpretation of written text.

Democrats spoke while surrounded by photos of people they said would be impacted by the repeal of Obamacare. But he has not, as yet, discussed an actual health care plan. Some senators took part remotely, after two committee Republicans, Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, tested positive for COVID-19 10 days ago.

Democratic presidential nominee Biden, also a practicing Catholic, told reporters ahead of a campaign trip to OH that he doesn't think "there's any question about her faith". The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case that could decide the fate of the health care law a week after the election. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking member of the committee, said. "We're going to work in the Senate to do our job".

But the nominee refused to signal how she could rule on such issues.

In her first day of marathon questioning, the 48-year-old conservative judge said she would consider both sides of arguments over health care, sexual preference discrimination, guns, or reproductive rights. "That's on the line".

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