U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is sworn in during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington , D.C., U.S., October 12, 2020. Erin Schaff/Pool via REUTERS

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

In her brief opening statement, Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett attempted to make the hearings about her ability to uphold and interpret the law. But Democrats instead focused on health care and the fact that the hearings were taking place less than a month before the election. “I chose to accept… because I believe deeply in the rule of law and the place of the Supreme Court in our nation,” Barrett said while mixing in a small note of thanks to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “If I am fortunate enough to be confirmed, I pledge to faithfully and impartially discharge my duties to the American people.”

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, a member of the Judiciary Committee, reflected the Democrats’ frustration at their inability to stop the hearings from happening, given the Republican-controlled Senate. My point today is, you cannot divorce this nominee from the moment we’re in, in time,” she said, “and that we do not have some secret, clever, procedural way to stop this sham. Let’s be honest.” 

Vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris accused Republicans of getting the Supreme Court to do their “dirty work” for them by overturning the Affordable Care Act. Republicans responded by stating that it wasn’t a sure thing that Barrett, a mother, would overturn the act, and they insisted that her personal preferences wouldn’t influence her rulings, referring to her opening statement. But Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) made it clear he sees Barrett as a tool for President Donald Trump. “Judge Barrett, I’m not suggesting you made some secret deal with President Trump,” he said, “but I believe the reason you were chosen is precisely because your judicial philosophy, as repeatedly stated, could lead to the outcomes President Trump has sought.”

So far , however, Democrats have steered away from questioning Barrett’s faith, as her views on abortion and the possiblity of her overturning Roe v. Wade were seen as factors involved in Trump’s nomination decision. Democratic presidential nominee and a Catholic, Joe Biden, said her religious beliefs shouldn’t be a part of the hearings.

Republicans senators said later that criticism of Barrett focused on policy, not her professional record, which she could not control. “You heard no challenge to her credentials, no challenge to her ability, no challenge to her record as a judge,” Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri said. “She is an outstanding nominee with sterling credentials, a sterling record, and she is going to get confirmed by the United States Senate to the Supreme Court of the United States.”

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Senators On Barrett: ‘You Heard No Challenge To Her Record As A Judge’ – The Federalist – 10/12/2020
A broad coalition of lawmakers, public interest groups, and grassroots citizens rallied behind Amy Coney Barrett in her first day of hearings today for confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Amy Coney Barrett hearing turns into a get-out-the-vote effort – Axios – 10/12/2020
Senators seem to be on the same page on Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett after Day 1 of the confirmation hearings.

The Battle Lines Are Set After The First Day Of The Amy Coney Barrett Hearings – FiveThirtyEight – 10/12/2020
On Monday morning, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham kicked off the confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett with a surprisingly bald admission: Pretty much nothing that will be said over the next four days is likely to change anyone’s mind.

Senate Democrats Have Stopped Attacking Amy Coney Barrett’s Faith for Now – Reason – 10/12/2020
Refreshingly, Senate Democrats didn’t revive those anti-Catholic attacks, and it appears it might stay that way.

Lots of partisan sniping at Supreme Court confirmation hearing – Roll Call – 10/12/2020
Senate Judiciary Committee members sharply criticized each other during the opening day Monday of the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

Amy Coney Barrett hearing: 5 takeaways from Monday – CNN – 10/12/2020
The first day of confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett featured plenty of fiery speeches — many of them aimed at next month’s presidential election rather than the nominee herself.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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