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Confirmation hearings begin for Amy Coney Barrett

The Senate Judiciary Committee began its confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett on Monday, and will continue through Wednesday. If confirmed, Judge Barrett will replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, giving the Supreme Court a 6-3 “conservative” majority. To follow the proceedings check out: https://www.npr.org/sections/live-amy-coney-barrett-supreme-court-confirmation/2020/10/12/921392600/watch-live-amy-coney-barretts-supreme-court-confirmation-hearing


There has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding the hearings because they are being held so close to election day. Yesterday Vice Presidential Candidate/Senator Kamala Harris said, “More than nine million Americans have already cast ballots and millions more will vote while this illegitimate committee process is underway. A clear majority of Americans want whomever wins this election to fill this seat. And my Republican colleagues know that.” In response Republicans have pointed to history where numerous justices have been nominated during an election year.


Judge Barrett is a strict constitutionalist, and was mentored by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. In her first question today, Judge Barrett was asked about her definition of the term “originalism”. She responded, saying, "In English that means that I interpret the Constitution as a law and that I interpret its text as text, and I understand it to have the meaning that it had at the time people ratified it. So that meaning doesn't change over time and it's not up to me to update it or infuse my own policy views into it." She fits the mold of an ideal candidate for Republicans, much to chagrin of Senate Democrats.


Because Republicans have a majority in the Senate the confirmation will more than likely move forward, making her the ninth justice for the foreseeable future. Democrats will try their hardest to prevent this from happening, but barring any unforeseen circumstances it should be completed soon. Some Democrats have threatened to pack the Supreme Court if they win back the White House and Senate, but both former Vice President Biden and Senator Harris have refused to comment. In the meantime we will have to see what happens over the course of the next month before making any determinations.


Image Credit: Susan Walsh/Pool/Getty Images

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