Barrett hearings, day 4: A way of inevitability from each side of the aisle

Barrett hearings, day one: Opening statements on health care, religion and the Supreme Court’s role

Posted Oct 15th 2020 11:39 pm by James Romoser

The Senate Judiciary Committee concluded its hearings on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Thursday and, amid unsuccessful efforts by the Democrats to delay the process, planned a committee vote to push her nomination to the entire Senate on October 22 to send. A full Senate vote is expected a few days later, and Republicans, who have a narrow majority in the Chamber, believe they have the votes to confirm Barrett for the seat that the late Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg previously held .

If this were confirmed, Barrett would be the third judiciary President Donald Trump added to the court, and its confirmation would be closer to a presidential election than any other Supreme Court confirmation in American history.

Justice Committee Democrats continued to argue Thursday – as they did all week – that Republicans hastened Barrett's affirmation in direct contradiction to their actions in 2016 when they prevented President Barack Obama from filling a Supreme Court position nine months prior the choice. The Democrats attempted procedural maneuvers Thursday to slow down the affirmation, but the committee chairman Senator Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) turned down their efforts, prompting some Democrats to admit Barrett's affirmation ahead of the Jan. 3 election November anything but good is inevitable.

"I see, Mr. Chairman, that goose is pretty cooked," said Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

After two days of an eclectic mix of legal, personal, and political questions (many of which could not be answered, as was the custom with nomination hearings), Barrett was absent from Thursday's hearing. Instead, the committee heard testimony from witnesses who supported and disapproved of her nomination, as well as representatives from the American Bar Association, who stated that the ABA Standing Committee on Federal Justice found Barrett "well qualified" to serve on the Supreme Court.

Witnesses testifying in support of Barrett included Laura Wolk, a former student at Notre Dame Law School, where Barrett has been on the faculty since 2002. Wolk, who is blind, described how Barrett looked after them and stood up for them when the law passed, and the school initially failed to provide the adaptive technology it needed. Wolk worked for Justice Clarence Thomas during the 2019-20 term.

Among the witnesses who testified against Barrett's confirmation was Kristen Clarke, president of the Civil Rights Lawyers' Committee. Clarke said Barrett's testimony this week – avoiding answering questions about voter intimidation and discriminatory voting procedures – raised red flags about her commitment to suffrage and other civil rights.

Posted in Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court, Featured

Recommended citation:
James Romoser,
Barrett Hearings, Day Four: A sense of inevitability from both sides of the aisle,
SCOTUSblog (October 15, 2020, 11:39 pm),