Senate panel wraps up day one of confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett

WASHINGTON— The Senate Judiciary Committee wrapped up the first of four days of Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett around 2:30 p.m. on Monday.

The hearing, which was held in a mostly empty room, with some senators joining virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic, began at 9 a.m.

Democratic and Republican members of the committee gave opening statements.

Barrett also gave her opening statement, saying in part that she believes the court should interpret the U.S. Constitution and laws “as they are written.”

Two lawmakers from Indiana, senators Todd Young and Mike Braun spoke before Barrett.

The former dean of the Notre Dame Law School who hired Barrett, Patricia O’Hara, was also scheduled to speak but due to technical difficulties, she was unable to deliver remarks. 

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham closed the hearing by saying “we’re going to have a couple of long days ahead.”

On Tuesday, Barrett will begin answering questions posed by lawmakers.

President Donald Trump nominated Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during an announcement in the White House's Rose Garden on September 26.

Trump and Republicans hope to install Barrett on the Supreme Court before Election Day on November 3.

Democrats worry that Barrett, a conservative, would vote to rule that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional in an upcoming case.

Barrett’s place on the court would shift the balance farther right, in favor of conservatives 6-3.

Barrett was confirmed to the federal appeals court in 2017 and previously clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia. The judge is also a professor at the University of Notre Dame’s Law School.

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