***Live Updates*** Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings

Amy Coney Barrett arrives for a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, to become an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court on Capitol, on Hill in Washington, DC on October 12, 2020. (Photo by SHAWN THEW / POOL / AFP) (Photo by SHAWN THEW/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Shawn Thew/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

The Senate Judiciary Committee will kick off judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings on Monday.

 

Stay tuned to Breitbart News for live updates.

All times Eastern.

2:15 PM: Committee will be in recess until 9 AM on Tuesday, when senators will begin their 30-minute rounds of questioning.

2:06 PM: O’Hara is now testifying and she says it is anticlimactic because they have already heard from Barrett. She talks about how she first met her when they recruited her in 2002 to be a law professor at Notre Dame. She says she was responsible for creating an environment in which she could take her potential and get tenure…. she says it was the easiest task during her tenure as dean…

O’Hara says reading student evaluations is like reading a thesaurus of superlatives. O’Hara says scholars also hold her work in the highest regard and says her tenure case was as easy as a tenure case could possibly be.

O’Hara says Barrett is brilliant and humble. She says Barrett is a woman who leads an integrated life of mind, heart, and soul, and it is that integration that that allows her to move so seamlessly between her professional responsibilities and family.

O’Hara says she has had only two chances to communicate with the committee. The first was when she wrote a recommendation for Elena Kagan and the second is today.

She says she finds those two recommendations to be entirely consistent because they share powerful intellects and have a commitment to applying the laws to the facts before them. She says they understand the solemn responsibility to preserve the court and not wings of the court.

2:05 PM: Barrett on the appreciation for those who came before her:

I come before this Committee with humility about the responsibility I have been asked to undertake, and with appreciation for those who came before me. I was nine years old when Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman to sit in this seat. She was a model of grace and dignity throughout her distinguished tenure on the Court. When I was 21 years old and just beginning my career, Ruth Bader Ginsburg sat in this seat. She told the Committee, “What has become of me could only happen in America.” I have been nominated to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat, but no one will ever take her place. I will be forever grateful for the path she marked and the life she led.

Barrett also says it has been uplifting to hear that so many people have been praying for her:

As a final note, Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank the many Americans from all walks of life who have reached out with messages of support over the course of my nomination. I believe in the power of prayer, and it has been uplifting to hear that so many people are praying for me. I look forward to answering the Committee’s questions over the coming days. And if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed, I pledge to faithfully and impartially discharge my duties to the American people as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Thank you.

2:01 PM: Barrett says  “courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life. The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the people.”

“I try to remain mindful that, while my court decides thousands of cases a year, each case is the most important one to the parties involved,” she says. “After all, cases are not like statutes, which are often named for their authors. Cases are named for the parties who stand to gain or lose in the real world, often through their liberty or livelihood.”

She also says when she is writing an opinion, she reads every word from the perspective of the losing party.

1:55 PM: Graham swears in Barrett before her opening remarks after the committee can’t establish a connection with O’Hara. Barrett introduces her family:

As I said when I was nominated to serve as a Justice, I am used to being in a group of nine—my family. Nothing is more important to me, and I am so proud to have them behind me.

Barrett on her parents:

My parents, Mike and Linda Coney, are watching from their New Orleans home. My father was a lawyer and my mother was a teacher, which explains why I ended up a law professor. More important, my parents modeled for me and my six siblings a life of service, principle, faith, and love. I remember preparing for a grade-school spelling bee against a boy in my class, and to boost my confidence, my dad sang, “Anything boys can do, girls can do better.” And at least as I remember it, I spelled my way to victory.

Barrett on her legal mentors:

I was fortunate to have wonderful legal mentors—in particular, the judges for whom I clerked. The legendary Judge Laurence Silberman of the D.C. Circuit gave me my first job in the law and he continues to teach me today. He was by my side during my Seventh Circuit hearing, he swore me un during my investiture, and he is cheering me on from his living room now.

I also clerked for Justice Scalia, and like many law students, I felt like I knew the justice before I ever met him, because I had read so many of his colorful, accessible opinions. More than the style of his writing, though, it was the content of Justice Scalia’s reasoning that shaped me. His judicial philosophy was straightforward: A judge must apply the law as it is written, not as she wishes it were. Sometimes that approach meant reaching results that he did not like. But as he put it in one of his best known opinions, that is what it means to say that we have a government of laws, not of men.

Justice Scalia taught me more than just law. He was devoted to his family, resolute in his beliefs, and fearless of criticism. And as I embarked on my own legal career, I resolved to maintain that same perspective. There is a tendency in our profession to treat the practice of law as all-consuming, while losing sight of everything else. But that makes for a shallow and unfulfilling life. I worked hard as a lawyer and as a professor; I owed that to my clients, to my students, and to myself. But I never let the law define my identity or crowd out the rest of my life.

1:52 PM: Some technical difficulties trying to get Professor O’Hara. Graham jokes she must be in the “3G part of Indiana.”

1:46 PM: Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) says that Scalia said the federal judiciary is hardly a cross section of America. He says if confirmed, Barrett will be the only sitting justice who did not receive her law degree from Harvard or Yale and spent most of her time in the Midwest. He says when this vacancy occurred, he was the first to advocate for a judge from the Midwest because we need more judges who understand Midwestern values. Braun says Barrett is a legal titan who drives a minivan who is just as comfortable at a Saturday afternoon tailgate as she is in an ivory tower.

He says much will be made of Barrett’s Catholic faith in the coming days. He says the founders anticipated this question and got it right. He says liberals and conservatives are bound by the Constitution’s firm edict that no religious test should be allowed. He says Barrett has been clear where she falls on faith and the law. Braun says Barrett is an originalist who will not treat the Supreme Court as a third chamber of commerce and talks up her “heartland values.” He says Hoosiers should be proud to have Barrett representing her state currently and adds that she will make all Americans proud as a justice of the Supreme Court.

1:41 PM: Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) introduces Barrett and calls her “an American original.” He says his office looked for an “extraordinary American” when there was a vacancy in the seventh circuit. He says it was abundantly clear since their first meeting that she was a “star” who was held in the highest regard by her peers in the legal community. Young says she possessed all of the qualities to be an appellate court judge then and to be a Supreme Court justice now. Young says unfortunately some Democrats resorted to attacks on her religious faith during her appellate court nomination hearings. Young says as a member of the seventh circuit, Barrett has proven she is a brilliant jurist who interprets the Constitution as written. He says she is also the first woman from Indiana to serve on the seventh circuit. Young says if confirmed, Barrett will be the fifth woman and the first mother of school-age children to be on the Supreme Court. He talks about education, faith, community, and equal justice under the law.

1:37 PM: Graham points out that the ABA gave Barrett its highest rating and reads the letter the ABA sent to Graham and Feinstein.

1:27 PM: Blackburn says Democrats have revealed today that nothing but an activist judiciary will do for them. She says Democrats want only a certain type of woman to be allowed on the Supreme Court. She calls Barrett a “brilliant jurist” who will be an “intellectual powerhouse” on the Supreme Court who will steer the panel towards textualism and originalism.

Blackburn says the radical left want to take a “hatchet” to the process and says a vocal minority finds fault with Americanism at every turn.

 

1:17 PM: Sen. Kennedy says he hopes Senators can talk about the role of the federal judiciary in American life this week. He says the Kavanaugh hearing was a “freak show.” He again talks about how Congress has relinquished too much power to other branches.

1:05 PM: Technical problems as Harris tries to testify. Senators can’t see her on the screen and there is a lot of background noise.

Harris says the committee has ignored procedures to keep people safe, including requiring testing of members. She says Republicans postponed business on the Senate floor and says this hearing should have been postponed and the decision to hold the hearing is “reckless” and puts janitorial staff and the Capitol police at risk.

Continuing with her campaign speech, Harris says Senate Republicans have not lifted a finger for 150 days re: the House COVID bill. She says Senate Republicans have made it “crystal clear” that rushing through a Supreme Court nomination is more important than helping Americans dealing with COVID/economic problems.

Harris says Republicans want to rush Barrett’s nomination because they want the Supreme Court to do their “dirty work” on Obamacare.

12:55 PM: Sen. Crapo says the hearing is 16 days after Barrett’s announcement and most hearings have come within the 16-day window. He says these proceedings are in line with past timelines in the Senate. Crapo rips Democrats for court packing and says “this is not court packing.” He says the standard arguments against Barrett about how she will be an activist judge who will overturn Obamacare are just standard arguments that are made when a Republican nominates someone to the Supreme Court. He claims it has never been true and will not be true with Barrett. Crapo also calls out Democrats for filibustering a COVID relief package and then accusing Republicans of not caring about COVID relief.

He highlights Barrett’s commitment to stare decisis and says she is the “ideal candidate” to fill this vacancy. He says he looks forward to discussing the proper role of a judge in America’s legal system with judge Barrett.

12:42 PM: Booker opens by telling the story of an American who got coverage because of Obamacare and then was diagnosed with diabetes. Booker says he is worried about what will happen if Obamacare is overturned because he now has a pre-existing condition. He says Americans are scared about a future with Obamacare and Roe v. Wade, and voters should believe Trump when he said he wanted justices to overturn Roe and Obamacare. He claims Senate Republicans know Americans don’t want this and they don’t care. He says they have “one window of opportunity” before Americans vote. Booker asks a GOP colleague on the committee to stand up with him and help him end this “charade” that is “violating their own words, statements.”

12:35 PM: Ernst opens by saying women were given the right to vote only a hundred years ago, and she says she is so proud what women have accomplished in this country. She says this is the first time she has been a member of the judiciary committee during a Supreme Court nomination process. She says she is not a lawyer and brings a different perspective. She says the Supreme Court is the defender of our Constitution and her test for a Supreme Court justice is whether she will defend the Constitution. Ernst says she hears about judicial activism from her colleagues on the left who want to turn the Supreme Court into a super legislature. She says she is concerned that Barrett’s faith and family will be attacked during the hearings from Senators who do not have an open mind. She says her opponents want to paint her as a “handmaid,” a TV-caricature of a religious radical.

12:25 PM: Opening statements resume, with Hirono slamming the White House as a “Coronavirus hot spot” and ripping the GOP for not passing COVID relief legislation. She says these are “not normal times” and Senate Republicans are trying to put a justice on the Supreme Court to get rid of Obamacare. Hirono says Barrett aligned herself with Scalia, who voted twice to strike down Obamacare, at the White House “super-spreader event.” Hirono calls this a “hypocritical” and “illegitimate process” and accuses Republicans of wanting Barrett to be seated on the court to hear the Obamacare case a week after the election. She says repealing Obamacare is at the top of the GOP’s “hit list.”

11:34 AM: Tillis accuses Democrats of “fear-mongering,” saying Barrett will threaten healthcare and labor rights and get rid of Obamacare. He says his review of Barrett’s record is that she reaches conclusions dictated by law and not by personal preference. He tells Barrett to stand tall and proud when the left criticizes Barrett in the coming days.

Committee will be in recess until 12:20 PM.

11:21 AM: Blumenthal says Barrett’s nomination is about the GOP’s goal of repealing Obamacare, which he says they “detest so much.” He claims Barrett will become a judicial activist who will use originalism as a “smokescreen” to overturn Obamacare. He quotes GOP senators on the committee who have previously called for Obamacare to be replaced and says that COVID will now be a pre-existing condition that will put the health care of Americans at risk. He says an activist judge on the bench will strike down “common-sense gun safety laws” and a woman’s right to choose. Blumenthal now highlighting gun control and abortion issues. He calls Barrett an “extremist ideological judge” and speaks about the “unwritten rule” of keeping one’s words in the Senate re: election-year confirmations. Blumenthal says Republicans are doing it because they can and “right does not make might.” He claims they don’t have the American people and history on its side because Americans want a plan to fight the Coronavirus. He claims Trump and the GOP are destroying the “legitimacy” of the Supreme Court. He says Barrett must recuse herself in any election cases because it will damage the court’s and her legacy.

11:10 AM: Hawley welcomes Barrett and notices some of Barrett’s kids are taking a well-earned break. Hawley says there has been one hit piece after another in the liberal media about Barrett’s Catholic faith and family. He says these stories are questioning whether she has the “independence” to be a judge, and he specially calls out Harris for questioning the fitness of office of judicial nominees for their membership in the Knights of Columbus. She accuses Feinstein in a past hearing of using the language of anti-Catholic bigots. Hawley accuses Dems of wanting to bring back “religious tests” and the “veto power” of the powerful over people of faith. Hawley also calls out the left’s “pattern and practice of religious bigotry,” and says the “pattern and practice of religious bigotry” of Senate Judiciary Dems must stop and be renounced.

11:02 AM: Coons claims Dems will focus on Barrett’s legal reasoning (and not religious issues) and conclude that she will do “irreparable harm.” He says this confirmation is “wrong” and will harm what remaining trust senators have in one another. Coons says Trump is looking to the courts to overturn Obamacare because they couldn’t get it done legislatively. Coons says she believes Barrett was chosen because her selection will lead to the outcomes Trump wants on health care, abortion, etc. Coons says this is what he will lay out this week in the confirmation hearings.

10:48 AM: Sasse says he doesn’t know what any of Klobuchar’s comments have to do with today’s hearings and would be confusing to eight graders tuning in to learn about confirmation hearings. Sasse says they should agree on religious liberty, which is a positive grand unifying truth about America. He points out that religious liberty is the “default assumption of our entire system” and that’s why we don’t have “religious tests.”

He now talks about how everyone should reject “judicial activism,” which he says is a confused idea that the Supreme Court is another arena for politics. He says the antidote to judicial activism is originalism. He now rails against “court packing,” which he says would be a “partisan suicide bombing” that would end the deliberative process of the Senate.

10:39 AM: Klobuchar starts off by ripping Trump for lying, holding up a Bible as a prop, calling soldiers “losers and suckers” and refusing to condemn white supremacists. She says you can see in this room the “misplaced priorities” of the Republican-run Senate. She says Trump has trying to get rid of Obamacare since he took power and now Republicans are trying to “stack the deck” agains the American people. She says this should be the American people’s judge and not Trump’s.

10:26 AM: Cruz says what speaks the loudest is the dog that doesn’t bark. He says there has been a lot of political rhetoric and attacks on Trump but very little about Barrett. He says that is because Barrett’s credentials are “impeccable.” He says the Senate should decide and debate issues dealing with Obamacare.

10:17 AM: Whitehouse says Barrett’s confirmation will be a “judicial torpedo” aimed at Obamacare. He rips Trump’s ineptitude on the Coronavirus, saying the hearing is a microcosm of his ineptitude He says Trump can’t even keep the White House safe and rips the “slapdash” hearing that he claims is ironically being held only because Republicans want to get rid of protections for pre-existing conditions. Whitehouse laughs that his Republican colleagues do not think this is about targeting Obamacare. He says Republicans need to keep their promises to their corporatist donors on Obamacare and mentions that when David Koch ran for vice president in the 1980s he wanted to get rid of Medicare/Medicaid. Whitehouse calls the hearing an “unseemly charade.”

10:05 AM: Sen. Lee (R-UT) says most Supreme Court decisions are decided by 9-0, 8-1, or 7-2 votes. He says the 5-4 configuration is relatively rare. He says there are some decisions that are “politically charged” and Americans worry about more than others (like waste disposal in the context of the dormant commerce clause). But he says even in those circumstances, it doesn’t mean that is the “end of the policy road there.” He says there is nearly always another way around a particular policy concern, whether we are talking about health care of individual liberty. He says Barrett is a judge and not a policy maker and will object to anyone ascribing policy positions to Barrett.

Sen. Lee ripped for not wearing a mask:

Sen. Lee says he was cleared by his doctor to go back to the Senate:

9:58 PM: Durbin says Republicans want to confirm Barrett because they doubt Trump will get re-elected and want judges to support issues that Americans are against. He ripped Republicans for being “venal” and hypocrites for obediently and shamelessly following McConnell on election-year confirmation hearings. He is now quoting Trump, who tweeted he wanted to see Obamacare terminated in the Supreme Court. He says we know what Trump thinks because he tweets what he thinks. Durbin says “this is his litmus test.” He says Republicans don’t have the votes to eliminate Obamacare and “now they have to rely on the court to do their work.”

9:47 AM: Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) talks up Barrett’s “collegiality” and says she disagrees without “rancor” or “personal malice” and we could use a lot more of that. He says the political climate is a lot different and what Democrats did to Kavanaugh was an “absolute disgrace.” He says he hopes Democrats resist the temptation to repeat that during these hearings and says he is concerned about the left’s previous attacks on her faith.

9:36 AM: Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT), making his remarks virtually, says that no confirmation hearing he has participated in has ever looked like this. He says there should not have been a nomination ceremony while the nation was mourning Ginsburg’s passing. He says we shouldn’t be holding a hearing three weeks before an election.

He says half of the Senate had to break their word on election-year vacancies to hold these hearings. He jabs Graham for refusing to be tested for the Coronavirus. Leahy says senators know in their hearts this confirmation hearing is wrong and then talks extensively about how Republicans want to nominate Barrett so Obamacare can be overturned. Leahy, like Feinstein, highlights an American who he says would lose insurance coverage because of pre-existing conditions of Barrett gets on the Supreme Court.  He says they are scared that Barrett’s confirmation will “rip away” their healthcare coverage.

9:35 AM:

9:25 AM: Grassley says we are fortunate that Barrett’s record reflects that she believes judges are not policymakers after quoting Scalia on the the importance of the separation of powers. Grassley says Barrett is also known as “generous mentor” and her “humility” and “graciousness” while talking up her ability to “build consensus.” He says Barrett’s record and character are “impeccable” before saying he expects Democrats to make unsubstantiated attacks about Barrett. Grassley also rips the left for wanting to pack the court. Regarding Obamacare, Grassley says Democrats should not claim to know how a justice will vote on the court, citing past criticisms on the left of justices like Anthony Kennedy and David Souter.  Grassley also rips Democrats for attacking Barrett’s religion and says Article I prohibits religious test for serving. Grassley says Barrett should offer no forecasts about how she will vote when asked.

9:25 AM: Feinstein says the Senate should not be moving forward with this nomination until the next president is elected, saying Republicans should listen to what McConnell said about Merrick Garland after Scalia’s death.

9:15 AM: Feinstein says she wants this to be a “very good hearing” after tweeting that she plans to do everything to stop the process. In her opening remarks, Feinstein says Ginsburg was a “standard bearer for justice” and says Ginsburg’s confirmation hearing was her first as senator. She says the “stakes are extraordinarily” high and immediately says that healthcare coverage is at stake for millions of Americans.

She says Democrats will talk about the consequences if Republicans rush through Barrett’s nomination. Feinstein says Trump wants justices who overturn Obamacare and Barrett has been critical of Chief Justice Roberts’ decision to uphold Obamacare.

She says those with pre-existing conditions like COVID-19 could be denied coverage if Barrett becomes a Supreme Court justice.

(Feinstein also not wearing a mask during her opening remarks.)

9:12 AM: Graham says this is “probably not about persuading each other” and adds that all Republicans will vote “yes” and all Democrats” on the committee will vote “no.”

9:10 AM: Graham says this is an election year and says Democrats will say “this has never been done.” Graham says Ginsburg said a president serves four years and not three and there is nothing unconstitutional about this process and the Senate is doing its duty.

9:05 AM: In his opening remarks, Graham says the late Justice Ginsburg was confirmed 96-3 even though she was known as an “icon” in progressive circles. He mentions that the late Justice Scalia got 97 votes. Graham says he doesn’t know what happened between then and now but there was a time when someone like Ginsburg was seen by almost everyone as qualified for the Supreme Court.

Graham says Barrett is in a “category of excellence” and something the country should be proud of.

9:02 AM: Graham gavels in the hearing, and he says he doubts there is any room in the country that has been given more attention to be CDC compliant. Graham says the Senate has to do everything to “mitigate” the COVID problem.

8:50 AM: Barrett arrives for hearings:

8:45 AM: Feinstein vowing to do everything she can to “delay or stop this process.”

 

 

 

 

 

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.