Written by Daniel Maloney (News Writer)
President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing is currently happening. With a committee vote expedited to the 22nd. Barrett’s testimony had little information on how should would rule on possible cases and almost no information on her views of Supreme Court precedents and if they should stand, with the major takeaway from the hearing being her views on Originalism and her views that the meaning of the constitution “Doesn’t Change Over Time.” Another important moment was when Senate Republicans forced through a motion to schedule a committee vote on her nomination on the 22nd, with only one minority party member present when two are needed to do so. The minority party member, Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois called this out to the committee chairman Lindsey Graham, but Graham rejected this saying Democrats would do the same in this position.
During the hearings, Democrats called upon a handful of witnesses of many types, including some with personal experience about cases that, if confirmed, Barret could potentially rule on. One such example is of Crystal Good, a West Virginia teenager who spoke of having an abortion after being granted a judicial bypass, which allows minors to get abortions without seeking consent from their guardians. She talked about how having a child as a teen would have derailed her entire life. Because her parents very likely would not have allowed it, she believed without a judicial bypass she never would have gotten the abortion. They also called upon Stacy Staggs, a mother of 7-year-old twins who were delivered with an emergency C-section at 28 weeks and ended up having medical expenses of over four millions dollars. Without the protections of the Affordable Care Act, “my daughters would have already hit their lifetime cap and would now be uninsurable,” Staggs said. Democratic committee members also bringing up concerns about ending a healthcare act in the middle of a pandemic.
Barret rejected questions about her views on both the Affordable Care Act and Roe v. Wade, saying “No hints, no previews, no forecasts,” citing late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also doing so during her hearing in 1993. She also declined to answer she would not commit to recusing herself from any case related to the November elections and the outcome of the votes.
The Committee is very likely going to vote to move the confirmation over to the Senate as there is a 12-10 Republican majority and all would vote yes. The debate on the senate floor will likely start on the 23rd, only a day after the committee vote. Democrats can then slow the process to require 30 hours of extra debate on her nomination and delaying regular Senate order, which would only add an extra couple of days at most until the voting. Still, only two republican senators have said they would vote to not confirm before the election. Which would be a 49-51 majority vote to confirm, but more Republican Senators may vote no during the actual vote.