In a sparsely populated Judiciary Committee hearing room with many, but not all, wearing masks, ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein said it’s wrong for Republicans to try to rush this confirmation.
“I believe we should not be moving forward on this nomination. Not until the election has ended and the next president has taken office,” she said.
Feinstein that Republicans are going through with the hearings to take away a women’s right to an abortion and toss out the Affordable Care Act.
“We can’t afford to go back to those days when Americans could be denied coverage or charged exorbitant amounts. That’s what at stake for many of us, for America, with this nomination,” said Feinstein.
Studiously avoiding attacks on Barrett herself, the Democrats’ line was clear: the process is a politically motivated sham, and the ACA is on the chopping block.
Senator Kamala Harris appeared remotely over her concerns about the coronavirus.
“I do believe this hearing is a clear attempt to jam through a Supreme Court nominee who will take healthcare away from millions of people during a deadly pandemic that has already killed more than 214,000 Americans,” she said. “Republicans have finally realized the Affordable Care Act is too popular to repeal in Congress. So now they’re trying to bypass the will of the voters and have the Supreme Court do their dirty work.”
Barrett read a brief, mostly biographical statement, vowing not to let her personal beliefs affect her judicial opinions.
“A judge must apply the law as it is written, not as she wishes it were,” she said.
She can expect a thorough grilling about that, with at least 18 hours of questions scheduled over the next two days.