Netizens Clash Online as Senate Confirmation Hearings for Barrett Go On

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The hearings also occur under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed 215,000 Americans.

Democrats are focusing on health care because polls show coronavirus is, by far, Americans' biggest concern. Most importantly, health care coverage for millions of Americans is at stake with this nomination.

"That's outrageous", said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), bringing in the judge's personal profile as the head of a large family.

"They're scared, Judge Barrett".

Republicans revel in the prospect of Barrett joining the bench, where conservatives now occupy five of nine seats and her confirmation could cement the court's rightward tilt for decades. And they are operating in an environment marked by the hostility of earlier battles. Republicans remember the 2018 battle over now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh; he faced sexual-assault charges, which he denied, during his confirmation hearing.

During the first day of her confirmation hearing, Judge Amy Coney Barrett focused on her record.

"If I'm confirmed, you would not be getting Justice Scalia, you would be getting Justice Barrett", she said.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the committee, said the Republicans "should honor" their past statements and "let the American people be heard".

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Klobuchar also cited Barrett's criticism of the Supreme Court decision upholding Obamacare, warning Americans that "your health care is on the line".

Barrett declined to say whether she would recuse herself from any case over the 2020 election, adding: "I have made no commitment to anyone, not in the Senate, not over at the White House, about how I would decide any case".

"Judge Barrett, in all honesty, you have auditioned for this job through your academic writing and judicial opinions", said Sen. "If Republicans succeed in striking down the ACA, insurance companies will be able to deny coverage to children with serious conditions". Justice Ginsburg said, 'We were different, yes, in our interpretation of written text.

Sen. Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey, talked about constituents "Merritt and Michelle".

The hearing took place within a context that was tailor-made to focus on health care. Two GOP members of the panel, Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, have tested positive for the virus.

Asked after the hearing about the Democrats staying on message, Illinois Sen.

Graham then bought some time by congratulating Harris for being selected to serve as Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's running mate as the technical issues were attended to. "The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the people", she said.

Mr. Graham offered a rebuttal even before the hearing began, saying that it had been set up to comply with safety guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and that any committee member was free to participate remotely. "There's nothing unconstitutional about this process", said Graham on Monday. "We're going to work in the Senate to do our job".

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