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Barrett, the Senate prepares for the grueling second day of the Supreme Court confirmation hearing



Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Concluded the first day of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing with a warning about the difficult road ahead.

Monday’s part of the hearing ended before 3pm. local time as it consisted of committee members and Barrett making their opening remarks without engaging in any back and forth. This changes on Tuesday, which kicks off a lengthy interrogation process.

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“We start tomorrow, 30-minute shifts followed by 20-minute shifts. Just do the math, we̵

7;ve got a couple of long days ahead of us,” Graham said, noting the allotted time in reference to the 22 senators sitting on the committee. “So get some rest.”

Starting at around 9am East Coast Time, each senator will take turns venting Barrett on issues likely to be related to his past, past court decisions, general judicial philosophy, urgent legal matters such as abortion or l health care, or the man who named it, President Trump.

Looking at day one, it appears that an important part of the Democrats’ strategy to oppose Barrett is his past criticism of the 2012 Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. A week after the November elections, the Supreme Court will hear a case in which it will determine whether Obamacare is still constitutional now that there is no longer a penalty attached to the individual mandate.

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In 2012, the court – in an opinion drafted by Chief Justice John Roberts – ruled that the sanction is a tax and therefore is linked to a congressional constitutional power. The Trump administration argues that there are now no sanctions, there are no constitutional grounds for the mandate and that everything must fall as a result.

Several Democrats, including 2020 vice-presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Said Trump and fellow Republicans wanted to hurry up and confirm Barrett so he could be on the sidelines to hear the case arguments as a key vote. in eliminating Obamacare forever.

As Elura Nanos of Law & Crime pointed out, however, this may be a flawed argument given that six of the other judges have documents that favor the severability principle. This means they could potentially determine that while the mandate is unconstitutional, other parts of the Affordable Care Act could survive.

A look back three years may also provide a glimpse of how Democrats might question Barrett. During the confirmation hearing of the seventh court of appeal in 2017, he addressed the questions of sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., And Dick Durbin, D-ill., On his religious background and beliefs.

Feinstein criticized Barrett at the time, saying that “dogma lives aloud within you” and that that was “troubling”. Durbin asked Barrett if she was an “Orthodox Catholic,” borrowing a term used by Barrett in a statutory review article she wrote as a student in 1998.

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On Monday, Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Defended Barrett from such potential attacks, arguing that they undermine religious freedom.

“This fundamental principle of American freedom is now under attack,” Hawley said. “This is what is at stake when my fellow Democrats have repeatedly questioned Judge Barrett and others about their religious beliefs.”

Evie Fordham of Fox News contributed to this report.


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