WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ The Senate Judiciary Committee has begun its confirmation hearing on President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett.
Lawmakers are expected to question Barrett on several key issues, including abortion and the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.
In her opening remarks Monday, Barrett shared her views on the role of the nation’s highest court.
“Courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life,” she said. “I believe Americans of all backgrounds deserve an independent Supreme Court that interprets our Constitution and laws as they are written.”
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee focused primarily on the threat they say Barrett poses to the Affordable Care Act.
“The results will be nothing short of catastrophic for the millions of Americans who depend on its coverage and protections,” Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, said.
Leahy says Republicans are rushing Barrett’s confirmation because they have a chance to overturn the Affordable Care Act.
Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, and Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, say Americans don’t want a judge putting their rights at risk.
“Now we’re in this mad rush to meet the Nov. 10 argument deadline and colleagues pretend this isn’t about the ACA…right…” Whitehouse said. “They, too, see her as a judicial torpedo aimed at their essential protections.”
“They want a blueprint for the future not rolling back rights and turning back the clock,” Blumenthal added.
Republicans have been quick to defend Barrett’s record, including Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and John Cornyn, R-Texas.
“Your stellar character, credentials and body of work as a judge demonstrate that you understand the limited but important role of the judiciary,” Cornyn said of Barrett.
“This is a vacancy that’s occurred through the tragic loss of a great woman and we’re going to fill that vacancy with another great woman,” Graham added.
Barrett’s confirmation hearing is scheduled to last until Thursday.