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What Time is the Supreme Court Amy Coney Barrett Hearing?

A deeply divided Senate Judiciary Committee will kick off 4 days of contentious affirmation hearings on Monday for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, drawing battle traces that would reverberate by way of the election.

Democrats will arrive able to go on the offensive, portraying Judge Barrett’s nomination as an election-season energy seize by Mr. Trump and Republicans. They will characterize her as a conservative ideologue who would overturn the Affordable Care Act, invalidate abortion rights and aspect with the president in any authorized disputes arising from the Nov. Three election.

Republicans will attempt to deflect these costs and redirect consideration towards Judge Barrett’s sterling résumé and compelling private story. But their purpose above all else is pace — pushing by way of the affirmation earlier than Election Day — and it seems that they’ve the votes to put in her and cement a 6-to-Three conservative majority on the court docket earlier than the top of October.

Monday’s listening to will start at 9 a.m., and is predicted to take a lot of the day as every member of the Judiciary Committee will get 10 minutes to ship a gap assertion. Judge Barrett would be the final to talk, and is predicted to present a brief, principally biographical assertion earlier than taking questions later within the week.

Here’s what to anticipate.

Though fights over Supreme Court nominees have change into more and more bitter lately, no trendy affirmation battle has performed out so near a significant presidential election. That contest, and the race for management of the Senate, will probably be omnipresent within the hearings, shaping the methods of each events.

Republicans who’re trailing within the polls hope to make use of the affirmation combat to stoke enthusiasm amongst their base, but additionally coax again unbiased voters, particularly ladies, who’re abandoning the get together in droves. To that finish, they plan to largely bypass the coverage implications of the court docket’s rightward tilt in favor of Judge Barrett’s private story, stressing her authorized experience as an appeals court docket decide and Notre Dame legislation professor and her expertise as a working mom of seven.

They additionally wish to attempt to goad Democrats into questioning Judge Barrett’s impartiality primarily based on her Catholic religion, as they did throughout a 2017 listening to on her nomination for an appeals court docket seat. Republicans consider if Democrats take the bait, they might fire up a political backlash just like the one which helped encourage their base through the 2018 affirmation battle over Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.

Democrats will take the inverse strategy. They will try and hammer Republicans on what Judge Barrett’s affirmation may imply for a collection of fashionable insurance policies and potent campaign-trail points, just like the well being care legislation, abortion rights and same-sex marriage. They will level to Judge Barrett’s report to argue she may undermine all three if confirmed.

At the top of the day, Judge Barrett may have an opportunity to reintroduce herself uninterrupted by partisan bickering, and she or he intends to spotlight her dedication to household and the authorized philosophy championed by Antonin Scalia, the justice who died in 2016 and for whom she clerked.

According to opening remarks circulated by the White House on Sunday, Judge Barrett plans to spend ample time discussing her love of household — describing every of her seven kids individually — her upbringing as a Catholic in New Orleans, and her experiences as a scholar, clerk after which legislation professor at Notre Dame. She will particularly pay tribute to 2 ladies — Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg — who broke the Supreme Court’s glass ceiling.

“I have been nominated to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat, but no one will ever take her place,” she plans to say. “I will be forever grateful for the path she marked and the life she led.”

But her judicial philosophy couldn’t be extra reverse from that of the lady whose seat she intends to fill. Like Justice Scalia, Judge Barrett is described as a textualist and originalist. That means she prefers to interpret the plain phrases of a authorized statute over the intent of the lawmakers and to learn the Constitution primarily based on the understanding of its framers.

“Courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life,” Judge Barrett plans to say. “The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the people. The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try.”

Judge Barrett’s affirmation listening to will look in contrast to another in trendy historical past, because of the coronavirus pandemic. Republicans are insisting on continuing however a virus outbreak in Washington that seems to be linked to the crowded White House ceremony two weeks in the past the place Mr. Trump introduced Judge Barrett as his nominee. The president and most different attendees on the gathering had been maskless. Mr. Trump has since tested positive for the virus, as have several other guests.

At least two Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee, Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, additionally tested positive after attending the occasion. They are anticipated to take part within the hearings, which will probably be led by Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the Judiciary Committee chairman, who has refused to be retested. Democrats referred to as for a postponement, however had been rebuffed.

The proceedings will play out partially by video to permit senators who could also be sick or fearful about an infection to take part remotely. No members of the general public — together with protesters whose confrontational model set the tone for different affirmation fights — will probably be allowed within the listening to room, which will probably be sparsely populated with senators and spectators.

Should any extra Republican senators fall in poor health, it may complicate Judge Barrett’s probabilities of affirmation. With two members of the get together, Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, already against continuing earlier than Election Day, Republicans, who management the Senate by a 53-to-47 majority, can afford to lose just one extra vote.

After Monday’s opening statements, senators will dive into a number of, prolonged rounds of questioning with Judge Barrett on Tuesday and Wednesday. Though the format will probably be totally different — and there might be some components of shock — don’t count on to be taught a lot about Judge Barrett’s particular authorized views on essentially the most politically delicate issues that would come earlier than the court docket. Like earlier nominees, she is predicted to refuse to reply questions which may compromise her means to rule impartially on future instances.

On Thursday, the committee will convene once more to listen to from a panel of outdoor witnesses testifying in favor of and opposition to Judge Barrett’s affirmation. Afterward, it would instantly start deliberating over whether or not to advocate that she be confirmed. The debate will probably be fierce and partisan, however underneath the principles, Democrats will insist the panel wait every week to vote on her nomination.

As of now, the Judiciary Committee plans to reconvene on Oct. 22 to approve the nomination. If all members of the panel are current, Republicans would have a transparent majority and simply win the vote. But if any Republican lawmakers had been unable to attend, they might rapidly discover themselves at a standstill.

If accredited, the nomination would then go to the total Senate for consideration. Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the bulk chief, has not mentioned when he’ll schedule a ultimate vote, however it’s anticipated to happen early the week of Oct. 26, in time for senators to race residence for one ultimate week of campaigning earlier than the election.

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