With less than a month until the election, the Senate Judiciary Committee began hearings for the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Hearings will run through Thursday and can be viewed through a live stream on the committee’s website.
The nomination has been a major topic of debate, with opponents noting that the nominee should be selected after the presidential election. In addition, President Donald Trump’s event for the announcement of Barrett as his nominee was described by Dr. Anthony Fauci as a “superspreader event.” At least 11 people who attended the event tested positive for COVID-19, according to BBC News.
“There is nothing unconstitutional about this process,” Sen. Lindsay Graham, chairman of the committee, said. “There is a vacancy that has occurred through a tragic loss of a great woman and we’re going to fill that vacancy with another great woman.”
What’s at stake
Democrats have voiced their concerns over Barrett’s possible place on the bench. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said the appointment could overturn women’s reproductive freedoms, deny millions healthcare and radically change immigration policy.
“This pace not only severely undermines the Senate’s ability to exercise our role of advice and consent, it also robs the American people of their ability to gauge the nominee and the kind of justice she will be on the court,” Feinstein said in an October 1 statement.
The nomination precedes a November 10 hearing on the Affordable Care Act.
Barrett has been a law professor at Notre Dame, her own law school alma mater, since 2002. Before her career in academia, she clerked for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Laurence H. Silberman and the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Barrett joined the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in October 2017.
This week’s hearings start each day at 9 a.m. EST.