Amy Coney Barrett's Hearing Starts Off With A Plea For Civility


In the past, the Supreme Court hearing room was known for being abuzz with hundreds of observers and if things got too heated maybe a protest would break out and arrests would be made. However, on Monday, due to strict coronavirus protocols, the hearing room is nearly silents aside from the senators who are speaking.

This socially distanced hearing is unlike any Supreme Court hearing in the past, the nominee is wearing a black face mask on the split-screen television as senators give their opening statements, some virtually as they want to remain safe from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court started off with Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham asking for civility in the courtroom while Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein vowed that Democrats would question Barrett on her attitude toward the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, also commonly referred to as Obama Care.
During his opening statement, Graham said, "This is going to be a long contentious week. Let's make it respectful, let's make it challenging, let's remember the world is watching."
Feinstein responded, "I believe we want this to be a very good hearing," and added that she would do her best to make it a civil event, as Graham requested.
"We will examine the consequences," of Barrett's potential rulings, Feinstein said and added that "the president has promised to appoint justices who will vote to dismantle that law."
The Barrett hearings are also happening as Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Senator Kamala Harris continue to dodge questions about court-packing. The duo has steadfastly refused to tell reporters about what they will do on the issue. Many Senate Democrats have called for court-packing, which means adding seats to the Supreme Court by law and confirming justices that agree with your party's political views to those seats.
"Lately the left is threatening to pack the Supreme Court in retaliation for this confirmation process," Sen. Chuck Grassley said in his opening statement. "Even the Democrats' nominee for president and vice president have not ruled out such blatantly partisan policy grabs. Republicans are following the Constitution and the precedent, it seems Democrats would rather just ignore both."
Democrats argue that Republicans are not following precedent but Republicans point out that in most cases where the Senate is controlled by the same party as the president, election-year Supreme Court nominees are confirmed. Whereas when the Senate is controlled by a party different than that of the president, they are generally not confirmed.
Nevertheless, there has never been a Supreme Court justice confirmed so close to an election.
But, as Graham said in his opening statement, "The bottom line is Justice Ginsburg, when asked about this several years ago, said that a president serves four years, not three. There's nothing unconstitutional about this process."
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