The Senate Judiciary Committee opened its four-day confirmation hearing on Monday (local time) for Judge Amy Barrett, who has emerged as a hot issue in the U.S. presidential election. The ruling Republican Party went ahead with the hearing even though the opposition from the Democratic Party argued the appointment of a new judge should be left to the next president. The Democratic Party said that Amy Barrett would be a threat to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the so-called ObamaCare, and it would aggravate the COVID-19 crisis in the U.S.
According to CNN, Barrett appeared before the panel wearing a purple dress and black mask with her husband and six of her seven children. “Courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life,” said Barrett in her opening statement. “The Policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the people.”
In particular, Barrett stressed that Americans “deserve an independent Supreme Court that interprets our Constitution and laws as they are written.” This remark appears to be aimed at quelling concerns that she could make a political ruling, mindful of President Donald Trump. Trump has repeatedly said he would not accept the results of the upcoming presidential election.
The Republican Party holds a 53 to 47 majority in the Senate and 12 seats out of 22 in the Senate Judiciary Committee. It said a committee vote will begin at 9 a.m. on Oct. 15 and the entire Senate will vote to approve Barrett’s nomination on Oct. 22.
For its part, the Democratic Party is trying to use the hearing as an opportunity to attack President Trump as it has become difficult to cancel her nomination. It criticized Bennett for writing an article critical of a Supreme Court ruling, which supported the ObamaCare, in 2017. Sen. Kamala Harris, Democratic vice-presidential candidate and a member of the Judiciary Committee, briefly took time off from the campaign trail to attend Barrett’s confirmation hearing virtually from her office.