Democrats on the Senate Judiciary committee spent Sunday previewing their plans for the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Amy Coney Barrett set to start this week before the panel.
Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSunday shows preview: Trump, top Republicans recover from COVID-19; stimulus bill remains in limbo Trump pick noncommittal on recusing from election-related cases Americans want to serve — it’s up to us to give them the chance MORE (D-Del.) told “Fox News Sunday” that he plans to frame Barrett’s views as “disqualifying” her from serving on the court.
“I’m going to be laying out the ways in which Judge Barrett’s views, her views on reaching back and reconsidering and overturning long-settled precedent, are not just extreme; they’re disqualifying,” he said.
“She has views that make her not qualified to serve on the Supreme Court,” he said, adding that “President TrumpDonald John TrumpNorth Korea unveils large intercontinental ballistic missile at military parade Trump no longer considered a risk to transmit COVID-19, doctor says New ad from Trump campaign features Fauci MORE has said he would only nominate someone who would overturn the Affordable Care Act, taking away health care protections for 100 million Americans.”
Another Democratic committee member, Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoSunday shows preview: Trump, top Republicans recover from COVID-19; stimulus bill remains in limbo Amy Coney Barrett is brilliant; her ascent to the Supreme Court is not Manchin becomes first Democrat to meet with Trump’s Supreme Court pick MORE (D-Hawaii) told CNN’s “State of the Union” that she would avoid asking “irrelevant questions” about Barrett’s Catholicism during the religion.
“Her religion is immaterial, irrelevant,” she said. “That is what I said. And so that is my position. I am totally focused on what this nominee sitting there as a justice is gonna do in striking down the Affordable Care Act. That’s what I’m focused on.”
Democratic senators’ comments on Sunday aligned with Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden says he’ll reveal position on court packing ‘when the election is over’ Pelosi asked if steroids influenced Trump’s decision on coronavirus relief Schumer and Statehood for Puerto Rico MORE’s (D-N.Y.) previous instructions for party members during the hearing. Amid Republican warnings, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has directed Democratic senators to focus on “health care, health care, health care” during Barrett’s hearings and avoid criticizing her character and Catholicism.
Barrett is expected to align herself with the late Justice Antonin Scalia according to her opening statement, obtained by The Hill on Sunday, saying “A judge must apply the law as written, not as the judge wishes it were.”
“Courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life,” she 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.”
Barrett, in her opening statement, is expected to sidestep what will be some of Democrats’ biggest questions, including her views on the Affordable Care Act, recusing herself from election-related cases and if she will feel bound by previous Supreme Court precedent.
Democrats have spoken out against confirming Barrett, accusing Republicans of hypocrisy after the GOP Senate blocked Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandHow the Democrats can pack the court and de-escalate at the same time Poll finds voters split on Barrett nomination Amy Coney Barrett is brilliant; her ascent to the Supreme Court is not MORE’s confirmation for being too close to the election during the 2016 presidential election year.
But Republicans have argued this situation is different because the same party has power in the Senate and The White House, and officials have plowed forward in the hopes of confirming the judge before Election Day. President Trump announced he would nominate Barrett 38 days before the Nov. 3 election.
Ahead of Barrett’s hearing, Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenDemocratic poll shows neck-and-neck race brewing in Florida House district Nebraska district could prove pivotal for Biden in November Bringing Black men back home MORE has continued to avoid answering whether he would pack the Supreme Court if Barrett is confirmed and he is elected president, sparking condemnation from Republicans.
Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseSunday shows preview: Trump, top Republicans recover from COVID-19; stimulus bill remains in limbo GOP vows quick confirmation of Trump’s Supreme Court pick amid coronavirus turmoil McConnell: Plan is to confirm Trump’s Supreme Court pick before election MORE (R-Neb.) labeled Biden’s refusal to say whether he’d back packing the Supreme Court as “grotesque” on “Fox News Sunday.” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDanielRonna Romney McDanielSunday shows preview: Trump, top Republicans recover from COVID-19; stimulus bill remains in limbo Trump, Biden campaigns clash over debate timing, formats Internal memo links 34 coronavirus cases to White House: report MORE said on CBS’s “Face The Nation” that the lack of answer from the Democratic candidate “should be all the media’s focused on.”
Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondSunday shows preview: Trump, top Republicans recover from COVID-19; stimulus bill remains in limbo Juan Williams: Trump’s toxic race card Hillicon Valley: House panel says Intelligence Community not equipped to address Chinese threats | House approves bill to send cyber resources to state, local governments MORE (D-La.), the co-chair of Biden’s campaign, declined to answer the court packing question, calling it “hypothetical” and “a distraction with 22 days before the election” on ABC’s “This Week.”