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Watch Live: Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett begin

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett is appearing before the Senate for the first day of confirmation hearings.

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearings will span four days, beginning with members and Barrett herself making opening statements.

Stream the hearings live right here; check back throughout the day for live updates.

Opening statements

In Senator Lindsey Graham’s opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Monday for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, he discussed the legacy of late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

“This is a vacancy that has occurred to a tragic loss of a great woman. And we’re going to feel that they can see with another great woman. The bottom line here is that the senate is doing its duty. Constitutionally,” said Graham.

Graham went on to reiterate Barrett’s written statement sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee ahead of the hearing.

“She [Barrett] said I clerked for Justice Scalia more than 20 years ago. But the lessons I learned still resonate. His [Scalia] judicial philosophy. His mind. A judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policymakers. They must be resolute in setting aside any policy views. They might hold. She will give her statement but I think that is a good summary of who she is. Amy Barrett is in terms of law.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee echoed Sen. Graham’s sentiments about filling Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court. Ginsburg’s nomination was the first hearing that Feinstein participated back in 1993.

“The nation lost one of our leading voices for equality. Ruth Bader Ginsburg left very big shoes to fill. Judge Ginsburg loved the law and she loved this country,” said Feinstein. “She worked all her life to ensure that the opening words of our constitution, ‘We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect union’ included all the people, not just a few elite few. She was a standard bearer for justice.”


The process marks a crucial step before a final full Senate vote by the end of October on Barrett’s nomination to fill the seat left vacant by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It also gives the public an opportunity to hear from the candidate, in her own words, typically on issues related to judicial philosophy as well as opinions on hot-button social issues like abortion.

Recent nominees have typically kept those views close to their chests. Senators often follow up the testimony with further questions posed to the nominee in writing.

The 48-year-old U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit judge is President Trump’s third nomination to the Supreme Court, after Neil Gorusch and Brett Kavanaugh.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett, U.S. President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, looks on as she meets with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Vice President Mike Pence (both not pictured) in the Capitol, in Washington, DC., U.S., September 29, 2020. (Erin Schaff/Pool via REUTERS)

Barrett is expected to tell senators that as a judge she seeks to “reach the result required by the law, whatever my own preferences might be,” according to a copy of her prepared remarks released on Sunday.

Barrett, 48, said in the statement that it will be an “honor of a lifetime” to serve alongside the current eight justices.

Her confirmation would create a 6-3 conservative majority on the court that could lead to rulings rolling back abortion rights, as well as expanding religious and gun rights.

Besides Barrett, the first remarks Monday will be delivered by Republican Senators Todd Young and Michael Braun, as well as Notre Dame Law School Professor Patricia O’Hara.

Barrett will face questions from senators on Tuesday and Wednesday in lengthy all-day sessions. The hearing is expected to conclude on Thursday, with outside witnesses testifying about her qualifications.

Rain falls on the U.S. Capitol the night before Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on her nomination to serve as an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, in Washington, U.S. October 11, 2020. (REUTERS/Erin Scott)

Hearing Witness Schedule

As of Oct. 9, 2020, this is the schedule. Testimony by those who know Judge Barrett and legal experts is expected to follow the questioning of Barrett.

MONDAY, OCT. 12

  • Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.)
  • Sen. Michael Braun (R-Ind.)
  • Patricia O’Hara, professor emerita of law, Notre Dame Law School
  • Judge Amy Coney Barrett (opening statement)
  • Opening statements from Judiciary Commitee members

TUESDAY, OCT. 13

  • Judge Amy Coney Barrett (Questioning begins)

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 14

  • Judge Amy Coney Barrett

THURSDAY, OCT. 15

  • Judge Amy Coney Barrett

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