Amy Coney Barrett hearing live updates: senators prod Supreme Court nominee on abortion, same-sex marriage, Obamacare

Nicholas Wu

Ledyard King

Richard Wolf

Christal Hayes

Savannah Behrmann
 
| USA TODAY

The second day of Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings has started. Refresh this page for updates.

Sexual preference’: Barrett apologizes after facing criticism for language regarding LGBTQ rights

Barrett faced criticism Tuesday regarding language she used when discussing LGBTQ rights.

She was asked whether she agrees with Judge Antonin Scalia’s criticism of the same-sex marriage ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges – the landmark case which legalized gay marriage in the United States and which advocates worry that Barrett would not support if she were confirmed to the nation’s highest court.

Barrett’s answer? “I have never discriminated on the basis of sexual preference and would never discriminate on the basis of sexual preference.”

That response drew considerable blow-back on social media from LGBTQ advocates who “sexual preference” implies that sexuality is a choice. The more precise, and accepted, term is “sexual orientation.”

Pete Buttigieg, the former Democratic presidential candidate and openly gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana, seemingly jabbed at Barrett’s wording, tweeting, “My *preference* is that the winner of this presidential election should choose the next justice.”

The National Women’s Law Center also weighed in, saying “It’s not a ‘preference,’ Judge Barrett.”

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, later slammed Barrett for saying “sexual preference,” saying the judge used an “offensive and outdated term.”

“I don’t think it was an accident” she used the phrase, Hirono said, citing Scalia’s dissent in Obergefell.

The Hawaii Democrat said Barrett’s use of the phrase and her views on judicial precedents were why “many people in the LGBT community are so concerned” Obergefell could be overturned.

Barrett apologized after Hirono spoke, saying, “I certainly didn’t mean, and would never mean, to use a term that would cause any offense in the LGBTQ community. So if I did, I greatly apologize for that.”

– Savannah Behrmann, Nicholas Wu

Sen. Thom Tillis appears at confirmation hearing maskless

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., who tested positive for coronavirus 11 days ago, addressed the committee without a mask and submitted a letter from his physician for the record that cleared his return.

The letter (https://www.tillis.senate.gov/services/files/D05F78A0-BD05-4C68-9AB3-815C40E42660) does not say he has tested negative for COVID-19, but states he has met CDC guidelines clearing him from his quarantine.

A statement from Tillis additionally says he will “enroll in the antibody research study through Atrium Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health and volunteer to participate in UNC Chapel Hill’s immunology study and help however I can to end COVID.”

“I want to thank my doctors who provided guidance throughout my quarantine since testing positive for COVID-19. I feel very fortunate that I had a mild case with few symptoms, and I want to thank North Carolinians for their prayers and well-wishes,” the statement read.

– Savannah Behrmann

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., asked Amy Coney Barrett about her views on abortion because of a 2006 letter she had signed running alongside an ad calling for “an end to the barbaric legacy of Roe v. Wade.”

Barrett, who signed the ad while serving as a University of Notre Dame law professor, told Hawley she had signed the ad on her way out of church, and added that she signed it when she was still a private citizen, and “now I’m a public official.”

As a public official, she said, it would not be “appropriate” to express an “affirmative view” on the issue.

Hawley has said he would only back a Supreme Court nominee who said Roe v. Wade had been “wrongly decided,” according to the Washington Post.

Asked by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., about the 2006 ad and a 2013 ad sponsored by the Notre Dame University Faculty for Life, Barrett told him she did not disclose them because she did not remember the ads. She noted previous nominees had to send in additional materials as well, especially when going through so much past material.

“It’s a lot to try to find and remember” 30 years worth of materials, she said.

– Nicholas Wu

Amy Coney Barrett: Supreme Court nominee Amy Barrett signed anti-abortion letter accompanying ad calling to overturn Roe v. Wade

In one of the more substantial lines of questioning Tuesday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., grilled Amy Coney Barrett on her past remarks and rulings, suggesting that by “following the tracks,” one gets a clear depiction that she would be a key conservative on the high court.

“The American people have to understand that you would be the polar opposite of Justice Ginsburg,” Klobuchar said after listing off some of Barrett’s past remarks and opinions on a host of issues, including abortion, guns and healthcare.

Barrett, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, is facing questions from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the second day of her confirmation hearings. 

Klobuchar asked Barrett about “super precedents” – Supreme Court decisions that are so ingrained in American life that they can’t be overturned. The Minnesota Democrat noted that Barrett has called some cases a super precedent but would not use the term to describe Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that allows a woman’s right to an abortion.

“I’m answering a lot of questions about Roe, which I think indicates that Roe doesn’t fall in that category,” Barrett said, explaining “that doesn’t mean that Roe should be overruled, but descriptively it does mean that it’s not a case that everyone has accepted and doesn’t call for its overruling.” Other experts have similarly refrained from calling the case a “super precedent.”

Klobuchar also pressed Barrett on voting rights and whether it’s against the law to intimidate people casting their ballot at the polls, a nod to remarks by President Donald Trump that his supporters should monitor polling locations.

“I can’t characterize the facts on a hypothetical situation,” Barrett told Klobuchar. 

– Christal Hayes

At one point, senators stopped asking questions of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett during her second day of confirmation hearings Tuesday.

Maybe it’s a sign that members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have conceded the outcome that she will emerge from this week’s hearings with a partisan endorsement: Republicans will vote to move her confirmation forward to the full Senate while Democrats will vote against that.

For nearly two hours, senators practically stopped probing Barrett about judicial philosophy and spent their 30-minute speaking slots making speeches and attacking the other side.

Utah Republican Mike Lee spoke at length about abortion. Rhode Island Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, without asking a single question, spoke about the “dark money’ scheme he said is infiltrating politics and court appointments. Texas Republican Ted Cruz talked about the Ten Commandments and the Second Amendment before asking Barrett about her piano skills.

In between, Cruz asked Barrett about her proficiency in the French language (so-so) and why she adopted two children from Haiti (she and her then-fiancée Jesse wanted to adopt after meeting other couples who did).

“It really has enriched our family immeasurably,” she told Cruz.

He then asked her what advice she would give young girls:

“I was thinking about what my dad told me before a spelling bee that whatever boys can do, girls can do better,” she said. “And since my sons are sitting behind me, I’ll say boys are great too.”

– Ledyard King

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., reiterated concerns he had about the influence of special interest groups and “dark money,” or funds raised by organizations not required to disclose donors, leading up to Barrett’s nomination to the Court.

“Something is not right around the court. And dark money has a lot to do with it. Special interests have a lot to do with it,” he said, outlining “schemes” in which donors picked judges, funded influence campaigns to support the judges, and then funded campaigns to “tell the judges what to do.”

“The Republican party platform tells us to look at how they want judges to rule to reverse Roe, to reverse Obamacare cases, and to reverse Obergefell and take away gay marriage. That is their stated objective and plan,” he said. “Why not take them at their word?”

Whitehouse also brought up his concerns about outside interest groups when he spoke with Barrett on by phone last week.

Republicans counter that Democrats have themselves taken advantage of “dark money” from outside groups like Demand Justice to oppose Barrett’s nomination.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who spoke after Whitehouse, called Democratic critiques of dark money “deeply, deeply, hypocritical” because Ds collect more funds from Super PACs.

Whitehouse finished his speech without asking the judge a question, telling her, “this gives a chance for you and I to have an interesting discussion tomorrow.”

-Nicholas Wu and Ledyard King

Amy Coney Barrett’s voice started to crack as she discussed footage of a Minneapolis officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck and the impact it had on her family this summer.

Barrett, who has seven children including two she adopted from Haiti, told Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., that she sat down with her teenage daughter, who is Black, and cried.

Durbin had asked Barrett if she had seen the video during her confirmation hearing Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“As you might imagine, given that I have two Black children, that was very, very personal for my family,” Barrett said about the footage of Floyd’s arrest.

Barrett said when the video was publicized, her husband was camping with their sons and she was home with her 17-year-old daughter, who was born in Haiti.

“All of this was erupting. It was very difficult for her,” Barrett said. “We wept together in my room.”

She noted that her family has had continued discussions about racism and how she tried to explain it to her young children.

“I mean, my children, to this point in their lives, have had the benefit of growing up in a cocoon where they have not experienced hatred or violence,” she said.

Durbin then asked whether there is racism still in the U.S. and whether it is systemic in America.

“I think it is an entirely uncontroversial and obvious statement, given that we just discussed the George Floyd video, that racism persists in our country,” Barrett said.

She added that while racism still is a problem, she could not say whether it is systemic or how to fix it.

“Those things are policy questions. They are hotly contested policy questions,” she said, noting that diagnosing the issue of racism was “beyond what I am capable of doing as a judge.”

Floyd, a Black man, died after an officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes in May. The footage of his death sparked massive protests in cities across the U.S. and deeper discussions about racism in America.

– Christal Hayes

Lawmakers mostly kept their masks on during Tuesday’s confirmation hearing of Judge Amy Coney Barrett – except when speaking.

Amy Coney Barrett took her mask off for the hearing, though her family sitting behind her all kept their masks on. “You can relax a bit, judge, and take your mask off,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham told Barrett at the beginning of the hearing.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., who returned to the committee for the first time since testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, wore a mask while seated. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who also tested positive for COVID-19, wore a mask too.

Lee took his mask off while taking notes, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, returning from quarantine after coming into close contact with Lee, took his mask off to take a drink and then kept it off. 

– Nicholas Wu

Amy Coney Barrett cited various judges, cases and laws as she discussed her career and how she would rule on the Supreme Court in the second day of her confirmation hearings Tuesday.

And she did it all from memory.

As Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, started to question Barrett, he asked her to hold up the notebook sitting in front of her, noting most senators had multiple books and notebooks to reference.

“Is there anything on it,” Cornyn asked as she held up a blank white notepad. “The letterhead that says United States Senate,” Barrett replied.

Cornyn told her, “that’s impressive.”

Other recent Supreme Court nominees, including Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, had notes during their hearings. Kavanaugh used a binder and multiple legal notepads throughout his vetting by the Senate Judiciary Committee and Gorsuch was photographed jotting down notes on a legal pad.

– Christal Hayes 

Barrett says she would consult with other justices on recusal from any election dispute case

Senate Judiciary Democrats have seized on comments that President Donald Trump wants a Supreme Court justice seated quickly in case there’s a dispute over ballots or other procedures from the Nov. 3 election.

On the second day of confirmation hearings Tuesday, Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy pressed Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on whether she should recuse herself if a case arises that could decide the presidency since it would involve someone who just nominated her to the high court.

“Let me be clear I’ve made no commitments to anyone, not in the Senate, not over at the White House about how I would decide, any case,” Barrett told Leahy.

She declined to speak specifically about a recusal from any election case, saying she would follow court procedure and consult with the other members of the court before deciding whether to participate in the ruling.

“So, I can’t offer an opinion on recusal without short circuiting that entire process,” she said.

Leahy said the president’s statements about needing a justice seated soon – as well as his frequent comments questioning the legitimacy of mail-in ballots – have compromised not only her but the entire court.

“Whether you like it or not, the president’s placed both you and the Supreme Court in the worst of positions,” he told her.

– Ledyard King

Amy Coney Barrett paused to make clear that she hadn’t made any guarantees on how she would rule on cases that come before the Supreme Court, including to President Donald Trump before he nominated her.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, asked Barrett during the second day of her confirmation hearings T about the “suspicion” over whether she’d made any commitments on any issues, including how she might rule on the Affordable Care Act.

“I want to be very, very clear about this Sen. Grassley. The answer is no,” she said. “No one ever talked about any case with me. No one on the executive branch side of it.”

Before nominating Barrett to the high court, Trump told reporters he wanted to fill the vacancy with his pick in case there was an Election Day legal dispute. The admission led to calls by Democrats that Barrett should recuse from ruling on any case centering on Election Day results.

– Christal Hayes

Democrats are seeking to make Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing about the Affordable Care Act, but in her first day answering questions, she had a pretty simple answer.

While she has criticized Chief Justice John Roberts’ 5-4 ruling in the original Obamacare case in 2012, the case coming before the high court next month involves a completely different issue, she said.

In 2012, the court was asked to decide if the entire law was unconstitutional. This time, it’s about whether a tax penalty that Congress eliminated in 2017 can be severed from the law, or whether that would bring down the rest of the law.

Asked if she would recuse herself from that case if she’s confirmed by the time the Supreme Court takes up the issue, she said it’s “a legal issue” that she would discuss with her colleagues, not “a question that I could answer in the abstract.”

But was she asked before being nominated if she would overturn the ACA?

“Absolutely not,” she said. “I was never asked, and if I had been, that would have been a short conversation.”

– Richard Wolf

Amy Coney Barrett came to the second day of her Supreme Court confirmation hearing with an agenda: to assure senators she has no agenda.

Not on abortion. Not on guns (and her family does own one). Not on health care or anything else.

While her mentor, former Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, famously had opinions on everything and expressed them freely, “If I’m confirmed you would not be getting Justice Scalia, you would be getting Justice Barrett.”

If confirmed and hearing controversial cases on the high court, Barrett said she would read the briefs, hear the arguments and consult with her clerks and colleagues before rendering a decision.

“Judges can’t just wake up one day and say ‘I have an agenda’ … like a royal queen,” she said.

Amy Coney Barrett largely sidestepped questions from Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, on how she would rule on contentious issues that could come before the Supreme Court, like health care

Asked about the consequences of overturning the Affordable Care Act, Barrett replied, “If there were policy differences or policy consequences, those are for this body. For the court, it’s really a question of the law and going where the law leads, and leaving the policy decisions up to you.”

Towards the end of her question-and-answer session, Feinstein asked Barrett about the legality of President Donald Trump’s threat to delay the election, and Barrett again sidestepped the question.

She said if she gave answers off-the-cuff to a question like that, “I would be basically a legal pundit. And I don’t think we want judges to be legal pundits.”

-Nicholas Wu and Richard Wolf

Amy Coney Barrett: Amy Barrett’s law review articles show how Supreme Court rulings like Roe v. Wade could be challenged

It didn’t take long Tuesday for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett to be questioned about abortion. And it didn’t take long for her to sidestep the question.

As she did on other hot-button issues, Barrett explained it would be wrong for her to express her view on Roe v Wade or a later abortion case decided by the Supreme Court because a similar case could come before the high court.

“It would actually be wrong and a violation of the canons for me to do that,” Barrett told the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It signals to litigants that I might tilt one way or another on a pending case.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking Democrat on the panel, called Barrett’s answer “distressing,” and Barrett acknowledged she understood why the question was asked.

But the nominee told the panel, “I don’t have any agenda” to try to overrule Roe or its successor, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, both of which were decided in the 20th century. What she promised to do is to “follow the rules of stare decisis,” or Supreme Court precedent.

– Richard Wolf

Barrett told the committee that while her faith “was important” to her and her family, she would only apply the law to the cases that would come before her as a Supreme Court justice should she be confirmed.

Barrett, whose devout Catholic faith has been the subject of criticism by opponents who say she’s too religiously conservative to serve on the nation’s highest court, said she realized that her private life would be under a microscope by accepting the nomination.

“We knew that our lives would be combed over for any negative detail. We knew that our faith would be caricatured. We knew our family would be attacked,” she said as her husband Jesse, and seven children sat behind her. “And so we had to decide whether those difficulties would be worth it, because what sane person would go through that if there wasn’t a benefit on the other side.?”

She continued: “And the benefit I think is I’m committed to the rule of law and the role of the Supreme Court and dispensing equal justice for all.”

– Ledyard King

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., started Tuesday’s hearing by launching an attack on Obamacare, the issue Democrats fixated on during Monday’s hearing as they laid out their primary reason why they oppose Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

Democrats have concerns Barrett will be a – if not the – deciding vote next month on the Supreme Court in a case that could end the Affordable Care Act.

“From my point of view Obamacare has been a disaster for the state of South Carolina,” said Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee holding the confirmation hearings. “We want something better. We want something different.”

Graham complained that three states – California, New York and Massachusetts – have received a disproportionately high amount of health care assistance through the decade-old law, while smaller states like his have been shortchanged.

Democratic senators Monday spent most of their time saying that if Barrett was confirmed, millions of Americans would lose not only their insurance through the health exchange and expanded Medicaid, but many more would also lose coverage through the law’s requirement that insurance firms cannot deny coverage to people based on a pre-existing medical condition.

Graham said Tuesday he wants a health care plan that gives states like his more of a share of the federal money (like a “block grant”) that also includes the pre-existing condition mandate.

– Ledyard King

The second day of Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings began shortly after 9 a.m. 

Barrett, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, sat alone at a table in the hearing room with her husband and children sitting nearby.

– Sean Rossman

Barrett’s opening statement: Read Trump Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s opening statement

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., who announced a positive COVID-19 result on Oct. 2, attended in-person Tuesday’s confirmation hearing of Amy Coney Barrett after receiving a letter from his doctor clearing him to participate. He wore a mask during the hearing. 

“I feel very fortunate that I had a mild case with few symptoms, and I want to thank North Carolinians for their prayers and well-wishes,” Tillis said in a statement, adding that he would take part in antibody studies to promote research on the virus.

His office released a letter dated Oct. 12 from his personal physician Dr. Jack Faircloth telling Tillis he would fulfill the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for ending quarantine of “at 4 pm today.”

The CDC says people who tested positive for COVID-19 are cleared to interact with others after quarantining for at least 10 days after the onset of symptoms, remaining fever-free for at least a day, and remaining free of other symptoms.

It is unclear if Tillis tested negative for COVID-19. He is one of two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month. The other lawmaker, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, came back to the hearings on Monday. His office released a letter from the Office of the Attending Physician clearing him to attend.

-Nicholas Wu

Former Vice President Joe Biden told Cincinnati television station WKRC-TV on Monday he was “not a fan of court packing.”

Biden said in the television interview he did not want to focus too much on the issue, though, added, “the president would love nothing better than to fight about whether or not I would in fact pack the court or not pack the court.”

The potential expansion of the Supreme Court has become a flashpoint on the campaign trail. Some progressives suggested adding seats to the court if they win the presidency and Senate in November in response to Republicans’ nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the late Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat. Conservatives hammered Biden over his evasion of questions on the topic.

Biden had said he opposed expanding the size of the Supreme Court during the primary campaign but had evaded the question as the Democratic presidential nominee, saying last Friday voters “don’t deserve” to know his position on court expansion before the election.

Congress can change the size of the Supreme Court if it passes legislation to do so and a president signs it into law. It has not changed the size of the Supreme Court since 1869, when the Judiciary Act of 1869 set the number of justices at nine.

– Nicholas Wu

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Amy Coney Barrett discusses role of the courts at confirmation hearing

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett spoke about the responsibility of the courts in an opening statement at her confirmation hearing.

Viewers can watch Tuesday’s confirmation hearing of Amy Coney Barrett in full at USATODAY.com. The livestream will be available at the top of this page starting at 9 a.m. EDT.

Most major networks and cable news channels will also provide coverage of the hearing when it begins, including ABC, CBS and FOX News. NBC and MSNBC will both air special coverage of the hearings beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing throughout the day.

Several places are also offering uninterrupted live streams of the hearing as well, including USA TODAY and PBS NewsHour. Most of the networks will also provide uninterrupted coverage of the hearing online, through their streaming services, including CNN.com, C-SPAN.org and ABCnews.com.

After giving their opening statements yesterday, Senators will question Barrett on her career and positions on issues that could come before the court.

– Sarah Elbeshbishi

WASHINGTON – Senators are set to question President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett as the second day of the planned four days of confirmation hearings take place on Capitol Hill. 

Every senator will get to question Barrett for a half-hour, and the nominee is sure to face tough questions as she moves through the process to succeed Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham warned Monday of a “long, contentious week” ahead of the lawmakers.  

Democrats are likely to ask Barrett about health care, having settled on the topic as the focal point of their message as they oppose her nomination.

Following Monday’s hearing, Sen. Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Senate Democrat, told reporters, “we believe the Affordable Care Act is hanging in the balance on this decision of filling this vacancy on the Supreme Court. We’re going to drive that issue home to our colleagues on the other side.”

Republicans aim to confirm Barrett to the Court before Election Day, but The Senate Judiciary Committee will not vote on Barrett’s confirmation this week. The committee won’t vote until after it holds her nomination for one week, a common practice by the panel. The committee vote is expected around Oct. 22 and is likely to split along party lines, 12-10. Then her nomination will go to the full Senate, where she will need at least a majority to be confirmed to the high court. 

More: Pandemic, politics invade Senate confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett

More: How we got here: The battle over Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court, recapped

Democrats acknowledge they lack the votes to block her confirmation.  Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., told reporters no matter what obstacles Democrats threw up against the nomination process, “to be honest, as good as we are, it’s probably not going to change the trajectory of this nomination.”  

Republicans, on the other hand, bat aside the criticism on health care, arguing the court makes decisions based on the law, not policy. 

“It’s pretty clear they want to talk about the Affordable Health Care Act in terms of policy. The judge will decide the merits based on the law,” Graham told reporters. 

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said in an online news conference after the hearing that Democrats opposed Barrett because “they’re worried about is that having a constitutional jurist as the next justice on the Supreme Court” who “would block them from implementing Medicaid for all that is their goal they started out with Obamacare.”

More: We binge-watched 15 hours of Amy Coney Barrett’s speeches. Here’s what we learned about her judicial philosophy

The first day of hearings finished without many fireworks as Barrett gave her opening statement and senators spoke one-by-one.

Republican senators and conservative activists said the Barrett hearings went well and said things appear to be on track for confirmation later this month.

“Judge Barrett did remarkably well,” said Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, during a Zoom call with conservative organizations that are sponsoring ads and promoting Barrett’s nomination.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., said Senate Democrats spent most of their time attacking President Donald Trump’s desire to fill the court slot, saying little about Barrett’s qualifications or record.

“They barely mentioned her name,” Cruz said.

Cruz and others on the call predicted to supporters that Barrett would soon become Justice Barrett.

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GOP: Supreme Court hearing safe from coronavirus

Senate Republicans said the room where lawmakers gathered for Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court hearing on Monday was safe from the coronavirus. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who tested positive for the virus 10 days ago, attended in person. (Oct. 12)

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said her organization and others are appealing up persuadable voters about the Barrett nomination.

“This will be an important piece on Election Day,” she said.

Democrats eschewed any attacks on Barrett’s personal background, despite accusations from Republicans they were assailing the nominee’s faith and background. 

“We have taken an oath to a constitution that says no religious test,” said Durbin. “Enough said.”

Contributing: David Jackson, William Cummings, and Richard Wolf

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How a Supreme Court justice is nominated, confirmed, and opposed

The Supreme Court is a vital component of our democracy. Here’s how the process works to nominate, confirm, and oppose a potential justice.

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