4 Takeaways From Barrett’s Senate Grilling Session
(RightWing.org) – Supreme Court nomination hearings are supposed to be grueling. However, in Amy Coney Barrett’s case, there is something very different. With a presidential election coming in under three weeks, the stakes are higher than normal.
Due to Barrett’s overwhelming qualifications for the nomination, again on Day 2, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee sought to focus on political issues instead of legal ones. At times during the October 13 sessions, they were petty and condescending. At other times, Democrats turned the hearing into a campaign rally that displayed why people voted for Donald Trump in 2016. It quickly turned into a game to determine if Democrats could fluster or anger the Supreme Court nominee by asking ridiculous questions or baiting her to contradict previous statements.
Through it all, the Supreme Court nominee conducted herself with composure and grace. She didn’t get tripped up, and she was consistent. Her ability to handle the incoming fire with kindness was her own form of ammunition. She was able to confront Democrats without being combative. It was clear at moments that Barret’s posture frustrated Democrats who couldn’t lay a glove on her.
There were 4 key takeaways from the roughly 10 and a half hours of prodding Barrett endured on Tuesday.
Democrats Promote Conspiracy Theory
Senators spent a full day questioning Barrett. Well, at least a few did. Some decided to use their time to talk to the cameras and make political points instead of asking the Supreme Court nominee serious questions about her views.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) spent his time on a conspiracy theory to connect the dots between conservative outside groups and money. He outlandishly implied that Barrett might be bought and paid for.
The senator tried to claim that conservative groups are spending “dark money,” but he failed to mention that Democrats are better at raising it and spending it than Republicans. While difficult to tell in real-time, Open Secrets estimates that Liberal groups have spent about $45M so far in 2020 compared to $31.6M total for all other groups combined.
Senator Asks if Barrett Committed Sexual Assault
In the wake of the Brett Kavanaugh hearings and false sexual assault accusations against him, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) asked, “Since you became a legal adult, have you ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors, or committed any physical or verbal harassment or assault of a sexual nature?”
Barrett didn’t entertain the question and simply replied, “No.”
Despite Barrett’s answer, Hirono asked, “Have you ever faced discipline or entered into a settlement related to this kind of conduct?”
Again, Barrett answered, “No, Senator.”
When there is a Democratic president who nominates a potential justice, it will be interesting to observe if Democrats ask this question of a nominee.
Barrett Assures Judicial Independence
On multiple occasions, Democrats tried to tie Barrett to President Donald Trump. In doing so, they demanded she recuse herself on hearing the Obamacare case in November and any potential hearings about the outcome of the election.
Barrett said that she never had any conversations with the president or member of the executive branch on how she might rule on a case. She added, “It would be a gross violation of judicial independence.”
Roe v. Wade Takes Center Stage
Democrats repeatedly attacked Barrett and said her nomination would be a threat to women. Strangely enough, Barrett is a woman who also has daughters and sisters. However, Democrats are consistent that women in politics are not really women unless they are liberal and pro-choice.
The nominee said she didn’t consider Roe v. Wade to be a landmark ruling nor a “super precedent.” The term refers to Supreme Court rulings that establish an issue in American law that makes it invulnerable to future legal challenges. That sent Democrats reeling.
Barrett’s statement means she believes that Roe v. Wade could be challenged in the future. However, she did stress it doesn’t mean the 1973 ruling should be struck down.
Vote of Committee Decided
Judiciary Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) scheduled a committee vote to send her nomination to the Senate floor for Thursday, October 15. Then, on October 22, the full Senate is expected to vote to confirm her to the Supreme Court.
Stay tuned as Day 3 will undoubtedly offer more drama.
By Don Purdum, Freelance Contributor
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