The first day of hearings for Amy Coney Barrett are over and Democrats focused much of the conversation on the future of the Affordable Care Act and Barrett’s religion leanings.
In her opening statement, Barrett talked about her career, family and talked about how grateful she was to former Justice Sandra Day O’Conner and the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg for paving the way for women to sit on the bench.
“I was nine years old when Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman to sit in this seat. She was a model of grace and dignity throughout her distinguished tenure on the Court,” Barrett said. “When I was 21 years old and just beginning my career, Ruth Bader Ginsburg sat in this seat. She told the Committee, “What has become of me could only happen in America.” I have been nominated to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat, but no one will ever take her place. I will be forever grateful for the path she marked and the life she led.”
She also echoed Justice Antonin Scalia’s interpretation of the Constitution.
“A judge must apply the law as it is written, not as she wishes it were,” she said.
Indiana Senators Todd Young and Mike Braun introduced Barrett, lauding her accomplishments and Hoosier values.
Democrats, including Senator Kamala Harris, focused largely on the Affordable Care Act, saying this is an attempt by the Trump administration to take away health care for millions of Americans.
Barrett’s Catholic faith also came under fire, with MO Sen. Josh Hawley and NE Sen. Ben Sasse coming to her defense.
“Religious liberty is the basic idea that how you worship is none of the government’s business,” Sasse said. “Whether you worship in a mosque or a synagogue or a church, your faith, or your lack of faith, is none of the government’s business. This is the fundamental American belief.”