Feinstein Calls Barrett Threat to Affordable Care Act

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The Senate Judiciary Committee has opened the first of four days of confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump’s choice to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

In her opening statement, California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein immediately went after Barrett and said she is a threat to the Affordable Care Act.

“This well could mean that if Judge Barrett is confirmed, Americans stand to lose the benefits that the ACA provides,” Feinstein said.

WATCH:

Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham delivered an opening statement, followed by Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein. The rest of the senators on the committee have 10 minutes each to speak, alternating between parties.

Graham defended moving forward with Barrett’s nomination so close to the election, saying the Senate “is doing its duty constitutionally.”

Graham notes that it is happening in an Election Year, and says that Democrats will say no-one has ever been confirmed past July.

Graham then cited the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, noting that she said that a president serves four years, not three.

“There’s nothing unconstitutional about this process,” he says.

“The bottom line is that the Senate is doing its duty constitutionally,” he says.

On Merrick Garland, he says that when the White House and the Senate were held by opposite parties, a nominee has never been confirmed in an election year.

Graham says the hearing is not about persuading any lawmakers “unless something dramatic happens” but says that the hearing is a chance for Democrats and Republicans to dig into Amy Coney Barrett’s philosophy — and for the American people to find out about the potential Justice. “Judge for yourself, is this person qualified? Is she as qualified as Sotomayor and Kagan? I think so,” Graham says, noting he voted to confirm both Obama-era nominees.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, senators will be able to question the Supreme Court nominee. They’ll have two rounds, with 30 minutes in the first, and 20 minutes in the second. Outside witnesses will testify in support or opposition of Barrett’s nomination on Thursday.

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