WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Judge Amy Coney Barrett and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee delivered opening statements on Monday as the confirmation process began for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick.
“This is going to be a long, contentious week,” Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said.
President Trump officially introduced Barrett as his choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Sept. 26. Sen. Graham is leading the effort to get Barrett confirmed before Election Day.
“What you saw today was basically Donald Trump was the nominee, not Amy Barrett,” Graham said.
Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein used Graham’s own words against him during Monday’s hearing.
“Chairman Graham promised, if an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term and the primary process has started, we’ll wait until after the next election,” Feinstein noted.
But Graham said this time is different and he isn’t backing down.
“Bottom line here is that the Senate is doing its duty constitutionally,” Graham added.
“Colleagues pretend this isn’t about the ACA,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said, laughing and adding, “right.”
“They’ll attempt to have Judge Barrett commit to policy outcomes rather than do the work for that policy outcome in the U.S. Senate,” he said.
Barrett promised she’d leave policy to the lawmakers.
“Decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the people,” Barrett said.
Barrett’s questioning begins Tuesday.