America Prepares for Amy Coney Barrett's Confirmation Hearing


After extensive political posturing and demands for delay, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Nominee Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation hearing is in the books. On Monday, Oct. 12, Barrett will face the Senate Judiciary Committee.

According to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the process will begin with a day "of introductions," followed by two days of questions by committee members.

The committee will prepare a recommendation, which could be reviewed as early as Thursday, Oct. 15 and sent to the full Senate for a vote Thursday, Oct. 22.

Efforts by the Democratic party to disrupt and delay the hearings until after the Nov. 3 general election have been surrendered. Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said on This Week With George Stephanopoulos that his party "doesn't have the votes to stop the nomination and few tools to drag it out."

The Process

Since the 1960s, the Judiciary Committee's consideration of a Supreme Court nominee has almost always consisted of three distinct stages: 1) a pre-hearing investigation, 2) public hearings and 3) a committee decision on a recommendation to the full Senate, according to the Congressional Research Service's (CRS) "Supreme Court Appointment Process: Consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee."

After her official nomination by President Donald J. Trump Sept. 28, Barrett received the committee's questionnaire. She has already provided responses on her finances, personal life and what led to her being chosen as nominee.

The committee's pending interview will address her answers to those questions and, potentially, the results of a background investigation.

Between today and the hearing, Barrett is making courtesy calls to the senators.

The hearing on Capitol Hill is expected to be well televised and streamed. There has been no indication the hearing will be closed.

According to The Hill, Senate Democrats are mapping out their strategy for the hearing. Rather than follow the failed attempt to stop Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., is "urging his colleagues to focus on health care, health care, health care and stay away from attacks on Barrett's character, Roman Catholic beliefs or qualifications."

Usually within a week of completing the hearing, the committee meets in open session to determine its recommendation, also referred to as its report, to the full Senate.

"The committee may report the nomination favorably, report it unfavorably or report it without making any recommendation at all," according to CRS. "Of the 15 most recent Supreme Court nominations reported by the Judiciary Committee, 13 were reported favorably, one was reported unfavorably and one was reported without recommendation."

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