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Senators settle old grudges as Barrett confirmation hearing starts

by ANDREW DESIDERIO and MARIANNE LEVINE | Story Source    Tuesday October 13, 2020 - 8:05 AM
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Senators settle old grudges as Barrett confirmation hearing starts
The Senate Judiciary Committee is considering Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court. But it's also relitigating 2016.

The opening session Monday amounted to a wholesale revisiting of the events four years ago, when Senate Republicans blocked President Barack Obama's nominee, in addition to Democrats' laser-focus on health care.

"So far, it's better than the hearings for Justice [Brett] Kavanaugh," Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) opined, referring to the intense battle to confirm Kavanaugh to the high court.

But while lawmakers were addressing Barrett directly, she may as well have not been present. Senators on both sides of the aisle largely acknowledged the inevitability of Barrett's confirmation — even as they harangued each other during their opening statements in partisan terms, and as Republicans touted Barrett's "impeccable" credentials.

"Unless something really dramatic happens, all Republicans will vote yes and all Democrats will vote no," Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said, though he acknowledged that "this is going to be a long, contentious week."

With the presidential election less than a month away, Democrats have displayed a united front heading into the four-day slate of hearings, calling attention to the Trump administration's efforts to get rid of the Affordable Care Act and what they see as Senate Republicans' hypocrisy in seeking to confirm Barrett, 48, to the high court so close to ...

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