Amy Coney Barrett Meets with McConnell, Pence Ahead of Senate Confirmation Hearing

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  • Bloomberg QuickTake: Now published this video item, entitled “Amy Coney Barrett Meets with McConnell, Pence Ahead of Senate Confirmation Hearing” – below is their description.

    President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett, is on Capitol Hill on Tuesday for a day of meetings with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other pivotal Republican senators in preparation for her fast-track confirmation before the Nov. 3 election. Joined by Vice President Mike Pence, McConnell said he was glad to welcome Barrett and “get the process started” on her confirmation. But the Republican leader declined to answer questions about whether the judge should recuse herself if legal challenges to the election between Trump and Democrat Joe Biden land at the high court. Pence said he looks forward to the Senate voting in the “near future” on Barrett’s confirmation, saying Americans need a full court, with nine justices. “We truly do believe Judge Barrett represents the best of America,” Pence said in brief remarks in the Senate’s Mansfield Room. Democrats are confronting the limits of their power as they fight against the nomination and some have said they won’t meet with Barrett, who is expected to be swiftly confirmed for the seat held by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg by the end of October. Barrett made no public remarks at the start of what is expected to be days of meet-and-greet sessions with senators, a traditional part of the confirmation process. Later Tuesday, she will meet with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and other senators on the panel. Hearings at the committee are set to begin October 12. Unable to block Trump’s pick on their own, Democrats are aimed at avoiding mistakes that could hurt the party’s candidates in November. They are arguing to voters that Barrett’s nomination threatens the protections of the Affordable Care Act – a focus that Biden has embraced and many Democrats see as a winning message. The court will hear a case challenging the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s health care law just after the election, adding to the urgency of the issue. Hours after Trump named the Indiana federal judge as his pick to replace Ginsburg, who died Sept. 18, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said a vote to confirm Barrett would be “a dagger aimed at the heart of the health care protections Americans so desperately need and want.” But there will also be ample opportunities for Democrats to move off-message as partisans on both sides infuse the nomination battle with cultural, gender and religious politics. Some in the left wing of the Democratic Party are pushing for senators to boycott the hearings or commit to adding more justices to the court if Biden wins the presidential election. That has fueled concerns in the party about placing too much emphasis on procedural tactics that only delay votes by hours or days – even as precious time ticks away in the few remaining weeks before the Nov. 3 election.

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