McConnell noted that Barrett had already disclosed her work with the school to the Senate and “has taken the same oath of impartiality as every other federal judge, and has affirmed over and over that her legal judgment is independent from her private opinions.”. Barrett's confirmation could lead to the Supreme Court taking rare action on gun rights, What to watch in the Amy Coney Barrett hearings, Democrats look to avoid giving GOP fresh election-year material in Supreme Court spectacle, John Roberts faces a new round of legacy-defining turmoil, No one can recuse Amy Coney Barrett from a Trump election case but herself, Amy Coney Barrett stresses late Justice Scalia's influence in opening statement to Senate, CNN Poll: Americans are divided over Amy Coney Barrett. "When I was a law clerk to Justice Scalia," Barrett said, "I routinely participated in capital cases. Kamala Harris grilling prompts doubtful claim from Amy Coney Barrett Democratic senator and vice-presidential nominee condemns Republican push to … Senate Democrats are planning to boycott Thursday's meeting. What she could be is … All rights reserved. Marjorie Dannenfelser, head of the anti-abortion rights group Susan B. Anthony List, spoke with Trump earlier this week to advocate for Barrett. Grassley offered Barrett, then nominated for a US appeals court seat, an early chance to explain her views on a topic that was bound to be a flashpoint. It was a shameful exercise of religious bigotry, the likes of which should have long ago been relegated to the history books.". "Any kind of conviction, religious or otherwise, should never surpass the law," she said at one point. Unable stop the confirmation, Democrats have been trying unsuccessfully to stall the process until after the Nov. 3 election, so the winner of the presidency could name the new nominee. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, have objected to the quick vote, but they are not on the panel. With Republicans holding a 53-47 majority in the Senate, Trump's pick for the court is almost certain to be confirmed. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer announced the planned boycott in a speech late Wednesday on the Senate floor. Mike Davis, a former top aide on the panel who now advises Senate Republicans, said the committee was well within its normal practice to hold the vote, even if Democrats skip it. Barrett took a similar approach, drawing deep skepticism from Democrats because she had previously spoken out against abortion and past rulings on the Affordable Care Act. Barrett has served less than three years on the 7th Circuit after working as a law professor at Notre Dame Law School for nearly two decades. That's a challenge for everyone.". The court could open a new era of rulings on the Affordable Care Act, abortion access and even the results of the presidential election. The California Democrat pressed Barrett on her deeply held religious beliefs and how they could impact her jurisprudence, which led to criticism that Democrats' questioning was anti-Catholic. "The public should be concerned about whether a nominee can set those aside in favor of following the law," Barrett said. Those two senators have since returned to in-person sessions, saying their doctors cleared them from quarantine. That could prevent questions -- and explanations from Barrett -- on a recurring theme in her academic writings and presentations related to the relevance of faith in the law. As Cruz questioned her about the law review piece, he asked her to elaborate regarding when Catholic judges might sit out death penalty disputes. Evangelical and other anti-abortion activists have been pushing for her nomination. The court is set to hear a challenge to the health care law on Nov. 10, one week after the presidential election, and Trump has said he wants a justice who won’t rule as others have to uphold the Obama-era Affordable Care Act. She could serve for decades. Barrett, a 48-year-old mother of seven children, is distinguished however by her outspokenness on issues of faith and scholarly writing addressing the topic. Her reported membership in a controversial Christian group has also raised eyebrows for its teachings on family relationships. Here’s what you need to know know about Amy Coney Barrett: Religious conservatives would have much to be pleased with Barrett, a devout Catholic. She was asked about her approach to legal questions surrounding abortion access, gay marriage and the nation's tradition of a peaceful transfer of presidential power. A lasting conservative influence on the court has been a major talking point for Trump throughout his reelection efforts. Many judicial nominees decline to discuss their views on various issues, saying they will consider the cases as they come. Until the death of Ginsburg on September 18, the religious make-up of the high court was five Catholics (Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, and Brett Kavanaugh), three Jewish justices (Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan) and one practicing Episcopalian (Neil Gorsuch, who was raised a Catholic). She just didn’t answer their questions. POLITICO reported Tuesday that McConnell — who has been a major force in his party’s push for conservative influence in the courts — voiced his preference for Barrett to the president. Boycotting Thursday's committee hearing won’t stop the process, but could potentially force Republicans on the panel to alter the rules to keep the confirmation on track. In a statement soon after Trump nominated Barrett on September 26, the Texas Republican asserted Democrats in 2017 had "interrogated Judge Barrett not for her record or her qualifications, but for her faith. Barrett would be Trump’s third nominee to the high court, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged to hold a vote on Ginsburg’s replacement. But he is also among those who now suggest it should be off-limits. "You have a long history of believing that your religious beliefs should prevail," Feinstein asserted. Feinstein said she feared that Barrett would undercut the 1973 milestone decision. “Judge Barrett deserves a vote and she will receive a vote,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the committee chairman, in a statement. She’d join Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor on the bench. ", Barrett gave similar answers to Democrats, who used the committee forum to express concern that Barrett's religious beliefs would indeed shape her legal rulings. Barrett released dozens of answers this week to additional questions senators had posed, but her responses were similar as she declined to weigh in on whether the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion ruling is a so-called “super precedent” of the court or whether the president could unilaterally change the date set in law for the election. “The dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern when you come to big issues that people have fought for years in this country,” Feinstein said to Barrett. "You've been outspoken about your role and your Catholic faith, and what that plays in your life," then-Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said. "Her religion is immaterial, irrelevant," Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Among her notable writings, Barrett, a former Notre Dame law professor, co-authored a, In the same piece, Barrett and co-author John H. Garvey referred to Catholic opposition to euthanasia and abortion as well, noting, "The prohibitions against abortion and euthanasia (properly defined) are absolute; those against war and capital punishment are not. Barrett, born and raised in New Orleans, is married to Jesse Barrett, a former assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Indiana.