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Senate Judiciary Committee begins Barrett confirmation hearings

The US Senate Judiciary Committee began the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Monday.

Republican Senators sought to make the hearing about Barrett’s Catholicism, while Democrats focused on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Roe v Wade. In addition, Democrats focused on the COVID-19 pandemic. Criticism included the lack of contact tracing after two Republicans on the Committee tested positive for COVID, and the lack of precautions. This too was linked to the ACA and the increased risk to American citizens if the ACA is removed during a pandemic. The Supreme Court is expected to hear a case on the ACA days after the November election.

Any time the Republicans have sought to dismantle the ACA through Congress, they have received strong public push back. Some features, such as protections for people with pre-existing conditions, are popular nationwide. As such, some critics have accused the Republicans of attempting to use the Court to remove the ACA and avoid risking their majority in the Senate.

Democrats also raised concerns on how Barrett would vote if Trump attempts to dispute the validity of election results if he losses in November.

Barett gave opening remarks Monday and will face questions from the committee as the hearings continue Tuesday.