Amy Coney Barret hearings and what comes next

Carey Wooley, Reporter

The passing of Supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sparked the conversation of what comes next. It quickly became evident that even with the very limited time President Trump and the primarily republican senate were going to try very hard to nominate and confirm someone before the election. Trump nominated Amy Coney Barret days after Ginsburg’s death to replace the empty seat which immediately sparked controversy. The hearings held by the senate Judiciary Committee to review Barret’s nomination started on October 12 and ended on October 15.


Through these hearings the divided judiciary committee questioned her on many different topics but the republicans especially Linsey Graham made it very clear this was not only to consider her nomination but to confirm her. They continued the hearing, rushing the questioning and making it clear the democrats couldn’t put up much of a fight.


Barret was unable to fully answer questions about climate change and even the rights protected in the first amendment of the constitution. Barret continued to dodge questions concerning issues like abortion, climate change, Obamacare, and what would happen in a contested election. This gave few ideas of how she would vote on controversial topics if confirmed. 


Due to the current pandemic many members of this committee mostly being democrats asked questions via video. At the beginning of the week democratic senators remotely and in person tried to argue to postpone or stop Barret’s hearings but by the end of the week Democrats gave in to the inevitability of Barrett’s confirmation.


On October 26 Barret was confirmed to the supreme court by a vote of 52-48. Every republican except Susan Collins voted to confirm Barrett, while every Democrat voted against her confirmation. By adding Barrett to the supreme court there are now six justices appointed by a republican president and three appointed by a democratic president. 


While Barret’s confirmation loomed, democrats brought up the idea of packing the court with more liberal leaning judges to hopefully protect decisions made in the past that could be overturned if brought to the court. Some issues that democrats are wanting to protect is the decision of Roe v. Wade and the affordable care act. With Bidens win of the presidency the future of the supreme court is still unknown.