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Democrats aim to paint Barrett as 'extreme'

Democrats aim to paint Barrett as 'extreme'
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Democrats are planning to use the next two days of questioning in the Senate Judiciary Committee to show that Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett's views on key issues are "extreme."

The Senate Judiciary Committee is poised to start questioning Barrett on Tuesday, with the session expected to run more than 10 hours. They'll have a second, shorter day of questions on Wednesday.

"This nominee is extreme. Her views are outliers," Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters during a conference call ahead of Tuesday's hearing.

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"We are going to demonstrate what's at stake for the American people and how extreme and hard right this nominee is," he added.

Asked if she was qualified, Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinCongress faces late-year logjam Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms Criminal justice groups offer support for Durbin amid fight for Judiciary spot MORE (Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said Barrett has "legal credentials" but that her positions "are extreme."

"They really represent a school of thought that is totally different than the justice she replaces," Durbin added.

Barrett, if she's confirmed, would lock in a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court. According to one academic analysis, she would be the third most conservative justice on the court, behind Justices Clarence ThomasClarence ThomasFor Thanksgiving, the Supreme Court upholds religious liberty Defusing the judicial confirmation process Will the Supreme Court take ObamaCare off life-support? MORE and Samuel AlitoSamuel AlitoConservative justices seem prepared to let Trump proceed with immigrant census plan for now For Thanksgiving, the Supreme Court upholds religious liberty Alito to far-right litigants: The buffet is open MORE.

The American Bar Association rated her "well qualified" as part of her Supreme Court nomination.

Democrats are expected to home in on two key questions as part of Barrett's hearing: how she would handle health care and if she would recuse herself from any election-related cases.

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Trump "has told us repeatedly what he is trying to achieve by filling this vacancy: he wants to make sure that the ACA is finally eliminated," Durbin said, referring to the Affordable Care Act.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear a case a week after the election that could determine the fate of ObamaCare and Democrats are eager to put health care front and center in the final weeks of the election.

Both Durbin and Blumenthal said they also both plan to ask Barrett to recuse herself from any election-related cases. Blumenthal urged her to recuse on Monday but because it was just opening statements Barrett did not respond.

"That's why I've asked her, in fact demanding, she recuse herself," Blumenthal said. "She is going to gravely, explosively and enduringly damage the legitimacy of the Supreme Court and her own credibility."