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.


"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 DurbinBiden officials pledge to confront cybersecurity challenges head-on Senators scramble to save infrastructure deal Senate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines 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 ThomasOvernight Health Care: St. Louis reimposes mask mandate | Florida asks Supreme Court to block CDC's limits on cruise ship industry Florida asks Supreme Court to block CDC's limits on cruise ship industry No reason to pack the court MORE and Samuel AlitoSamuel AlitoNo reason to pack the court Justice or just desserts? Trump, Cosby and Georgia cases show rising cost of political litigation House Democrats introduce bill restoring voting provision after SCOTUS ruling 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.


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."