Amy Coney Barrett hearings underway, 2 women take opposing sides on her confirmation

Barrett faces questions about whether her religious beliefs will play a role on the bench. Critics and supporters alike believe that she will strike down the Affordable Care Act and Roe v. Wade.
10:59 | 10/13/20

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Amy Coney Barrett hearings underway, 2 women take opposing sides on her confirmation
tonight, we are with staunch activists in a political clash away from the campaign trail, the struggle over the future of the supreme court, the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg making way for a nominee who some say may reshape weapon's reproductive rights for decades Hey y'all, the time is 7:50 and we are on our way to our location. We have our cart ready to go. And we are excited. The rain is starting to pour a little bit. That is not going to stop the pro-life generation. For Melanie, a 20-year-old senior this moment is history in the making. She is joining four other women, the self described scotus squad. . We want to motivate and activate the pro-life generation right now to vote pro-life first and be a voice for the pre-born. Only a few blocks away, Amanda, a planned parenthood activists is getting fired up. Abortion rights and all of reproductive rights is personal. The personal is political. Today's a big day. It's the start of the supreme court confirmation hearings. They both believe judge Amy coney Barrett represents what could be a turning point for ending abortion rights almost 50 years after roe V. Wade made it the law of the land. For me, I'm a community organizer. That's my career and livelihood, preparing for the hearings, I realized that I needed to be in this fight and make sure that our rights on protected too, too much is on the line right now. Energy is high, we are excited for our girl Amy to come. We need to block this nomination. Both women have spent years driven by the mission on opposite sides of the fight. Eventually finding their way to the supreme court steps. Excuse me. As the first day of judge Amy coney Barrett's hearing confirmation hearings get under way. What does it meanfor you to be at the confirmation hearings? We want her confirmed and ideally we want her to be a part of overturning roe V. Wade. Her nomination is putting reproductive rights on the line and it's going to directly impact millions and ins of people's access to health care. The hearing to confirm judge Amy Barrett to the supreme court will now begin. Inside the senate chamber, the battle lines clearly drawn in what is expected to be an historic hearing. It was a supreme court confirmation hearing unlike anything I have seen. I have been doing it since '87, it's obviously because the pandemic hangs over the hearing room. Senators were socially accident and some were remote, and -- socially distant and were some remote and it was Erie, this is a nomination that is associated with the coronavirus outbreak at the rows garden, reaching here to the senate. Barrett wearing a mask throughout, a reminder that it's all taking place amidst a global pandemic. Her husband and six of her children in the front row. I'm used to being in a group of nine, my family. Nothing is more important to me, and I'm proud to have them behind me. At 48 years old, she is in line to fill the seat of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, making her the fifth woman ever to join the court. If confirmed it would be the honor of a lifetime to serve along side the chief justice and seven associate justices. I admire them all and would consider each a valued colleague. And I might bring a few new perspectives to the bench. The push by Republicans to fill the seat weeks before the election, unleashing a fierce partisan battle. There's nothing unconstitutional about this process. It's a vacancy that occurred through a tragic loss of a great woman and we are going to fill that vac -- with a vacancy of another great woman. The Republicans have found a nominee who know what they could not do, subvert the will of the American people, and overturn the ACA and overturn roe V. Wade, that is what it's about, that's why we are here. It's very simple. 52% of Americans say filling rbg's vacant seat should be left had to the next president in a poll, and 44% said that the current senate should vote on the nominee. There was a couple of mentions by Democrats but they wanted to focus on health care and I think they feel that's the issue right now that helps them the most in the election. No question that roe V. Wade and a women's right to choose to have an abortion is at stake. And remember C Republicans don't want to talk about it because they are winning. The rancor growing for this woman who may hold the position for a half century. So hear appointment does tip the scale towards the conservative justices. Absolutely. It was already a conservative court with the death of justice Ginsburg, you have three solid liberal justice on court. Amy coney Barrett is a fifth or sixth conservative vote, it would be difficult for the liberals to win at all. It's hard to see where the other vote would come from. Barrett is known as a devout catholic. The president and others praising her as a legal scholar. She is a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials and unyielding loyalty to the constitution. The Louisiana native graduated at the top of her notre dame law school class. She went on to clerk for Scalia, conservative titan, she was one of his favorite law clerks and quickly moved in to being a law professor herself. Her beliefs and her connection to anti-abortion and anti-lgbt groups now raising questions about how it may affect our interpretation of the the issue first raised in her 2017 senate confirmation hearing for the second circuit court of The dogma lives loudly within you. And that's of concern. It's never appropriate for a judge to impose that judge's personal convictions whether they derife from faith or anywhere else on the law. This time, Democrats citing concern over two speeches and an anti-abortion ad that she failed to expose prior to the hearings. Of all the paper you may forget to include, it's these on hot button issues that they sent a letter to the justice department demanding the nominee and the department of justice come clean, they said they questioned Amy Barrett's candor because of the omissions and expect to hear more of that as the week goes on. According to an ABC news Washington post poll, 6 in 10 Americans favor upholding roe V. Wade. What does it mean for the future of roe V. Wade? I think if Amy coney Barrett is confirmed it will likely be overturned when you look at her writing, she has said clearly she doesn't think that the court is required to abide by its prior decisions if those decisions are very wrong. And I think she does believe roe V. Wade was very wrong. So to her more important than what the supreme court has said in previous cases is what she thinks the constitution means. The courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life. The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches. Elected by and accountable to the people. Answering questions on where they stand on roe is standard for modern supreme court nominees even Ruth Bader Ginsburg addressed the issue in her 1993 confirmation hearing. It is essential to woman's equality with men that her had choice, that she be the decision maker. That her choice be controlling. And that if you impose restraints and disadvantage her had, you are disadvantaging her because of her sex. Ginsburg would continue to advocate for women's reproductive rights up until her death last month. The moment that I heard that Ruth Bader Ginsburg died my heart just paused for a second. So, for me, in that moment, it was wow. There's a legacy I need to carry that fight. And so much is on the line with the supreme court opening. What was your reaction when you heard that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had passed? Well, as the pro-life movement we mourned, we took a moment to say let's pray tonight but then we have to do action When I was 21 areas old and just beginning my career Ruth Bader Ginsburg sat in this seat. She told the committee what has become of me could only happen in America. I have been nominated to fill justice Ginsburg's seat but no one will ever take her place. I will be forever grateful for the path she marked and the life she led. Back outside the supreme court steps both sides say it all comes down to this nomination. And what it means for the election just 22 days away. We encourage every pro-life person to vote pro-life first. It is so important that whether or not people are behind president trump we hope that people will hate abortion so much that you will vote for someone you don't like. So nothing else president trump does matters, only his position on abortion rights. The number one issue for me is the issue of life. We are waiting to hear from millions millions more voters on election day. And coming up, our political team on health care.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"10:59","description":"Barrett faces questions about whether her religious beliefs will play a role on the bench. Critics and supporters alike believe that she will strike down the Affordable Care Act and Roe v. Wade.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/Nightline","id":"73579085","title":"Amy Coney Barrett hearings underway, 2 women take opposing sides on her confirmation","url":"/Nightline/video/amy-coney-barrett-hearings-underway-women-opposing-sides-73579085"}