Amy Coney Barrett grilled on Day 2 of Senate confirmation hearings
Here are highlights of her more than 11 hours of questioning Tuesday.
The high-stakes confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett continued Tuesday with the Supreme Court nominee facing questions for more than 11 hours.
Senate Republicans are keeping up their push for a final vote before Election Day despite Democratic calls to let voters decide who should pick a new justice.
Trump nominated Barrett to fill the seat left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The four days of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings are unprecedented, with some members participating virtually and in-person. Barrett is appearing at the witness table to face questions.
Hearings begin at 9 a.m. each day and will be live streamed on ABC News Live.
In opening statements Monday, Democrats argued the nomination puts the health care of millions of Americans at risk amid an ongoing pandemic and some called on Barrett to recuse herself from any presidential election-related cases. Republicans, who say they already have the votes to confirm Trump's pick, defended Barrett's Roman Catholic faith from attacks which have yet to surface from inside the hearing room.
Barrett, 48, was a law clerk to conservative Justice Antonin Scalia and follows his originalist interpretation of the Constitution. She practiced law at a Washington firm for two years before returning to her alma mater, Notre Dame Law School, to teach. She was nominated by Trump in 2017 to the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and confirmed by the Senate in a 55-43 vote.
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Key takeaways from the 2nd day of the SCOTUS nomination hearing
The Senate Judiciary Committee spent Tuesday questioning Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, in a marathon session that featured exchanges about judicial independence, the future of the Affordable Care Act and any election-related cases that could come before the Supreme Court later this year.
Here are the key takeaways from the second day of the hearings.
Committee adjourns after more than 11 hours of questioning
After more than 11 hours -- and not a single note in sight in front of Barrett on her witness table -- Graham adjourned the second day of hearings about 8:15 p.m. after expressing pleasant surprise with the civility in the proceedings so far and complimenting the nominee.
"You have been very patient, very poised and I really appreciate the way you have handled yourself," he told Barrett. "I quite frankly think this has been a good example of what can be in the Judiciary Committee -- challenging questions on things that matter to people and a way you can leave the arena saying, well, that worked pretty well," Graham said.
Barrett’s confirmation hearings continue Wednesday at 9 a.m. for another round of questioning from the committee’s 22 senators with each getting 20 minutes apiece.
-ABC News Trish Turner
Barrett says people don't want to live under 'the law of Amy'
As with Republicans before her, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., gave Barrett the opportunity to explain the reasoning behind her originalist approach to interpreting the Constitution.
“Judges are not policymakers. We live in a pluralistic society where we have lots of different views on lots of different matters,” Barrett said.
"So, who am I or who is any judge to say that their result -- 'oh, just this once I will reach the result that seems the best even if runs against the law that the people have ratified,'" Barrett said. "And so, it would be wrong because I don't think people -- I think I said earlier -- want to live under the law of Amy. We have the United States Constitution and that's what judges should be faithful to," she said.
"I think probably the law of Amy prevails at the Barrett household over those children?" Blackburn said with a smile.
"50/50," Barrett joked.
Barrett says 'I am not 'a liar,' would not violate judge's oath to be impartial
Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., fired back at Harris in his line of questioning, claiming that Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., had called Barrett a “liar” when, while she did not use the word, strongly implied that Barrett would not be impartial as she said she would be when it came to considering abortion rights and the ACA.
Kennedy led Barrett through the wording of the Supreme Court oath to administer the law in an impartial manner.
"Are you going to take that oath and affirm it if you are confirmed?" he questioned. "Not lying?"
"Yes," Barrett replied. "Not lying. I took that oath before I began as a judge in the Seventh Circuit. I've never violated that oath. I would take it again. Oaths are serious to me."
“Senator Harris just called you a liar,” Kennedy quipped back. “She said if you take that oath, you would be lying. That you have already made up your mind on how you will vote on some cases, particularly dealing with abortion and the Affordable Care Act. Let's cut to the chase. She said you are a liar. Are you a liar?
“I am not a liar,” Barrett replied.
“I want you to tell me again. Look me in the eye. You're in front of God and country. If you take that oath, will you meet it?” Kennedy asked.
“I will,” Barrett answered.
“Do you swear to God?” he said.
“I swear to God. I have sworn at the Seventh Circuit. I meant it there too,” she said.
“You will never break that oath? No matter what your personal feelings are? No matter what your religion is?” he continued.
“No matter what my religion is,” she said.
“When Senator Harris and her colleagues say you are a liar, they are wrong?” he finally asked.
“They are,” Barrett said.
Though Barrett has been careful about providing her personal view on abortion, repeatedly citing her responsibility to be impartial as a sitting judge, when asked directly by Kennedy if she has a view on it, Barrett confirmed, “I do have personal feelings about abortion.”