High-stakes confirmation hearing for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee

The Senate began its hearing to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett as Republicans pushed for a final vote before Election Day despite Democrats' calls to wait.
5:21 | 10/12/20

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Transcript for High-stakes confirmation hearing for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee
Out of that Supreme Court showdown and mentioned off the top tonight the Senate Judiciary Committee opening its confirmation hearing for president trumps nominee judge Haney Cody Barrett. Judge there were escorted in to hearing room this morning her children brought in separately to watch. Democrats united in their message today one after another arguing that her nomination puts health care coverage for millions of Americans including pre existing conditions on the line. But that major case before the court just days after the election. And judge Barrett telling the committee today to courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life. ABC's Terry Moran has covered the court for years for. Us. This stage was set as socially distanced hearing room but Democrats in a surprise change the script for what's remarkably united one after another. The Democrats argued that this confirmation threatens all Americans health care. And the protections for preexisting conditions. Stripping health care for millions of Americans during a pandemic that's really. What is at state on the other side Republicans were brimming with confidence for good reason they got the votes. Committee chairman senator Lindsey Graham even acknowledging that no Supreme Court justice has ever been confirmed so close to Election Day. My democratic colleagues will say. This is never been done in their right in this regard nobody's I thinks ever been confirmed election year past July. Graham also cited a late justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who said presidents are elected for four years not three and so can nominate justices throughout their terms but senator Amy Klobuchar pointedly reminded Graham of Ginsburg's final wish. That her seat would not be filled until a new president is installed. This isn't Donald Trump's country. It is yours. This shouldn't. Be Donald Trump's judge it should be yours. Democratic vice presidential nominee senator couple Harris appearing by remote link also invoking Ginsburg with a dire warning about judge Barrett. Clayton justice Ginsburg. Someone who undo her legacy. Precedent trump is attempting to roll back americans' rights and decades to come. But health care was the democrats' main line of attack and it got personal sharing moving stories of constituents who depend on the Affordable Care Act. With the Supreme Court scheduled to take up that law just a week after the election. Democrats steered clear of any mention of judge Baird's Catholic faith in contrast to or 2017 confirmation hearings for the appeals court. But Republicans still accused him of using her faith against her here political opponents want to paints you ask is eight. TV or cartoon version of a religious radical. That is an attempt to bring back. The days of the religious test. Barrett herself sat stoically for five hours wearing a mask which he hadn't done in a Rose Garden nominations ceremony. And when she removed it to speak she spoke of her mentor the late justice Antonin Scalia whose judicial philosophy she shares. A judge must've Platt a lot as it is written not as she wishes it where. Sometimes that a pro arts met reaching results that he did not light. And on the key issues that could come before her boards are not designed to solve every problem are right every wrong in our public life. Most of Barrett's children were seated behind her the mother of seven from the south and midwest talking about her roots it confirmed should be the only justice not to have attended an Ivy League school. The B only sitting justice it didn't attend school at Harvard or EA out. But I am confident that Notre Dame could hold its non and may get even teach them a thing or two about a block. At a few laughs there today Terry. Also we took note that this all played out today amid this pandemic judge Amy Connie Barrett wore a mask for five hours until it was her term. To deliver her statement before the senators. There were headlines made when senator Mike Lee who tested positive after that Rose Garden ceremony spoke at the hearing without a mask. But before putting one back on his office said today that the attending position in congress said another test was not necessary for him. But some senators did not shall including senator commonly Harris at least not a person. They were joined by remote she made a point of saying she'd asked the chairman senator Lindsey Graham protesting before the hearing. Here's how senator Graham addressed that a little later. Could explain what CDC. Compliant means. Means that the room this. Social distancing. Regarding the virus that the Arctic that the capital measured. The space and as to me was tested a week ago Friday. And brief contest with senator Leo's negative. So Terry you heard a today with us as we were all watching senator Graham saying they were complying with CDC guidelines today. CDC complied but Democrats as you say there were looking for more. In part because there is a corona virus outbreak associated with this nomination event at the Rose Garden now reaching into the senate here in the upper echelons of the Republican Party. Replied the Democrats won and everyone tested. Senator Graham refused he said that millions of Americans are going to work every day in this pandemic the committee should do. David Terry Moran will be at the court all week force Terry thank you.

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

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