The Latest: Barrett Supreme Court confirmation hearing opens

The Latest on the Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett (all times local):

9 a.m.

Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing has begun.

FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2020, file photo Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, listens as Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., speaks during their meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington. A scant two weeks after her nomination, Judge Amy Coney Barrett goes before a Senate committee that’s bitterly split along partisan lines over whether the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death should be filled now or should await the winner of the Nov. 3 presidential election. (AP PhotoManuel Balce Ceneta, Pool, File)

The hearing room was largely empty Monday and some senators tuned in virtually, citing the coronavirus.

President Donald Trump nominated Barrett just two weeks ago to fill the seat of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Sept. 18. Trump and Republicans want Barrett on the bench in time for Election Day, Nov. 3.

The hearing comes as three GOP senators have tested positive for the coronavirus, including two on the Judiciary Committee who now say they are symptom-free. The positive tests came after Trump’s Sept. 26 Rose Garden event announcing Barrett's nomination. Trump fell ill with COVID-19 about 10 days ago.

FILE - In this Aug. 5, 2020, file photo Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, speaks with ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., during a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Hearings before the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee will begin Monday, Oct. 12, for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett. (AP PhotoCarolyn Kaster, Pool, File)

Barrett, a conservative, would shift the balance on the court significantly right, from 5-4 in favor of conservatives to 6-3. Democrats worry she would vote to rule the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. They’re also concerned about her record on abortion.

She was confirmed to the federal appeals court in 2017. Before that, she was a law professor at Notre Dame and was once a clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia.


The Republican-controlled Senate is charging ahead on President Donald Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and cement a conservative court majority before Election Day.

Read more:

— Lindsey Graham's last stand? Senator leads Barrett court hearings

— Graham, Harris, Feinstein among the senators to watch at Barrett's hearings

— Barrett is Scalia's ideological heir.

— Barrett's notable opinions.