Sunday October 25th, 2020 12:43PM

The Latest: Biden wants Barrett hearing focus on health care

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

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

10:35 a.m.

Presidential candidate Joe Biden says Senate Democrats should make health care the focus of Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, not the conservative judge’s Catholic faith.

Biden is also a practicing Catholic. He told reporters ahead of a campaign trip to Ohio on Monday he doesn’t think “there’s any question about her faith.”

Biden says the more important matter is that “this nominee says she wants to get rid of the Affordable Care Act.”

Before Barrett was a federal judge, she questioned the reasoning behind Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion upholding the 2010 health care law. The law is being challenged again, with oral arguments set for Nov. 10, a week after the election.

Biden warns Barrett’s quick confirmation would mean “20 million Americans may lose their health care.”

Republicans have accused Democrats of questioning Barrett’s faith and whether it would affect her decisions. Republicans want Barrett confirmed before the election.



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.


10:15 a.m.

Democratic vice presidential nominee and Sen. Kamala Harris is criticizing Republicans for trying to “ram through” Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett while Americans are voting in the presidential election.

The California senator said on Monday that running mate Joe Biden has “been really clear” and she has been “really clear.” She tells reporters on Capitol Hill, “We are 22 days away from an election, and people are voting right now.”

Harris says Republicans are “trying to push through, ram through, a Supreme Court justice for a lifetime appointment while almost 7 million people have already voted.”

Harris is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee but will be attending the hearing remotely because of COVID-19 concerns.

Republicans are pushing to confirm Barrett before Election Day.


9:40 a.m.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein says “healthcare coverage for millions of Americans is at stake” in the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Feinstein was speaking Monday during the start of hearings for Barrett before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Feinstein, the top Democrat on the panel, says the president has promised to appoint justices who will vote to undo the Obama-era Affordable Care Act. The Trump administration is challenging the law in a case that will be heard by the Supreme Court on Nov. 10.

Feinstein and Democrats are expected to focus on healthcare during the hearings. Feinstein still faces criticism for her comments during Barrett’s 2017 confirmation hearing to be a federal judge. Feinstein had joined Republicans on the panel in asking Barrett about her Roman Catholic faith, but then went further by telling Barrett, then a Notre Dame law professor, that “when you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you.″

Republicans are pushing to confirm Barrett before Election Day.


9:30 a.m.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham says Judge Amy Coney Barrett is in a “category of excellence” as a law professor and legal scholar.

Graham, R-S.C., praised Barrett as he opened Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Republican-led panel. Barring a dramatic development, Republicans appear to have the votes to confirm the 48-year-old conservative appellate judge to a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court.

Graham acknowledged “the COVID problem in America is real,″ but said, “We do have a country that needs to move forward safely.” Barrett was wearing a face mask, as were all the roughly 100 people in the cavernous hearing room.

Graham cited Barrett’s testimony that she follows the judicial philosophy of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, for whom she clerked two decades ago. He called that a good summary of “who Amy Barrett is in terms of the law.″

Graham acknowledged the hearings are likely to be contentious, but said he hopes they do replicate the divisive hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh. “She doesn’t deserve that,″ Graham said. ”The American people I don’t believe deserve a repeat of those episodes.”


9:20 a.m.

A Utah Republican senator who had tested positive for the coronavirus says “I feel great” and is attending hearings in person for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

Sen. Michael Lee was present for the start of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings Monday for Barrett. He was wearing a blue surgical mask.

Conn Carroll, a spokesman for Lee, had previously said the senator is symptom-free.

Lee and another member of the committee, Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, both announced Oct. 2 that they had tested positive for the virus. Both attended a Sept. 26 Rose Garden ceremony in Barrett’s honor that seems to have been a major spreader of the virus.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham opened the hearing by defending holding the hearing so close to the presidential election. And he noted the likely outcome of the confirmation process. “All Republicans will vote yes. All Democrats will vote no.”


9 a.m.

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

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.

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.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Online Supreme Court News, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, General Senate Election News, AP Business, AP Elections - Political Conventions, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2020
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Danes start culling 2.5 million minks after virus hits farms
The culling of at least 2.5 million minks in northern Denmark has started, authorities said Monday after the coronavirus has been reported in at least 63 farms
10:50AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Falcons name Raheem Morris interim replacement for Quinn
The Atlanta Falcons have named defensive coordinator Raheem Morris interim head coach after firing Dan Quinn
10:46AM ( 14 minutes ago )
The Latest: Senator calls Barrett pick 'judicial torpedo'
Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse says President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court is “a judicial torpedo” aimed at protections provided by the Affordable Care Act
10:45AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Barrett's Supreme Court hearing opens as GOP seeks speedy OK
Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing has begun as the Republican-led Senate is charging ahead to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with President Donald Trump’s pick before Election Day
10:16AM ( 44 minutes ago )
Federal judge upholds Minnesota’s extended ballot counting
A federal judge has upheld a Minnesota state court agreement that allows counting of absentee ballots received up to seven days after Election Day as long as they are postmarked by Election Day
10:12AM ( 48 minutes ago )
Vision 2020: How soon will we know the US election outcome?
How soon will we know the results of the U.S. election
10:05AM ( 54 minutes ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
2020 Watch: Is it too late for Trump to turn things around?
President Donald Trump returns to the campaign trail this week after an 11-day absence in what is likely his last opportunity to reset his beleaguered presidential reelection bid
5:23AM ( 5 hours ago )
Trump's task: Resetting campaign that GOP fears is slipping
Three weeks before Election Day, President Donald Trump’s campaign has been left reeling by a series of self-inflicted calamities
4:55AM ( 6 hours ago )
Democrat's praise of strict gun law roils Kansas Senate race
Republicans are circulating a video of Democrats’ candidate for an open U_S_ Senate seat in Kansas praising strict Australian gun laws that she said “took them all away.”
7:01PM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Trump insists he's free of virus, ready for campaign trail
President Donald Trump says he's healthy and “in very good shape” to return to the campaign trail following his COVID-19 diagnosis
12:40PM ( 22 hours ago )
Ex-members of religious group mixed on Barrett nomination
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s affiliation with the Christian community People of Praise is drawing scrutiny because of its ultraconservative views on women
12:08PM ( 22 hours ago )
A look at Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s notable opinions, votes
President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court has written roughly 100 opinions in more than three years on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
8:32AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Supreme Court News
Facebook says it will ban Holocaust denial, distortion posts
Facebook says it is banning posts that deny or distort the Holocaust and will start directing people to authoritative sources if they search for information about the Nazi genocide
10:09AM ( 51 minutes ago )
EU warns of sanctions against Belarus leader Lukashenko
The European Union is warning that it will slap sanctions on President Alexander Lukashenko and other Belarus officials if he fails to enter into talks with the opposition and order an end to the security crackdown launched after the elections
8:53AM ( 2 hours ago )
Biden visit Monday caps push into Ohio, once a longshot
Joe Biden is set to make a general election campaign visit Monday to Ohio
4:31AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Elections
Doctor says Trump no longer at risk of transmitting virus
President Donald Trump’s doctor says the president is no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus, but he does not say explicitly whether Trump has tested negative for it
10:40PM ( 1 day ago )
Biden hits Trump on economy in critical Pennsylvania county
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is blistering President Donald Trump as only pretending to care about the working-class voters who helped flip the Rust Belt to the Republican column four years ago
6:00PM ( 1 day ago )
Trump makes 1st public appearance since his hospital stay
President Donald Trump made his first public appearance since returning to the White House after being treated for the novel coronavirus
5:06PM ( 1 day ago )
General Election News
Belarus' authoritarian leader visits his foes in prison
Belarus’ authoritarian president has visited a prison to talk to opposition activists, who have been jailed for protesting his re-election they saw as rigged
1:53PM ( 1 day ago )
North Korea celebrates party anniversary amid economic woes
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has warned that his country will “fully mobilize” its nuclear force if threatened as he took center stage at a massive military parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the country’s ruling party
7:28AM ( 2 days ago )
Trump restarting campaign with White House, Florida events
With time running out before the election, President Donald Trump is looking to get his campaign back on track
12:16AM ( 2 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
Republicans see 'grim' Senate map and edge away from Trump
Vulnerable Republicans are increasingly taking careful but clear steps away from President Donald Trump in the final stretch of the 2020 election
9:09PM ( 4 days ago )
Democrat's personal scandal roils N. Carolina Senate race
A race in North Carolina critical to control of the U.S. Senate has been thrown into turmoil over allegations of personal misconduct by Democrat Cal Cunningham, a married man who had an extramarital relationship this summer with a consultant
9:04PM ( 5 days ago )
N. Carolina Senate race upended by sexting, virus diagnosis
North Carolina's intensely competitive and expensive U.S. Senate race has been upended by personal and health disruptions that sent sharp tremors and uncertainty through the campaigns and an electorate already casting ballots
10:50PM ( 1 week ago )
General Senate Election News
Greece calls new Turkish survey mission a threat to region
Greece has accused neighbor Turkey of undermining efforts to ease a crisis over drilling rights in the eastern Mediterranean
10:10AM ( 50 minutes ago )
Austria probe points to mistakes in early virus response
An independent commission says authorities in the Austrian region of Tyrol acted too slowly to shut down ski resorts after it became clear they were dealing with one of Europe’s first coronavirus outbreaks in March, but not due to political or business pressure
10:07AM ( 54 minutes ago )
The Latest: EU nations to adopt traffic light virus system
European Union countries will adopt  a common traffic light system to coordinate traveling across the 27-nation bloc amid the coronavirus pandemic
10:06AM ( 55 minutes ago )
AP Business
Biden, Harris dodge questions about Supreme Court expansion
Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden isn’t taking a position, at least publicly, on the idea of expanding the Supreme Court if his party takes power in January
2:16PM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: Trump wants to hold rally in Florida on Saturday
President Donald Trump says he wants to try and hold a campaign rally in Florida on Saturday “if we have enough time to put it together.”
10:07PM ( 3 days ago )
Next Trump-Biden debates uncertain, though Oct. 22 is likely
The final debates between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden have been thrown into uncertainty
9:25PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Elections - Political Conventions
The Latest: Biden heading to Erie, Pennsylvania, on Saturday
Joe Biden is heading back to Pennsylvania on Saturday, continuing his focus on his native state that President Donald Trump won narrowly in 2016
3:39PM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: Biden tells Latinos he can't win without them
Joe Biden is telling Latinos in Nevada that they can “determine the outcome” of the November election and help deliver a Democratic victory big enough to keep President Donald Trump from pushing “phony challenges” to the results
3:30PM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: Trump calls Rush Limbaugh show for MAGA 'rally'
President Donald Trump, still White House bound after his COVID-19 diagnosis, called into the Rush Limbaugh show Friday for a radio “rally” with the conservative talk host
12:52PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Danes start culling 2.5 million minks after virus hits farms
The culling of at least 2.5 million minks in northern Denmark has started, authorities said Monday after the coronavirus has been reported in at least 63 farms
10:50AM ( 11 minutes ago )
Falcons name Raheem Morris interim replacement for Quinn
The Atlanta Falcons have named defensive coordinator Raheem Morris interim head coach after firing Dan Quinn
10:46AM ( 15 minutes ago )
The Latest: Senator calls Barrett pick 'judicial torpedo'
Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse says President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court is “a judicial torpedo” aimed at protections provided by the Affordable Care Act
10:45AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Iran shatters its single-day record for virus deaths, cases
Iran has announced its highest single-day death toll from the coronavirus, for the second day in a row, with 272 people killed
10:29AM ( 31 minutes ago )
COVID-hit UK arts groups welcome government cash infusion
The British government has announced grants of $335 million to help almost 1,400 arts and cultural organizations survive the coronavirus pandemic
10:25AM ( 36 minutes ago )