Updated 1:16 p.m.
The Senate charged ahead Monday morning on President Donald Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and cement a conservative majority on the court before Election Day. After a five-hour hearing that included opening remarks, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham told lawmakers to get some rest because there are long days ahead.
At one point, Graham acknowledged the obvious: “This is going to be a long, contentious week.”
Democratic and Republican members of the committee gave opening statements, as did Barrett. She will begin answering questions from lawmakers Tuesday.
In her opening statement, Barrett said people of all backgrounds deserve “an independent Supreme Court.”
She says: “And I believe I can serve my country by playing that role.”
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.
If confirmed, the conservative judge 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 in a case coming before the court in November.