Amy Coney Barrett faces questions on Day 2 of Senate hearings

Washington — Judge Amy Coney Barrett is facing questions before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday for the second day of her confirmation hearings, with the panel’s members getting their first chance to press President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court on her legal views and writings.

Barrett, 48, is fielding questions from Democrats on the 22-member committee about her views on abortion and the Affordable Care Act, which has become a focal point of their opposition to her nomination to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the high court. 

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the committee’s top Democrat, asked Barrett whether she believes Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision that established a woman’s right to an abortion, was rightly decided.

Barrett declined to say one way or another, saying her role as a sitting judge precluded her from commenting on precedents that continue to be challenged in court. But she assured senators she doesn’t “have any agenda.”

“I have an agenda to stick to the rule of law,” she said.

In addition to answering questions from lawmakers, Tuesday also marks Barrett’s first opportunity as a Supreme Court nominee to expand on her judicial philosophy and view of the role of jurists.

Tuesday’s hearing is expected to be a marathon day of questioning, as each member of the Judiciary Committee will have 30 minutes to pose their questions to Barrett. Senators will have another chance to question the judge Wednesday before the four days of hearings conclude Thursday with an outside panel of witnesses appearing in support of and opposition to Barrett’s nomination.

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