Witnesses set to clash over Barrett’s confirmation during final Judiciary Committee hearing

Oct 15, 2020, 6:02 AM | Updated: 7:02 am

    (CNN) — Witnesses are expected to offer competing arguments over the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s final hearing Thursday.

The slate of names, which were released by Republican Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham and the panel’s top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, hail from an assortment of backgrounds. The Republican lineup is poised to speak to Barrett’s legal credentials, while Democrats appear to have chosen witnesses that can bring a personal message to the sweeping issues that have defined the first three hearings.

Two Republican-tapped witnesses, Randal Noel and Pamela Roberts from the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, will kick off the witness list Thursday. Noel wrote in a letter to the panel earlier this week that the American Bar Association found Barrett to be “well qualified” to serve on the high court.

Another Republican witness, retired Judge Thomas Griffith, who sat on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, wrote in a Bloomberg Law Op-Ed earlier this week that Barrett’s faith “won’t dictate her rulings.”

Saikrishna Prakash, a professor of law at the University of Virginia, and Amanda Rauh-Bieri, who clerked for Barrett on the 7th Circuit, will also testify along with Laura Wolk, who was a student of Barrett’s at Notre Dame Law School.

The Democratic witness list, meanwhile, will bring a mix of expert voices and personal stories to the issues of health care, abortion and other topics on which the party had grilled Barrett in recent days.

Stacy Staggs, a mother of 7-year-old twins who have multiple pre-existing conditions and rely on the Affordable Care Act, will discuss “the devastating effects on her family if the Supreme Court overturns” the ACA, Feinstein said in a statement.

And the CEO of Care Free Medical, Dr. Farhan Bhatti, will similarly discuss “the harm to his patients if the Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Care Act,” Feinstein said.

On the issue of abortion, Democrats have tapped Crystal Good, who “fought for her right to obtain an abortion at age 16.” She is set to speak on “the importance of reproductive rights and justice.”

Kristen Clarke, the president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, will speak on voting rights and civil rights protected under the Constitution.

The witness testimonies will cap a contentious week of hearings that have seen Barrett repeatedly decline to wade into a slate of issues.

Beyond health care and abortion, Democrats have questioned Barrett on her positions and writings on gun rights, voting rights and whether she would recuse herself on election disputes involving the President that might reach the high court.

Repeatedly though, Barrett has declined to engage with the senators on key issues, citing a standard named for the confirmation hearing of the justice she would replace, the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, not to discuss cases that she could be hearing in the future.

Despite objections from Democrats, the GOP-led panel is moving briskly through Barrett’s confirmation hearings and on track to vote next week, with the Senate planning its vote by the end of the month.

“There’s nothing unconstitutional about this process. This is a vacancy that’s occurred through a tragic loss of a great woman, and we’re going to fill that vacancy with another great woman,” Graham said Monday.

“The bottom line here is that the Senate is doing its duty constitutionally.”

™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories


Image of the new summer treat: Ketchup-flavored popsicles (Photo courtesy of French's)...
Zoe Sottile, CNN

The newest, weirdest summer treat is a ketchup-flavored popsicle

A Canadian ketchup brand has launched an unusual twist on a popular summer treat: Ketchup-flavored popsicles.
2 days ago
Tim Lister, Julia Kesaieva, Salma Abdelaziz, Pierre Bairin and Jeevan Ravindran, CNN

Russian missiles hit Kyiv as G7 summit begins in Europe

G7 summit begins in Germany, as Russia hits Kyiv with a series of missile attacks.
3 days ago
American Airlines planes sit at gates at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in Arlingt...
Chuck Johnston, CNN

More than 700 flights canceled Sunday

Across the United States on Sunday, more than 700 flights were canceled, according to the website FlightAware.
3 days ago
President Joe Biden. He will visit Israel and Saudi Arabia in July....
Donald Judd, CNN

Biden signs bipartisan gun safety bill into law: ‘God willing, it’s going to save a lot of lives’

President Biden on Saturday signed into law the first major federal gun safety legislation passed in decades, marking a significant bipartisan breakthrough.
4 days ago
Bodycam footage from the Moab Police Department that shows them talking with Brian Laundrie is seen...
Jamiel Lynch and Chenelle Woody, CNN

Lawyer releases pages from Brian Laundrie’s notebook in which he admits to killing Gabby Petito

Eight pages of Brian Laundrie's notebook were released Friday by the Laundrie family attorney. The notebook was found near Brian Laundrie's remains.
5 days ago
The Senate is poised to take a critical vote to advance a major bipartisan gun safety bill toward f...
Clare Foran, Ali Zaslav, Lauren Fox and Ted Barrett, CNN

Senate passes first major federal gun safety legislation in decades

In the first gun safety legislation in decades, the Senate passed bipartisan bill focused on gun violence.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Witnesses set to clash over Barrett’s confirmation during final Judiciary Committee hearing