WASHINGTON, DC (NEXSTAR) — Republican senators continued their face-to-face meetings Thursday with President Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to begin confirmation hearings on Oct. 12 with a vote on the Senate floor before Election Day. Democrats are refusing to meet with Barrett, protesting the rushed timeline.
“I have total confidence in her,” said Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-MS. “She is an excellent constitutionalist.”
Hyde-Smith is ready to confirm Barrett to the nation’s highest court.
“It’s gonna be a tough process, but women are just naturally strong,” Hyde-Smith said.
Fellow Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker continued the praises for the conservative judge and mom of seven ahead of their one-on-one meeting.
“The fact that you’ve been able to balance so many different challenges as a mom, as a professional, as a public servant will be an inspiration to people like my five granddaughters,” Wicker said.
“Thank you, senator,” Barrett said.
But Democrats continue to oppose Barrett’s nomination. They fear her conservative vote could decide cases against Obamacare and abortion rights.
“She’s totally opposed to the ACA. She’s totally opposed to Roe v. Wade,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY.
Schumer and Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-HI, have refused to meet with Barrett.
“When the president affords the American people the courtesy of not lying to us every single day, I will extend the courtesy to meet with his nominee for a lifetime appointment,” Hirono said.
On healthcare, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-TN, argued Democrats fear Barrett will block their healthcare plans.
“It would prohibit them from implementing socialized medicine,” Blackburn said.
On abortion, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-LA, argued Barrett is committed to respecting past high court decisions and said senators should not judge her for her faith.
“If all of the Catholics in the nation are told, ‘Sorry. If you actually care about your faith, you’re disqualified from being a Supreme Court justice,’ that’ll be terribly offensive,” Cassidy said.
These issues should be at the heart of the debate during Barrett’s confirmation hearings in two weeks.