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Political parties battle amid hearing to confirm Amy Coney Barrett

Democrats and Republicans battle amid the hearing to confirm Amy Coney Barrett. Yahoo Finance's Jessica Smith shares the details.

Video Transcript

ADAM SHAPIRO: We're also keeping an eye on what's happening in Washington, not only with the stimulus, but the hearing which is under way right now to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Jessica Smith covers all things DC for us. Jessica, what's the latest?

JESSICA SMITH: Well, the [GETTING TONGUE TIED]. Excuse me, the Judiciary Committee-- there we go-- and Judge Amy Coney Barrett will be making opening statements today. And then they'll move on to a long few days of questions and answers starting tomorrow.

Now, some senators are joining this hearing remotely. Others are joining in person, including Senator Mike Lee, who announced he tested positive for COVID-19 just 10 days ago. He says he has been cleared by a doctor and is no longer contagious.

But this is a deeply divided Senate that is taking up this nomination. Senator Lindsey Graham, the chairman of this committee, opened up the hearing by saying it was a hearing to confirm Judge Barrett, not saying it was a hearing to consider her nomination. He acknowledged that unless something dramatic happened, Republicans would be voting yes and Democrats will be voting no.

And right off the bat, senators addressed the big controversy surrounding this nomination. Democrats say that the hearing should not be happening three weeks before an election. They say Republicans refused to take up President Obama's nomination back in 2016, so the same rules should apply. Let's watch.

LINDSEY GRAHAM: The bottom line is, Justice Ginsburg, when asked about this several years ago, said that a president serves four years, not three. 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.

PATRICK LEAHY: Half of the Senate had to break their word, contradicting every item that they made four years ago about the American people needing a voice during election year vacancies.

JESSICA SMITH: Now, a big theme throughout the hearing today so far has been the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on the ACA next month. So Democrats say this is part of the reason that Republicans and the president are trying to rush the nomination through. They say they are trying to put a justice on the court that would vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act.

Now, we'll eventually hear from Judge Barrett later today. That will probably be sometime this afternoon. But we do still have hours to go here. We'll be sure to keep you updated on what happens throughout the day, and then the questions and answers tomorrow.