Judge Amy Coney Barrett will face a second day of grilling from lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday after fending off questions on Obamacare and abortion in a marathon session Tuesday.
Starting at 9 a.m. ET, the 22 senators on the committee will have 20 minutes each to ask Barrett questions, after receiving half an hour each on Tuesday. Hearings will conclude on Thursday with the testimony from outside groups.
Barring a major surprise, Barrett is expected to be approved by the committee on Oct. 22 with the support of its GOP majority.
Democrats on the committee spent Tuesday unsuccessfully probing Barrett about her views on the Supreme Court’s abortion precedents, including Roe v. Wade, and an upcoming case about the legality of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, which the court will hear on Nov. 10.
Barrett repeatedly refused to answer questions about the court’s past precedents or future cases, and is likely to stick to that policy on Wednesday.
Barrett, a conservative in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, did tell the committee that she would take calls for her recusal from potential cases arising from the Nov. 3 election seriously, and affirmed that she had made no commitments to anyone in the executive branch.
“I have no agenda,” she repeatedly told the committee on Tuesday.
Pushing back on Democrats’ main line of inquiry, she rejected characterizations of herself as hostile to Obamacare.
“I’m not here on a mission to destroy the Affordable Care Act,” she said.
While she acknowledged signing onto a 2006 newspaper ad that was critical of abortion, she said that her personal views have not influenced her job as a federal appeals court judge and would not affect her role as a justice.
“Judges can’t just wake up one day and say, ‘I have an agenda, I like guns, I hate guns, I like abortion, I hate abortion,’ and walk in like a royal queen and impose their will on the world,” Barrett said.
President Donald Trump appointed Barrett to the Supreme Court last month after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal icon who sat on the bench for nearly three decades.
If Barrett is confirmed, she will cement a 6-3 conservative majority on the high court and is expected to shift the balance of the panel for a generation. Republicans touted Barrett’s credentials on Tuesday and defended her from Democratic critiques.
Democrats have called for Senate Republicans to hold off on confirming a replacement for Ginsburg until after voting concludes in the race between Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee.
Barrett declined to weigh in on that controversy on Tuesday, and she appears likely to be confirmed by the full Senate before Election Day. Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has said Barrett could be confirmed by Oct. 27.