WASHINGTON, D.C. — Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett batted away Democrats’ skeptical questions Tuesday on abortion, health care, and a possible disputed-election fight over transferring presidential power, insisting in a long and lively confirmation hearing she would bring no personal agenda to the court but decide cases “as they come.”
The 48-year-old appellate court judge declared her conservative views with often colloquial language, but refused many specifics. She declined to say whether she would recuse herself from any election-related cases involving President Donald Trump, who nominated her to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and is pressing to have her confirmed before the the Nov. 3 election.
“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 told the Senate Judiciary Committee during its second day of hearings.
“It’s not the law of Amy,” she said. “It’s the law of the American people.”
The president seemed pleased with her performance. “I think Amy’s doing incredibly well,” he said at the White House departing for a campaign rally.
Trump has said he wants a justice seated for any disputes arising from his heated election with former Vice President Joe Biden, but Judge Barrett testified she has not spoken to Trump or his team about election cases.
Pressed by panel Democrats, she skipped past questions about ensuring the date of the election or preventing voter intimidation, both set in federal law, and the peaceful transfer of presidential power.
She declined to commit to recusing herself from any post-election cases without first consulting the other justices.
“I can’t offer an opinion on recusal without short-circuiting that entire process,” she said.
A frustrated Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on the panel, all but implored the nominee to be more specific about how she would handle landmark abortion cases, including Roe v. Wade.
“It’s distressing not to get a good answer,” Feinstein told the judge.
Barrett later declined to characterize the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion as a “super-precedent” that would not be overturned.
Senate Republicans are pushing Barrett’s nomination to a quick vote before Election Day on Nov. 3, and ahead of the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act, which the Supreme Court is to hear a week after the election.
Democrats warn that she would be a vote to undo the law and strip health coverage from millions of Americans.
“I’m not hostile to the ACA,” Barrett said.
She distanced herself from her past writings perceived as critical of the Obama-era health care law, saying those pieces were not addressing specific aspects of the law as she would if confirmed to the court.
“I’m not here on a mission to destroy the Affordable Care Act," she added.
She appeared stumped when Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), tried to put her on the spot about several details of the health care law’s effects. She could not recite specifics, including that 23 million people are covered by the law or that more than 2 million young people are on their parents’ health insurance.
The Indiana judge, accompanied by her family, described herself as taking a conservative, originalist approach to the Constitution. A former law professor, she told the senators that while she admires Scalia, her conservative mentor for whom she once clerked, she would bring her own approach.
“You would not be getting Justice Scalia, you would be getting Justice Barrett,” she declared.
Senators probed her views on gun ownership, gay marriage and racial equity, at one point drawing an emotional response from the mother of seven, whose children include two adopted from Haiti, as she described watching the video of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police.
“Racism persists,” she said, adding that Floyd’s death had a “very personal” effect on her family and that she and her children wept over it, but she told Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), that “making broader diagnoses about the problem of racism is kind of beyond what I’m capable of doing as a judge.”
Republicans were thrilled when she held up a blank notebook, apparently showing she had been fielding questions without aid.
Overall, Barrett’s conservative views are at odds with the late Ginsburg, the liberal icon.
While Ginsburg testified at her 1993 confirmation hearing that the decision to have a child is one a woman “must make for herself,” Barrett says as a judge she must reserve opinions, despite having made her anti-abortion views known before joining the bench.
“You would be the polar opposite of Justice Ginsburg,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
Read below for our updates from Tuesday's confirmation hearings:
7:15 p.m. EDT
The hearings have resumed, and right out of the gate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), former Vice President Joe Biden's running mate, slammed Senate Republicans for holding these confirmation hearings "rather than help those who are suffering through a public health crisis not of their making."
"Following a decade of failure, Washington Republicans have realized that the Affordable Care Act is working too well and helping too many people to repeal it," she said, claiming that Republicans are hoping to use the Supreme Court to get rid of the Affordable Care Act once and for all.
That was the basis of her first question to Judge Barrett.
"Prior to your nomination, were you aware of President Trump's statements committing to nominate judges who would strike down the Affordable Care Act," she asked.
"As I'm sitting here," Barrett said, "I don't recall seeing those statements, but if I – let's see, I don't recall seeing or hearing those statements, but I don't really know what context they were in, so I can't really definitively give you a yes or no answer. What I would like to say is I don't recall hearing about or seeing such statements."
6:45 p.m. EDT
The Senate Judiciary committee is on a dinner break.
Following the break, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Joe Biden's running mate, will begin her line of questioning.
On his way to Pennsylvania for a campaign rally, President Trump told reporters that, "Amy's doing incredibly well. It's been a great day."
6:30 p.m. EDT
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker's line of questioning toward Judge Barrett drew a lot of attention – including from President Trump himself.
"Do you believe that every president should make a commitment unequivocally and resolutely for the peaceful transfer of power," Booker asked.
"Well, Senator, that seems to me to be pulling me in a little bit into this question of whether the president has said he would not peacefully leave office. To this extent that it's a political controversy, as a judge I want to stay out of it," Barrett replied, before calling the historic peaceful transfer of power "one of the beauties of America."
"Do you think the president has the power to pardon himself or any past or future crimes he may have committed against the United States of America?" he rebutted.
"Senator Booker, that would be a constitutional question. In keeping with my obligation not to give hints, previews or forecasts of how I would resolve the case, that's not one I can answer," Barrett replied.
Trump called Booker a "failed presidential candidate" and an empty suit," claiming that "has done nothing on Healthcare, cost or otherwise, or virtually anything else."
Booker asked if Barrett can "empathize with" people who rely on the Affordable Care Act who may lose it if the Supreme Court overturns the law.
"Senator, I can certainly empathize with people who are struggling. I can empathize with people who lack health care," Barrett said. "One of the things that was so striking to me when we went to get our daughter, Vivian, from the orphanage in Haiti, the lack of access to basic things like antibiotics. It made me appreciate the fact that we have access to health care. I can certainly empathize with all of that."
"With respect to the ACA, should I be confirmed and as I've said I would consider the issue of recusal, threshold question of law and whether to hear that case," she added.
Earlier, in an exchange with Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Judge Barrett apologized for her earlier comments about "sexual preference" regarding the LGBTQ community and rights.
She said that she "certainly didn't mean and would never mean to use a term that would" offend the LGBTQ community, adding, "if I did, I greatly apologize for that."
5:00 p.m. EDT
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) pressed Judge Barrett on the pro-life advertisement that she signed in 2006, and other past anti-abortion signings, and said that her involvement in cases related to the election would cause "enduring and explosive damage."
"I continue to believe that if you were to participate in a decision involving that election, it would do enduring and explosive damage to the court," Sen. Blumenthal said, adding, "I think you know it would be wrong. Not because of anything you've done. In fact, I am not raising the issue of whether you've done any sort of deal – because of what Donald Trump has done."
"It would be a dagger at the heart of the court and our democracy if this election is decided by the court rather than the American voters, so I wanted to begin by making that point," he said.
Blumenthal asked Barrett why she did not disclose the 2006 ad ahead of her confirmation hearing to a federal appeals court in 2017, to which she replied she "didn't have any recollection of that letter, or statement."
"I signed it almost 15 years ago quickly on my way out of church, and you know, the questionnaire asks me for 30 years worth of material and I've produced more than 1,800 pages, and so I didn't recall it," she said.
Judge Barrett said that the 2006 ad, as well as a 2013 letter sponsored by University of Notre Dame’s Faculty for Life and Fund to Protect Human Life, are "no more than an expression of a pro-life view."
4:00 p.m. EDT
In an exchange with Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), Judge Barrett said that she will not be "a pawn to decide this election," but will not commit to recusing from any future election-related cases.
Sen. Coons asked: "Given what President Trump said, given the rest of the context of this confirmation, will you commit to recusing yourself from any case arising from a dispute in the presidential election results three weeks from now?"
"I want to be very clear for the record and to all members of this committee that no matter what anyone else may think or expect," she said, "I have not committed or signaled, never even written – I've had a couple of opinions that have been around this law, but I haven't even written anything that I would think anybody could reasonably say this is how she might resolve an election dispute."
"I would consider it, and I certainly hope that all members of the committee have more confidence in my integrity then to think that I would allow myself to be used as a pawn to decide this election for the American people," Barrett added.
If the situation were to arise, Judge Barrett said that she would discuss the matter with her fellow justices.
"Justice Ginsburg said it is always done with consultation of the other justices. So, I promise you that if I were confirmed and if an election dispute arises, both of which are if, that I would very seriously undertake that process and consider every relevant factor. I can't commit to you right now for reasons that we've talked about before, but I do ensure you of my integrity and that I would take that question very seriously," she said.
Meanwhile, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), himself on President Trump's short list for a future Supreme Court vacancy, gave Judge Barrett the opportunity to explain the pro-life advertisement that she and her husband signed in 2006, which was missing from her Supreme Court questionnaire.
"You said you signed it on your way out of church, if I remember correctly," Hawley asked Barrett.
"I did," Barrett said.
"That was almost 15 years ago," she added. "There was a table set up for people on their way out of Mass to sign a statement validating their commitment to the position of the Catholic Church on life issues. The ad that was next to it. I don't recall seeing at the time and in context looking at it, looked to me like that was an ad by the St. Joseph County Right to Life group. The statement that I signed was affirming the protection of life from conception to natural death," she said.
"Now I am a public official, so while I was free to express my private views at that time, I don't feel like it is appropriate for me anymore because of the canons of conduct to express an affirmative view at this point in time," she said after explaining she signed the advertisement in her "personal capacity still as a private citizen."
2:45 p.m. EDT
88 members of the faculty at the University of Notre Dame have signed a letter calling for Judge Amy Coney Barrett to withdraw her nomination for the Supreme Court vacancy.
"An appointment to the Court is the crowning achievement of a legal career and speaks to the commitments you have made throughout your life. And while we are not pundits, from what we read your confirmation is all but assured," the letter reads. "That is why it is vital that you issue a public statement calling for a halt to your nomination process until after the November presidential election."
Citing the fact that voting is underway in the election, Justice Ginsburg's widely-reported dying wish to be replaced by the winner of the election, and that her nomination "comes at a treacherous moment in the United States," they are urging Barrett to step aside.
"We’re asking a lot, we know. Should Vice-President Biden be elected, your seat on the court will almost certainly be lost. That would be painful, surely. Yet there is much to be gained in risking your seat. You would earn the respect of fair-minded people everywhere. You would provide a model of civic selflessness. And you might well inspire Americans of different beliefs toward a renewed commitment to the common good."
It should be noted that none of the signatories are faculty at Notre Dame Law School.
2:30 p.m. EDT
Responding to a question from Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) asking if she thinks "we should take the president at his word" about President Trump's Supreme Court nominee overturning the Affordable Care Act, Judge Barrett said, “I can't really speak to what the president had said on Twitter."
“He has not said any of that to me. What I can tell you, as I have told your colleagues earlier today, is that no one has elicited any commitment in the case or brought up that commitment in the case. I am 100% committed to judicial Independence from political pressure.”
After Sen. Klobuchar quoted from an article Barrett wrote while at Notre Dame where she criticized Chief Justice John Roberts' decision that upheld the Affordable Care Act, the Judge replied, "one thing I want to clarify is you say that I criticized Chief Justice Roberts, and I don't attack people. It's just ideas."
"Is was designed to make a comment about his reasoning in that case," Barrett argued, "which as I have said before is consistent with the majority opinion characterizing it as a left plausible reading of the statute.”
To Republican Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), Judge Barrett said, "my boss is the rule of law, not imposing my policy preferences," when asked about judges making decisions without imposing their own views.
1:45 p.m. EDT
After a long speech touching on varying topics from the 2nd Amendment and Citizens United, Sen. Ted Cruz said to Judge Barrett, “I’m not going to ask you to respond to any of that."
He then asked if Judge Barrett spoke any foreign languages ("Once upon a time, I could speak French, but please don't call on me to do that.") or plays any musical instruments (Piano), before moving on to asking questions about her family.
Sen. Cruz closed by calling Judge Barrett a great role model for young girls, and asking her for her advice for girls: "Anything boys can do, girls can do better," but, acknowledging her sons behind her added, "but boys are great too."
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is up next.
1:30 p.m. EDT
The Senate Judiciary Committee has been called back into session.
There are fifteen senators remaining, and each one has 30 minutes to ask Barrett questions.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) delivered an impassioned speech linking "dark money" to federal judges, breaking down how conservative groups like the Federalist Society and the Judicial Crisis Network influence the Supreme Court.
"Something is not right about the court and dark money has a lot to do with it," Sen. Whitehouse said.
"This, more and more, looks like it's not three schemes – but it's one scheme," he added. "With the same funders selecting judges, funding campaigns for the judges, and then showing up in court in these orchestrated amicus flotillas to tell the judges what to do."
"This is a pretty big deal. I've never seen this with any court I've been involved with, where there's this much dark money being used," Sen. Whitehouse said. "That raises the question, what are they getting for it?"
Sen. Whitehouse did not ask any questions of Judge Barrett, who is connected to the Federalist Society.
12:15 p.m. EDT
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is defending an opinion she wrote arguing that a person who’s convicted of a nonviolent felony should not automatically be disqualified from owning a gun.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) challenged Barrett’s argument, saying it would make it easier for felons to bring guns into his home city of Chicago, which is plagued by gun violence caused in part by guns brought in from Barrett’s home state of Indiana.
In a dissent in the 2019 gun rights case of Kanter v. Barr, Barrett argued a conviction for a nonviolent felony such as mail fraud was not enough to disqualify someone from owning a gun.
Durbin accused Barrett of judicial activism, noting a Supreme Court ruling by Barrett’s mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, upheld the idea that felons can be barred from gun ownership.
The Senate is currently in recess. We'll check back in later.
11:40 a.m. EDT
When asked by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) about her reaction to the video of George Floyd dying in police custody, which sparked global protests and outrage this summer, Judge Barrett said that she and her 17-year-old daughter Vivian, who was adopted from Haiti, "wept together."
“Senator, as you might imagine, given that I have two Black children, that was very, very personal for my family,” Barrett said.
“My children to this point in their lives have had the benefit of growing up in a cocoon where they haven't experienced hatred or violence. For Vivian to understand there would be a risk to her brother or the son she might have one day of that kind of brutality has been an ongoing conversation. It is a difficult one for us like it is for Americans all over the country,” she added.
“I think it is entirely uncontroversial that racism persists in our country," she said, when Sen. Durbin asked how she feels about systemic racism and implicit bias in America. "As to putting my finger on the nature of the problem, whether as you say it's just outright or systemic racism, or how to tackle the issue of making it better those things, you know, are policy questions."
“They are hotly contested policy questions that have been in the news and discussed all summer. So while, you know, as I did share my personal experience very happy to be discussed the reaction our family had to the George Floyd video, giving broader statements or making broader diagnoses about the problem of racism is kind of beyond what I'm capable of doing as a judge,” Barrett said.
"I would doubt it," Sen. Durbin responded. "I just don't believe you can be as passionate about originalism, and the history behind language that we've had for decades, if not centuries, without having some thought about where we stand today."
11:00 a.m. EDT
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), attending the confirmation hearings remotely, pressed Judge Barrett on whether or not she would recuse herself from any case related to the 2020 election.
Barret said that when it comes to "any election dispute that may or may not arise," she has "had no conversation with the president or any of his staff on how I might rule in that case."
Barrett added that "it would be a gross violation of judicial independence for me to make any such commitment or for me to be asked about that case and how I would rule," echoing her comments throughout the day.
"I also think it would be a complete violation of the independence of the judiciary for anyone to put a justice on the court as a means of obtaining a particular result," she said.
10:35 a.m. EDT
Judge Barrett reiterated to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) that she has "no agenda" and has made no guarantees or promises about how she might vote on any particular issue if confirmed to the Supreme Court.
"The answer is no, and I submitted a questionnaire to this committee in which I said no, no one ever talked about any case with me, no one on the executive branch side of it," she said.
"The Democrats claim you are being put on the Supreme Court so you can vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act," Sen. Grassley said. "Is that your agenda?
"Absolutely not," she replied. "I was never asked. If I had been that would have been a short conversation."
Sen. Grassley devoted a significant amount of time for his questioning to criticizing Democrats' attacks on Barrett and their perception of her possible future rulings on the Affordable Care Act.
"If people don't like what we do, they can vote us out of office," Grassley said.
The 87-year-old Grassley also made reference to being part of the confirmation hearings for Justice Scalia, Judge Barrett's mentor, which took place in 1986.
10:30 a.m. EDT
When asked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) if the Constitution gave President Trump the authority to delay the election, Judge Barrett declined to answer: “if I give off the cuff answers, I would basically be a legal pundit.”
"Senator, if that question ever came before me, I would need to hear arguments from the litigants and read briefs and consult with my law clerks," she said.
"I think we want judges to approach cases thoughtfully and with an open mind," she said.
Sen. Feinstein also asked about the landmark case on same-sex marriage and rights, Obergefell v. Hodges.
“Do you agree with this particular point of Justice Scalia's view that the U.S. Constitution does not afford gay people the fundamental right to marry," Sen. Feinstein asked.
“If I were confirmed you would be getting Justice Barrett, not Justice Scalia. So I don't think that anybody should assume that just because Justice Scalia decided a decision a certain way that I would, too,” Barrett replied.
“You identify yourself with a justice that you, like him, would be a consistent vote to roll back hard-fought freedoms and protections for the LGBT community, and what I was hoping you would say is that this would be a point of difference where those freedoms would be respected,” Sen. Feinstein replied.
"And you haven't said that," she added.
“I do want to be clear that I have never discriminated on the basis of sexual preference and would not ever discriminate on the basis of sexual preference. Like racism I think discrimination is abhorrent," Barrett rebutted. "On the questions of law, however, because I'm a sitting judge and because you can't answer questions without going through the judicial process, I can't give answers to those very specific questions."
10:00 a.m. EDT
Judge Barrett declined to say whether she thinks Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that established the right to abortion, should be struck down.
“I don’t have any agenda," Barrett said.
“I'll invoke Justice Kagan's description in her confirmation hearing. She said she wouldn't grade precedent or give it a thumbs up or thumbs down," Barrett added. "In an area where precedent continues to be pressed and litigated ... it would be wrong and a violation of the cannons for me to do that as sitting judge. So if I express a view on the precedent one way another whether I say or love it or hate it, it signals to litigants I might tilt one way or another in a pending case.”
Barrett sidestepped questions about that landmark case from the Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
“On something that is really a major cause with major effect on over half of the population of this country, who are women," Sen. Feinstein replied, "it’s distressing not to get a straight answer.”
In 2017, Barrett reportedly allowed her name to appear underneath an ad in the South Bend Tribune in support of anti-choice group St. Joseph County Right to Life, according to a report from The Guardian. The ad reportedly read in part: “We, the following citizens of Michiana, oppose abortion on demand and defend the right to life from fertilization to natural death. Please continue to pray to end abortion.”
“The Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion for any reason,” the ad continued. “It’s time to put an end to the barbaric legacy of Roe v. Wade and restore laws that protect the lives of unborn children.”
According to The Guardian’s report, the ad also contained language stating that the “discarding of unused or frozen embryos created in the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process ought to be criminalized.”
Barrett and her husband Jesse were reportedly among the signatures below the ad.
At the time, Barrett was serving as a law professor at Notre Dame.
One of Democrats’ biggest fears is that Barrett’s all but certain confirmation by the Republican controlled Senate would create a 6-3 conservative majority on the court that could well overturn Roe v. Wade.
9:45 a.m. EDT
Judge Barrett says she will be able to put aside her Catholic beliefs when ruling if she’s confirmed as a justice on the nation’s highest court.
Barrett told Sen. Graham on Tuesday she “can” set aside her Catholic beliefs and has “done that” since her confirmation as an appeals court judge in 2017.
Barrett was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the court. She’s fielding questions from senators on the judiciary panel this week.
Republicans have warned Democrats against criticizing Barrett’s religion or making it an issue in the hearings, although Democrats have made clear they have no plans to do so this week.
Barrett said she couldn’t provide an answer “in the abstract" when asked about recusing herself from the case about the Affordable Care Act, since President Trump nominated her and his administration is arguing in the case to strike the law down.
“Recusal itself is a legal issue," she said. "There is a statute – 28 U.S. Code 455 – that governs when judges and justices have to recuse. There is precedent under that rule."
“Justice Ginsburg in explaining the way recusal works said it is also up to the individual justice but always involves consultation with the colleagues of the other eight justices,” Barrett added.
9:15 a.m. EDT
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) opened the second day of hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett by slamming Democrats for talking about health care and emotions, before launching into a campaign-style speech about the Affordable Care Act and decrying the amount of money Democrats have raised.
“All of you want to impose Obamacare in South Carolina – we don’t want it,” Sen. Graham said. “My fate will be left up to the people in South Carolina."
It is worth noting that Graham is currently seeking re-election and his opponent, Jaime Harrison, raised a record $57 million in the third quarter.
"I don’t know what’s going on out there," Sen. Graham said about campaign finance when asking about the landmark Citizens United decision.
Judiciary members Sens. Tillis, Ernst, and Cornyn are currently seeking re-election – and, of course, Sen. Harris is running for Vice President.
Judge Barrett said that she is an "originalist" like the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, whom Barrett referred to as a "mentor."
“I interpret the Constitution as a law," she said, "and I understand it to have the meaning that it had at the time people ratified. That meaning doesn’t change over time and it’s not up to me to update it.”
The mood is likely to shift to a more confrontational tone as Barrett, an appellate court judge with very little trial court experience, is grilled in 30-minute segments Tuesday by Democrats gravely opposed to President Donald Trump’s nominee, yet virtually powerless to stop her rise.
“This should not be President Trump’s judge,” said former presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). “This should be your judge."
According to an ABC News-Washington Post poll released Monday, a majority of Americans want the next president to decide who will sit on the Supreme Court.
With her husband and six of their seven children behind her in a hearing room off-limits to the public and altered for COVID-19 risks, Barrett delivered views at odds with the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the liberal icon whose seat Trump nominated her to fill, laying out a judicial philosophy she has likened to that of her conservative mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
“Courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life,” declared the 48-year-old federal appeals court judge, removing the protective mask she wore most of the day to read from a prepared statement.
Americans “deserve an independent Supreme Court that interprets our Constitution and laws as they are written,” Barrett told the committee.
The Senate, led by Trump’s Republican allies, is pushing Barrett’s nomination to a quick vote before Nov. 3, and ahead of the the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act, which the Supreme Court is to hear a week after the election.
Republicans also hope to seat Barrett quickly enough to hear any legal challenges after the election. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut was among several Democrats demanding that Barrett pledge not to take part in any election case. She has made no such commitment.
The start of the four-day hearings followed a White House event announcing her nomination just over two weeks ago, in which most of the audience did not wear masks. The event has been labeled a “superspreader” for the virus.
More than two dozen people linked to the Sept. 26 Rose Garden event, including the two GOP senators, have contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. Barrett and her family went maskless at the event. She and her husband, Jesse, tested positive for the virus earlier this year and recovered, administration officials have said.
Democrats already were enraged that Republicans are moving so quickly, having refused to consider President Barack Obama’s nominee after Scalia’s death in February 2016, well before that year’s election.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.