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Judge Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court nomination: Process has been 'excruciating'

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Judge Amy Coney Barrett got her first opportunity to speak about the personal challenges of the confirmation process in response to a question from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) about why she accepted President Trump’s nomination. “This is a really difficult, some might say excruciating process,” Barrett said. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi

Judge Amy Coney Barrett got her first shot to address questions live from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, the second day of the Trump appointee’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge spent the first hours of the hearing fielding questions on abortion, the Second Amendment, her view of the role of precedent and an upcoming case on the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Following the model set by previous nominees, Barrett largely refused to address specific cases. She declined to say whether the landmark abortion precedent Roe v. Wade should be overturned, despite repeated prodding from the committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.

Barrett repeatedly assured senators that she had no agenda, but refused to say much more, declining even to address a question about whether President Donald Trump could delay the November election.

She refused to commit to recusing herself from potential cases on the upcoming election between Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, but said she had made no deals with anyone in the executive branch.

Barrett provided her most candid answers in response to personal questions.

Answering an inquiry from Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the committee chairman, Barrett said the confirmation process has been “excruciating,” but that she was “committed to the role of law and the role of the Supreme Court in dispensing equal justice for all.”

The 48-year-old judge told Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., that she wept with her teenage daughter when she watched a video of the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in May.

Tuesday’s format all but guaranteed a long day. Each of the 22 senators on the committee — 12 Republicans and 10 Democrats — have half an hour for questions. Follow-ups will be permitted on Wednesday, and outside groups are expected to address the committee on Thursday.

Barrett is expected to be approved by the Judiciary Committee on Oct. 22. She is likely to be confirmed by the full Senate later in the month.

The hearings, which began at 9 a.m. ET, are expected to stretch until late in the evening. Here are the top moments so far.

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