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WATCH HERE: Hearing on Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court nomination – Day 1

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Opening Statement: Barrett vows to interpret laws ‘as they are written’

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate Democrats branded Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett a threat to Americans' health care during the coronavirus pandemic Monday at the start of a fast-tracked hearing that Republicans are confident will end with Barrett's confirmation to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before Election Day.

In a competing effort to define the 48-year-old Barrett, who sat silent and wearing a face mask, Republican senators called President Donald Trump's pick a thoughtful judge with impeccable credentials.

Barring a dramatic development, Republicans appear to have the votes to confirm Barrett to a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation hearing has begun.

The hearing room was largely empty Monday and some senators tuned in virtually, citing the coronavirus.

President Donald Trump nominated Barrett just two weeks ago to fill the seat of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Sept. 18. Trump and Republicans want Barrett on the bench in time for Election Day, Nov. 3.

The hearing comes as three GOP senators have tested positive for the coronavirus, including two on the Judiciary Committee who now say they are symptom-free. The positive tests came after Trump's Sept. 26 Rose Garden event announcing Barrett's nomination. Trump fell ill with COVID-19 about 10 days ago.

Barrett, a conservative, would shift the balance on the court significantly right, from 5-4 in favor of conservatives to 6-3. Democrats worry she would vote to rule the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. They're also concerned about her record on abortion.

She was confirmed to the federal appeals court in 2017. Before that, she was a law professor at Notre Dame and was once a clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett are set to begin.

The Senate is charging ahead Monday morning on President Donald Trump's pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and cement a conservative majority on the court before Election Day.

In prepared remarks for the Judiciary Committee hearing, the federal appeals court judge says the courts cannot "right every wrong."

The three days of hearings are like no others with voting underway in many states and the country in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic.

Two Republican senators on the panel have tested positive for the virus.

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Associated Press

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