Sen. Chris Coons says Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett would shift the balance of the court in a more conservative direction, even if she will not say publicly she has a conservative mindset.
Watch the moment from the hearing in the player above.
The Delaware Democrat was speaking Wednesday, the third day of Barrett’s confirmation hearings. He asked whether she recognized that if she were confirmed, there would be a balance shift on the court that could have “profound” implications.
Coons referred to an interview Barrett gave in which where she spoke of a balance shift should Merrick Garland have been confirmed to the high court. Garland was chosen by President Barack Obama in March 2016 after Justice Antonin Scalia died, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to consider the nomination on grounds it was a presidential election year.
President Donald Trump nominated Barrett just days after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Sept. 18, and GOP senators are moving at a break-neck pace to confirm her before the election on Nov. 3.
Barrett told Coons she was referring to the fact that Garland was not an originalist, as Scalia was. Coons noted that Barrett, an originalist who claims Scalia as her mentor, would replace Ginsburg, who did not hold originalist views. That would shift the court’s 5-4 conservative majority to 6-3.
Coons said he would not vote to confirm her.