Senate again questions Supreme Court nominee: US election news

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Simply 2020

Amy Coney Barrett was composed during her first day of questioning, but sidestepped how she would rule on upcoming cases.

The third day of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett has begun. President Trump, who campaigns in Iowa on Wednesday, will appear in an NBC News town hall on Thursday to counter Joe Biden’s ABC News town hall held in lieu of their second debate. As of Wednesday, early and mail-in voters had already cast more than 13 million votes, nearly 10 percent of all votes cast in the 2016 presidential election, according to the US Elections Project. Early voting begins in Kansas, Rhode Island and Tennessee with 20 days left until the November 3 election.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the United States elections. This is Joseph Stepansky.

Wednesday, October 14: 09:30 ET – Trump, Biden to hold rival TV town halls instead of debate

Trump will be featured in a televised town hall Thursday on NBC News, the network said, setting up a direct scheduling clash with rival Joe Biden who had already planned his own version.

The two were originally meant to have been meeting for their second debate on Thursday evening. Instead, they will be simultaneously, but separately, talking to voters in TV studios – NBC for Trump and ABC for Biden.

Trump will be in Miami, the network said, while Biden, who had already booked his appearance last week, will be in Philadelphia.

Their scheduled debate had also been designed as a town hall where the two candidates would have fielded questions from voters, but this was upended after Trump contracted the coronavirus. He later refused debate organisers’ attempts to switch the format to a virtual appearance, forcing the debate’s cancellation.

09:00 ET – Third day of Barrett hearing begins

Barrett is back before the Senate Judiciary Committee to face more questions from senators at her confirmation hearing.

Tuesday’s session lasted nearly 12 hours. Barrett declined to voice an opinion on potential election-related litigation involving Trump or presidential transition of power. She also said she didn’t view the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that affirmed the right to abortion as an inviolable “super-precedent” that couldn’t be overturned.

On the Obama-era Affordable Care Act, which provides health care for more than 20 million people and comes before the court next month, Barrett says she doesn’t recall seeing Trump’s statements that he planned to nominate justices who would repeal the law.

The committee is scheduled to take a preliminary vote on her nomination on Thursday. The GOP-controlled Senate is expected to confirm her before Election Day. Barrett would replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, shifting the court’s 5-4 conservative majority to 6-3.

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Read all the updates from Tuesday, (October 13) here.

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Al Jazeera and News agencies

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