The journalists at CBS were clearly spooked as they opened coverage of the Supreme Court hearings on Monday. They repeatedly warned of just how “conservative” Amy Coney Barrett really is and that the judge would “cement” and “solidify” a right-leaning court for decades.
Breaking into live programming, CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell alerted, “Her confirmation would solidify a conservative majority on the nation’s highest courts for decades.”
Underlining just how dire the situation is, O’Donnell fretted, “If confirmed, Amy Coney Barrett would be the youngest member on the Supreme Court and it’s a lifetime appointment. It would cement a conservative majority, six to three, six conservatives. And given that she is 48 years old, I mean she could serve for three or four decades.”
Do you get how serious this is? CBS reporter Jan Crawford echoed O’Donnell: “A solid conservative majority for generations. Really, almost reining in the power of the Chief Justice to kind of block conservatives from going even more boldly than he would like. So, again, it’s going to really potentially turn the court to the right.”
Earlier, during CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King warned, “So, if Barrett is confirmed it would expand the court's conservative majority to six to three.” Proving that the word of the day is conservative, King opened the show with this: “The Supreme Court showdown begins. Amy Coney Barrett gives testimony today as Republicans rush to install another conservative on the Court.”
She offered this helpful insight: “How Democrats plan to challenge her credentials and the legitimacy of these hearings.”
As the Media Research Center’s Rich Noyes explained in 2017, journalists have been five times more likely to label “conservative” Supreme Court nominees than they have for “liberal” picks.
A transcript of the CBS This Morning segment and a partial transcript from the live coverage can be found below. Click “expand” to read more.
CBS This Morning
7 AM Tease
GAYLE KING: The Supreme Court showdown begins. Amy Coney Barrett gives testimony today as Republicans rush to install another conservative on the Court. How Democrats plan to challenge her credentials and the legitimacy of these hearings.
7:04:00 tp 7:07:18
GAYLE KING: The Senate getting ready to hold hearings this morning on a Supreme Court nomination that could set the high court on a new path. President Trump chose appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who, as you know, died last month. So, if Barrett is confirmed it would expand the court's conservative majority to 6 to 3.
TONY DOKOUPIL: And that matters because there are a number of big issues on the line from Affordable Care Act to abortion rights and the hearing is expected to be an angry, partisan battle. Nancy Cordes on Capitol Hill for us. Nancy, good morning to you. What's going to happen when this hearing begins this morning?
CORDES: Good morning. Well, confirmation hearings are typically four-day affairs and this one for a Supreme Court nominee is no different. Day one today will be all about opening statements, both from Judge Amy Coney Barrett herself, but also from the 22 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee some of whom are furious that this hearing is happening at all. Today's hearing will be the first real test of the GOP's strategy to fast track the nomination of judge Amy coney Barrett weeks before the election.
SENATOR CHRIS COONS: Her views are too extreme.
SENATOR TED CRUZ: The delay tactics of the Democrats aren’t going to work.
VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Great characters.
CORDES: Republicans today will emphasize her qualifications. The 48-year-old federal appeals court judge and Notre Dame law professor would be the first mother of school aged children to sit on the Court. In her opening statement today, judge Barrett will say the late conservative justice Antonin Scalia inspired her philosophy that “a judge must apply written not as the judge wishes it were.”
SENATOR BEN SASSE: She knows what it is to be a judge, and that is to cloak your personal preferences.
CORDES: Democrats will argue that judge Barrett is being rushed onto the court in time to help strike down ObamaCare with a crucial case coming next month. In 2017, Barrett published a journal article criticizing the rulings that upheld the Affordable Care Act.
SENATOR CHUCK: SCHUMER: A vote for judge Barrett is very simple. It's a vote to take health care away from 20 million Americans.
CORDES: In a new letter to the Justice Department Senate Democrats raised concerns over judge Barrett's candor citing omissions from her original disclosure forms including an anti-abortion advertisement she signed in 2013. Barrett later submitted the advertisement to the Senate. President Trump nominated Barrett at a White House event that has now been linked to several cases of coronavirus, including two GOP senators who sit on the committee. They're expected to attend remotely today. Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris who also sits on the committee says she'll attend remotely, too, because Republicans refuse to put COVID testing procedures in place. Some Democrats argue that if Republicans manage to seat a Supreme Court nominee this close to the election that they should respond by adding seats to the Supreme Court if they win the Senate and the White House. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, has been asked repeatedly whether he favors this plan, and he keeps saying Tony, that he'll reveal his view after the election.
DOKOUPIL: But he has spoken out against it in the past. Nancy, thank you very much.
NORAH O’DONNELL: Her confirmation would solidify a conservative majority on the nation’s highest courts for decades.
O’DONNELL: If confirmed, Amy Coney Barrett would be the youngest member on the Supreme Court and it’s a lifetime appointment. It would cement a conservative majority, six to three, six conservatives. And given that she is 48 years old, I mean she could serve for three or four decades.
JAN CRAWFORD: Right and that what we see of the stakes here. A solid conservative majority for generations. Really, almost reining in the power of the Chief Justice to kind of block conservatives from going even more boldly than he would like. So, again, it’s going to really potentially turn the court to the right.