Today kicks off the first of what will likely be four days of questions and statements during Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice. But just how long will today’s hearing last? What time does it end? Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing was nearly eight hours long, while Justice Neil Gorsuch’s was closer to four hours long on the first day. Here’s what we know about how long Barrett’s will likely last today.
Today Might Last Up to 9 or 10 Hours, Although C-SPAN Is Estimating Six Hours
Supreme Court confirmation hearings often last up to nine or 10 hours per day, including the first day. Day One of confirmation hearings consist of opening statements rather than questioning, which lends to the session possibly ending earlier than on other days, but they often end up going long too.
Since Barrett’s hearing kicked off at 9 a.m. Eastern, it could last until 7 p.m. Eastern if it went on for 10 hours which is the typical maximum length on a hearing day. But C-SPAN is estimating that the first day of the confirmation hearing will last for six hours. C-SPAN’s TV schedule has six hours blocked out for day one, with the hearing ending at 3 p.m. Eastern.
Today’s hearing will start with opening statements from Graham, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and each of the other 20 senators, Fox News reported. Each senator will be able to speak for 10 minutes each during their opening statements.
Lindsey Graham, Senate Judiciary Chairman, is presiding over the hearing. Each Senator on the committee can either attend in person or virtually.
Following these statements, Senator Todd Young and Senator Michael Braun will speak for about five minutes each about Barrett’s qualifications. Next, former Notre Dame Law School professor Patricia O’Hara will also speak.
Barrett will then speak with her own opening remarks. This will likely be the extent of the first day’s hearing.
Kavanaugh’s First Day Lasted Eight Hours
It is worth noting that on the first day of Brent Kavanaugh’s hearing, the opening statements and other events were completed after approximately eight hours. When Senator Chuck Grassley concluded the first day, he noted that they had been there for nearly eight hours.
Although much of Kavanaugh’s hearing can’t be used as an example of a typical hearing length, since there were so many objections and controversies, the first day wasn’t too different from what you might expect today. There were some procedural attempts by Democrats to adjourn the hearings, along with protests that sometimes put proceedings on hold.
Kavanaugh’s first day began at 9:30 a.m. Eastern, included opening statements, and ended with his testimony, much like Barrett’s hearing is expected to proceed today. By looking at the Senate Judiciary Committee’s video for Day One, you can see that it started about 20 minutes into the 7 hour and 40 minute video. So his hearing’s first day lasted 7 hours and 20 minutes. It’s possible that Barrett’s could last about the same amount of time, which would put her hearing ending closer to 5 p.m. Eastern.
Gorsuch’s Confirmation Hearing Was Just Four Hours on the First Day
In contrast, Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing was much shorter and much less controversial than Kavanaugh’s His first day was only four hours long, according to this C-SPAN video of the first day. Ballotpedia estimated the hearing overall was closer to five hours. If Barrett’s follows Gorsuch’s timeline, then her hearing could be over today as soon as 1 p.m. Eastern or 2 p.m. Eastern.