US President Donald Trump’s pick for a Supreme Court vacancy will later tell senators that she will judge legal cases impartially “whatever her own preferences might be”.
Conservative jurist Amy Coney Barrett faces a four-day confirmation hearing in the Senate that starts today.
If approved, Judge Barrett will replace liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died recently aged 87.
Judge Barrett’s nomination for the role has proved politically controversial.
It was announced by Mr. Trump at the end of September, and the Republicans are trying to complete the process before he takes on Democratic rival Joe Biden in the 3 November presidential election.
Should Judge Barrett’s nomination be confirmed, conservative-leaning justices will hold a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court, shifting its ideological balance for potentially decades to come.
The court’s nine justices serve lifetime appointments, and their rulings can shape public policy on everything from gun and voting rights to abortion and campaign finance.
Democrats fear Judge Barrett’s successful nomination would favour Republicans in politically sensitive cases that reach the Supreme Court.
Judge Barrett is the third justice to be nominated by President Trump, after Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.
Judge Barrett will pay tribute to judges she has worked with, including former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.