Why can Barrett turn the Supreme Court around? 2:39
(WAB NEWS) – Amy Coney Barrett, an appointee to the US Supreme Court, declined to anticipate how she would rule on potential cases during responses she faced in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. Barrett sought to present herself as an independent judge without an agenda.
“I have not engaged with anyone, not in this Senate, not in the White House, on how I would decide any case,” Barrett said.RELATED
Barrett, who would replace the late Liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, said Tuesday that he shared the same judicial philosophy as the late Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, for whom he worked in the 1990s and who pioneered the practice of sticking to the legal text. and the original intentions of those who wrote the Constitution. But he also made it clear what differentiates him from his mentor.
“I want to be careful and say that if they confirm me, they would not have Judge Scalia, they would have Judge Barrett,” he said.
Here are some takeaways from the first day of questioning.
Barrett refused to anticipate his views on abortion and ‘Roe vs. Wade ‘
Amy Coney Barrett repeatedly refused to give her views on high-profile controversial issues. Among these, the right to abortion and the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. On several occasions he was asked for his views on ‘Roe vs. Wade ‘, the landmark 1973 case establishing the constitutional right to abortion, and on’ Planned Parenthood v. Casey ‘, who reaffirmed the central position in 1992.
“I don’t have an agenda,” Barrett said. “I don’t have an agenda to try to annul (the case) Casey. I have an agenda to adhere to the law and decide cases as they arise.
“I will obey all the rules of the stare decisis,” he added later, referring to the principle of adherence to past cases.
After raising a series of questions about the Supreme Court’s abortion rulings, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the panel, said it was “distressing not to get a direct answer” from Barrett.
The judge says she is not ‘hostile’ to Obamacare, but does not elaborate on the upcoming case How to understand the ideological balance in the United States Supreme Court 2:53
Barrett also rejected questions from Democratic senators about the Affordable Care Act. And he cited Ginsburg’s reply when asked to answer hypothetical questions during his 1993 hearing. “No leads, no breakthroughs, no forecasts,” Barrett said.
Democrats, however, were undaunted, repeatedly raising the looming case and warning that the law is in jeopardy. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin put up a graph showing, state by state, how many Americans would lose their insurance if the court struck down the 2010 health care law after hearing a case on November 10.
Chief Justice John Roberts and the court have twice ruled to uphold the law. But Republicans in Congress have since eliminated the individual insurance mandate, a component that Roberts saw as a crucial tax to the constitutionality of the law. In 2017, Barrett wrote that he had “pushed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute.”
Barrett acknowledged Tuesday that he did “criticize” Roberts’ reasoning. However, he tried to pose to Democrats that the next court case concerns a different legal doctrine known as severability – that is, whether the entire law can be upheld if part of it is deemed illegal, despite the Trump administration seeks to repeal the entire rule.
‘Apply the law and adhere to the rule of law’
“I am not hostile to the ACA,” he said.
“I’m not here on a mission to destroy the Affordable Care Act,” Amy Coney Barrett added later. “I am only here to apply the law and adhere to the rule of law,” he said.
Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley asked Barrett directly if he had pledged to the president “or anyone else” that she would vote to eliminate the Affordable Care Act if it was upheld in court.
“Absolutely not,” she replied. “They never asked me, and if they had, it would have been a short conversation,” he said.
Republicans oppose Democrats over Obamacare
Judiciary Commission Chairman Lindsey Graham used his opening statement to defend Republican opposition to Obamacare, a day after Democrats highlighted their constituents’ trust in the law for their health insurance.
“If it were up to me, the bureaucrats wouldn’t be running healthcare from Washington. People in South Carolina would be managing health care, ”Graham said. The senator is running for reelection in a close race. “The difference between analyzing a lawsuit and having a political argument is fundamentally different,” he opined.
Grassley said Democrats “misrepresent or claim to know” Amy Coney Barrett’s views on the constitutionality of the 2010 health care act, but are “selling” a “total fiction” while “painting” Barrett as “heartless” and “On a mission to scrap the health law.”
“Frankly, that’s absurd,” Grassley said.
“Judge Barrett is not only the mother of seven, she also has children with their own pre-existing medical problems,” said the Iowa Republican. “No one on this commission, or anyone, has the right to suggest that she doesn’t care about the access to medical care or protection of the vulnerable, “he added.
Amy Coney Barrett did not promise to recuse herself in a possible ‘Trump vs. Biden ‘
Last month, Trump said he thought the elections would “end in the Supreme Court,” adding that “it is very important that we have nine justices.”
Vermont Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy asked Barrett if he would agree to recuse himself from any case related to the November elections. She refused.
«I pledge to you to fully and faithfully apply the law of disqualification. And part of that law is to consider any issue of appearance, “Barrett said. “I will apply the factors that other judges have before me to determine whether the circumstances warrant my challenge or not, but I cannot offer a legal conclusion at this time about the outcome of the decision I would make.”
Barrett added later: “I certainly hope that all the members of the commission have more confidence in my integrity than to think that I would allow myself to be used as a pawn in deciding this election for the American people.”
Under pressure, Barrett touts the country’s commitment to the peaceful transfer of power
Barrett initially declined to answer whether all presidents should commit to the peaceful transfer of power. And she claimed that a question from New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker led to a political dispute between the president and his opponents.
“To the extent that this is a political controversy right now, as I said, I want to stand aside and I don’t want to express an opinion,” Barrett said.
But after Booker lobbied, Amy Coney Barrett touted the country’s nonviolent practice of electing its leaders.
“One of the beauties of the United States since the inception of the republic is that we have had peaceful transfers of power and that disappointed voters have accepted the new leaders who come to power,” he said. “That is not true in all countries. And I think it is part of the genius of our Constitution, and of the good faith and goodwill of the American people, that we have not had the situations that have arisen in so many other countries (…) where these problems have been present, “he added.
Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris uses hearing to attack Republicans
California Sen. Kamala Harris, who spoke earlier in the evening, criticized Republicans for rushing to confirm Barrett rather than passing additional legislation to address the coronavirus pandemic. And he continued the line of questioning from Democrats about the looming Obamacare case.
Harris said Republicans have come to realize that the Affordable Care Act “works too well and helps too many people to repeal it without facing serious political consequences.”
But what are they doing? After suffering a backlash that they provoked by attacking the law in Congress, they decided instead to bypass the voters and try to overturn the Affordable Care Act through the courts, “he added.
Harris then mentioned the number of Americans in Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Iowa who could lose their insurance if the law is struck down. These are all states where members of the Republican Judicial Commission are running for reelection.
Details of Amy Coney Barrett’s personal life Why are the Democrats criticizing Amy Coney Barrett? 2:30
While Barrett did not provide a sneak peek of how he would fail in potential cases, he spoke openly about his personal life and the appointment process. She said that her family owns a gun and that she plays the piano. And she also described the decision with her husband Jesse to adopt two children from Haiti and raise them along with their other five children.
In response to other questions, he also called racism and discrimination based on sexual preference “abominable”. And he recounted seeing the video of George Floyd’s death at the hands of the police with Vivian.
“We cried together in my room,” he said.
The personal cost of the appointment process
Barrett also gave a surprisingly candid answer to a question from Graham about how she felt about being appointed to the Supreme Court.
I tried to do “a media blackout for the sake of my sanity,” Amy Coney Barret said. But she said that “she is aware of many cartoons that are out there” of her and her family.
“I don’t think it is a secret from any of you, or from the American people, that this is a really difficult process, some might say unbearable,” he said. “Jesse and I had very little time to make a decision with far-reaching consequences for our family. We knew that our lives would be checked for any negative details. We knew that our faith would be caricatured. We knew that our family would be attacked. And then we had to decide if those difficulties would be worth it because what sane person would go through that if there was no benefit on the other side? “
He said that the “benefit” would be his commitment “to the rule of law and the role of the Supreme Court and to the administration of justice under conditions of equality for all.”
Republicans are confident Amy Coney Barrett will be confirmed
Before the hearing, Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said in a call with reporters that Senate Democrats “don’t have a magic bullet” to block the appointee.
Republicans know this very well. Graham said Tuesday afternoon that he did not think Barrett’s performance affected the Republicans’ plan to confirm her at the end of the month.
“I have been very impressed by the behavior of the commission, really good and difficult questions, but asked with respect,” said Graham. «I think the judge has done a good job. So far so good, “he added.
CNN’s Manu Raju, Hannah Rabinowitz, Rebecca Grandahl, Sara Fortinsky, Angie Trindade, Daniella Mora, and Cat Gloria contributed to this report.