Judge Barrett answered questions from senators
WATCH: Sen. Kamala Harris questions Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett
On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee continued hearings on the appointment of Barrett to the US Supreme Court.
Supreme Court justice candidate Amy Connie Barrett on Tuesday, the second day of her nomination hearing, began answering questions from senators. Speaking at a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barrett assured that her religious views would not influence her decisions in court, but refused to assess the correctness of court verdicts to legalize abortion and same-sex marriage..
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Abortion, gay marriage and the right to gun: Amy Coney Barrett answered questions from senators
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The format of the hearings has been adjusted in connection with the pandemic: they are held without an audience, and some senators participate in virtual mode.
In accordance with the schedule of hearings, the head of the committee, Republican Lindsay Graham, was the first to ask questions, and then the leading Democrat on the committee, Diane Feinstein..
President Donald Trump nominated Barrett for life in the Supreme Court on September 26, following the death of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
If Trump’s nominee succeeds, Barrett will begin sitting in the Supreme Court by November 10, when hearings will take place to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacher, which the Trump administration and several Republican states are pushing for. A judge previously criticized a 2012 Supreme Court ruling that upheld the law.
Senate Legal Affairs Committee Hearing Gives Amy Barrett An Opportunity To React To Democratic Legislators Concerned In The First Place Of Her Stance On Obamacher.
Democrats, including vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, focused on the fate of the law on the very first day of the hearing. They are trying to prove that Barrett’s approval will jeopardize, among other things, health insurance for millions of Americans..
Barrett declined to directly answer the question of whether she is ready to step aside from the consideration of the case to cancel Obamacher, as the Democrats demand. She assured that she would follow the established self-recusation procedures and said: “I cannot answer this question in an abstract way.”.
The judge recalled that this case raises a different legal aspect than the two previous ones. She refused to clarify how she plans to approach this new case, and also did not confirm that she would recuse herself if the court had to consider any cases related to the current presidential election, but added that no one in the White House apparatus sought from her promises to deliver a verdict in some specific way, including in the case of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The Democrats also asked the nominee about her attitude towards the death of George Floyd during his arrest. Barrett responded that the tragic incident in Minneapolis is “very, very personal to my family,” meaning that of her seven children, two are foster black children from Haiti..
“This is as difficult [a problem] for us as it is for many Americans across the country,” Barrett admitted and noted that in the United States, “racism still exists.”.
When asked about abortion, which the Supreme Court legalized in 1973, Barrett said that, as with other cases, she will consider various factors that judges take into account when overturning earlier orders..
“I promise to do this with any issue that arises, be it abortion or something else. I will act in accordance with the law, ”said Barrett.
Senator Feinstein asked Barrett if she thought the decision was correct, but the judge declined to answer. Senator said her refusal is worrying.
Senator Graham began by asking questions about Barrett’s conservative legal philosophy. This doctrine, known as originality, assumes the interpretation of laws and the Constitution in accordance with the meaning they had at the time of their adoption..
“This meaning does not change over time, and it is not my business to update it or bring my own political views into it,” Barrett said..
Graham also asked Barrett if she was able to put her religious beliefs aside when making decisions in court. She assured that she is capable.
Barrett named the late Conservative Judge Antonin Scalia as her mentor, but stressed that she will not always hold the same position as him. “The originalists don’t always agree,” she said..
When Feinstein asked Barrett if she agreed with Scalia that the Supreme Court ruling to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide was flawed, the judge declined to answer..
“I have no agenda, and I want to emphasize that I have never discriminated against anyone on the basis of sexual preferences and will not do this,” she said..
She also did not directly answer Feinstein’s question about whether the Constitution gives the president the right to unilaterally postpone general elections under any circumstances. Barrett said that if such an issue is brought to court, she will have to listen to the arguments of the parties in order to make a decision. “It is necessary that judges consider cases carefully and without bias,” she said..
The hearing is a key step towards full Senate consideration of Barrett’s candidacy, which Republicans expect to be held at the end of October in order to have time to approve a new chief justice before the presidential election..
Republicans hold 53 out of 100 Senate seats, giving Democrats little chance of blocking Barrett’s candidacy.
If she gets the post, the conservative majority in the court will be strengthened to 6 votes out of 9. Trump has the third opportunity to nominate for the Supreme Court..
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