- Amy Coney Barrett during her confirmation hearing on Tuesday wouldn’t give a clear answer on whether she believes Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided.
- Barrett clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who was heavily critical of the landmark decision that legalised abortion nationwide.
- “I can’t express views on cases or pre-commit,” Barrett said.
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Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Tuesday refused to give a straight answer on whether she agrees with the late Justice Antonin Scalia that Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that legalised abortion in the United States, was “wrongly decided.”
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, repeatedly pressed Barrett on whether she agreed with Scalia’s argument.
“I can’t express views on cases or pre-commit,” Barrett said during the second day of her confirmation hearings, stating that she does not have an “agenda.”
Adding that she would listen to both sides if a case challenging Roe v. Wade were to reach the Supreme Court, Barrett said, “I have an agenda to stick to the rule of law and decide cases as they come.”
Feinstein told the Supreme Court nominee that it was “distressing not to get a straight answer.”
Amy Coney Barrett won't answer Feinstein's questions about whether she thinks Roe was wrongly decided pic.twitter.com/kgSQ3rckux
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 13, 2020
Barrett’s position on abortion has been in the spotlight ever since she was tapped as President Donald Trump’s nominee for the nation’s highest court.
She initially failed to disclose talks to anti-abortion groups on her paperwork to the Senate for her confirmation hearing,CNN reported last week. The Supreme Court nominee in 2006 also signed a newspaper ad that decried the “barbaric legacy” of Roe v. Wade.
Barrett is a devout Catholic and clerked for Scalia, but on Tuesday she emphasised that she would not be a carbon copy of her mentor. “If I’m confirmed, you would not be getting Justice Scalia, you would be getting Justice Barrett,” she told senators.
If Barrett is confirmed, conservatives would have a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court and she would represent Trump’s third appointment to the high court.
The confirmation hearings for Barrett occur just weeks ahead of Election Day. Republicans have been heavily criticised by Democrats for pushing forward with Barrett’s confirmation even as the election is technically underway given millions of Americans have already voted early. Polling has shown a majority of Americans believe that the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat should remain vacant until after the election.
In 2016, the GOP did not hold hearings for Merrick Garland after he was nominated by President Barack Obama on the basis that there was an upcoming election and voters should have a say. Garland was nominated 237 days before the 2016 election.