Blog, Vacancy Watch

Vacancy Watch: Barrett Hearing Day 2, Part 2

October 13, 2020

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After a lunch break, questioning resumed in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing for Amy Coney Barrett. Here are some highlights:

HASN’T SEEN THE TWEET: There’s an unfortunate tradition of Republican lawmakers in Congress telling reporters they haven’t seen President Trump’s most recent outrageous tweet. When Sen. Amy Klobuchar confronted Barrett with Trump’s 2015 tweet promising his Supreme Court appointees would overturn the Affordable Care Act, she replied, “I can’t really speak to what the president has said on Twitter. He hasn’t said any of that to me.” She made no effort to suggest what Trump promised wasn’t accurate.

DOESN’T KNOW THE LAW: Confronted again about her voting rights record, Amy Coney Barrett refused to comment about whether it’s illegal to intimidate voters at the polls — even after Sen. Klobuchar read her the exact statute making it illegal.

WON’T RECUSE ON THE ELECTION: Trump has repeatedly stated he expects the Supreme Court to rule on potential challenges to the election results and that’s specifically why he wants Barrett confirmed before then. Asked by Sen. Chris Coons about this clear expectation of a quid pro quo,  Barrett refused to commit to recusing herself in such a case, saying simply, “I will consider all factors that are relevant to that question.”

CAN’T ANSWER THE QUESTION: Even as Sen. Richard Blumenthal shared the emotional story of a rape survivor who got an abortion, Barrett refused to say that Roe. V. Wade was correctly decided or even if criminalizing in vitro fertilization (IVF) would be constitutional.

ISN’T USING THE RIGHT LANGUAGE: When asked about marriage equality earlier in the day, Barrett insisted she would never discriminate on the basis of “sexual preference,” a language choice that indicated a clear anti-LGBTQ bias — sexual orientation is not a choice. Sen. Mazie Hirono directly confronted her on the language, saying she did not believe it was accident, which prompted Barrett to issue an unconvincing apology for her ignorance.

DIDN’T DEFEND OUR DEMOCRACY: Under questioning by Sen. Cory Booker, Amy Coney Barrett refused to agree that the president should commit to the peaceful transfer of power to his duly elected successor, nor would she comment on a president’s ability to pardon himself or disclose his debts.

Stay tuned for more updates from the hearings.

Make sure to follow AFJ on Twitter @AFJustice and check back for regular updates on the fight to #BlockBarrett.