For the second time, Amy Coney Barrett, a candidate for a seat on the Supreme Court, has faced questions from the US Senate. The devout Catholic avoided making clear statements.
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US Constitutional Justice-designate Amy Coney Barrett refused at the Senate hearings to take a clear position on contentious issues such as abortion law and the health system. The conservative lawyer made it clear in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that as a judge she was not pursuing a political “agenda”. “My agenda is to adhere to the rule of law and decide cases when they come.”
Barrett doesn’t want to “impose its will on the world”
“Judges can’t just wake up and say, ‘I have an agenda. I like guns, I hate guns, I like abortions, I hate abortions’ and then like a queen, impose their will on the world,” Barrett said.
The opposition Democrats fear that the Supreme Court could reverse the legalization of abortions and health care reform of former President Barack Obama after a confirmation of the 48-year-old.
Opponents want to reverse the legalization of abortions
The Supreme Court will deal with healthcare reform known as Obamacare just a week after the November 3 presidential election. Anti-abortion opponents also want the Supreme Court to reverse the legalization of abortions in 1973.
Barrett on Tuesday denied questions about how she would rule on these disputes as a constitutional judge. As the incumbent judge – Barrett is currently working on a federal court in Chicago – she is not entitled to that. You have to decide on a case-by-case basis, applying applicable law.
The 48-year-old said she could not make any commitments to certain decisions in advance. “That would be a gross violation of the independence of the judiciary.” You have not made promises to anyone, neither in the Senate nor in the White House, how she would decide on certain cases.
The judge is a strict Catholic
At the same time, the devout Catholic affirmed that she could separate her faith from her duties as a judge. She has always done that as a federal judge, “and if I am confirmed for the Supreme Court, I will do that too”.
US President Donald Trump nominated Barrett to succeed the late liberal constitutional judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the end of September. Because Trump’s Republicans have a majority in the Senate, their confirmation is considered certain. This would increase the conservative majority in the Supreme Court from five to four to six to three judges.
The Democrats have sharply criticized Trump and his Republicans for trying to fill the vacant position on the powerful Supreme Court so close to the election. In the US, the president has the right to nominate constitutional judges. The Senate then decides on a confirmation.