Ultra-conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett, nominated for the Supreme Court by the President of the United States, Donald Trump, took the blows of the Democratic senators on Tuesday without losing her composure and without even offering a clue about how she will fail in cases as important as those related to abortion or the future of Obamacare.
“Judges cannot get up one day and say: I have an agenda, I like guns, I hate guns; I like abortion, I hate abortion. And just walk around like a queen and impose her will on the world, “Barrett said with some irony during the second day of hearings in the Senate judicial committee.
Barrett, Catholic, 48 years old and mother of seven children, used similar phrases to escape the stinging questions of the Democrats: she assured over and over again that she has no political agenda and that her goal is stick to the Constitution to decide each case separately.
Furthermore, he emphasized that “has not compromised” with the White House to fail in any way in controversial cases, such as the health reform of former President Barack Obama (2009-2017) that the Supreme Court will evaluate in the coming weeks.
The Democrats’ Strategy
Democratic senators are in the minority in the Senate and they know that They cannot stop the confirmation of the magistrate for the Supreme Court, so they are using the media hearings to remind Americans of the stakes in the November 3 presidential election.
Democrats are struggling to portraying Barrett as an extremely conservative judge and many put the focus on the right to abortion on Tuesday.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, 87, who has broken through several gender barriers in her lifetime, repeatedly asked Barrett about his thoughts on the Supreme Court “Roe v. Wade” case that legalized abortion in 1973 and it reminded him of what happened when that procedure was illegal in the United States.
“As a college student in the 1950s, I saw what happened to young women who became pregnant at a time when abortion was not legal in this country. I went to [la universidad de] Stanford and I saw the trips to Mexico, I saw very young women trying to hurt themselves. That’s really worrisome, “Feinstein said.
Barret refused to express his vision about the “Roe v. Wade” case and said he will not give “a thumbs up or down” to endorse or reject any issue, including abortion.
A controversial ad from 2006
Also, during the hearing, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy asked Barret about a 2006 ad in an Indiana newspaper that criticized the “barbaric legacy” of “Roe v. Wade” and that she signed together to hundreds of activists and academics.
Specifically, Leahy asked if she agreed with the ideas of the group behind the ad, St Joseph Right to Life, which advocates for criminalize in vitro fertilization because some embryos are wasted, a vision considered radical within the movement against abortion rights in the United States.
“I signed it leaving the church. It was consistent with the vision of my church, and simply said that we support the right to life from conception to natural death and did not take any position on IVF, “Barret replied, once again. without showing your opinion about assisted reproduction.
Separation of laws and religion
However, on several occasions, the magistrate insisted that she will be perfectly capable of separating her judicial decisions from her religion.
“I have a life full of people who have made different decisions, and I have never tried, in my personal life, to impose my decisions on them. The same is true in my professional field, “said Barrett, who teaches law at the University of Notre Dame (Indiana) and who, since 2017, has served as a judge in the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
During the hearings to confirm her as a judge of that court, Barrett had to face numerous questions about her beliefs and her membership in the religious group People of Praise.
That group has fewer than 2,000 members and its members believe in “divine prophecies and cures”, according to the newspaper The New York Times.
On Tuesday, Barrett told senators that when he accepted Trump’s nomination for Supreme Court, he knew that his faith would be “caricatured” and his family would suffer attacks; but he decided to go ahead because he wants to “serve his country.”
The Republicans’ strategy
In this regard, Republicans have repeatedly accused Democrats of attacking Barrett’s faith, although none have actually alluded to his religious beliefs.
The Republicans’ goal is discredit the Democrats and portray them as a group of radicals, at the same time they seek to present Barrett as an extremely qualified judge.
At one point during the hearing, Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, asked the magistrate to hold up his notebook in full view of everyone in order to show that it was blank and that he was speaking from memory, referring to cases legal without any help.
Republicans want to confirm Barrett at the Senate floor on October 22, so he could wear the Supreme Court robe before the elections November 3.