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Monday, Oct 26, 2020

"I have no agenda": Amy Coney Barrett refuses to speculate on political issues in Senate hearings

"I have no agenda": Amy Coney Barrett refuses to speculate on political issues in Senate hearings

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee tried to push the Supreme Court nominee during her first day of questioning on hot-button issues.
During her first day of questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democrats pushed Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on hot-button issues that included challenges to the Affordable Care Act, Roe v. Wade and even the upcoming election, should the Supreme Court have to weigh in. But Barrett stood firm on her refusal to indicate how she might judge cases that come before the high court.

"I have no mission and no agenda. Judges don't have campaign promises," Barrett said toward the end of the nearly 12-hour hearing.

During one memorable exchange with Senator Dianne Feinstein, who questioned her on abortion, she said she had "an agenda to stick to the rule of the law."

"If I express a view on a precedent one way or another, whether I say I love it or I hate it, it signals to litigants that I might tilt one way or another in a pending case," she said.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham asked if she would be an originalist like late Justice Antonin Scalia, for whom she once clerked.

"If I'm confirmed, you would not be getting Justice Scalia, you would be getting Justice Barrett," Barrett said. "And that's so because originalists don't always agree and neither do textualists."

The committee will reconvene on Wednesday, and senators will be given 20 minutes each for their second round of questioning.
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