President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett said she had made no commitments to the President or anyone else about how she might rule on a case aimed at dismantling the Affordable Care Act or on a potential dispute in the upcoming presidential election.
Barrett vowed that she had not discussed specific cases, like the upcoming challenge to the Affordable Care Act, with Trump or anyone else when she was nominated to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose death threw the Senate into a pitched election-year confirmation battle that could swing the court in a more conservative direction.
But Barrett repeatedly declined to answer questions from Democrats on how she might rule on a range of topics, from the Affordable Care Act to Roe v. Wade and the high court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.
“It’s distressing not to get a straight answer,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, said after posing a series of questions to Barrett on the Supreme Court’s landmark abortion rulings.
Feinstein pressed Barrett to explain whether she agreed with the late Justice Antonin Scalia that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. Barrett, however, invoked Justice Elena Kagan’s answer that she wasn’t going to grade precedent.
“I completely understand why you are asking the question, but again I can’t pre-commit, or say yes, I’m going in with some agenda, because I’m not. I don’t have any agenda,” Barrett said.
The back-and-forth between Democrats and the nominee kicked off a lengthy two days of questioning. Democrats sought to elicit answers from Barrett on a number of controversial topics the Supreme Court could take up, including abortion, gun rights, voting rights, same-sex marriage and, in particular, health care.
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