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Supreme Cross-Examination: What Amy Coney Barrett Said Tuesday About Her Faith and Roe v. Wade

Image source: AP photo
Image source: AP photo

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett was grilled by Senate Democrats during her second day of confirmation hearings. 

It was the first day for lawmakers to question President Trump's nominee about her judicial philosophy, and some even attempted to get her to pre-judge cases that might come before the court. 

Barrett faced questions on issues ranging from healthcare to gun rights, to abortion and even her faith. 

"You're Catholic, I think we've established that. The tenets of your faith mean a lot to you," asked Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). 

"That is true," answered Barrett. 

"Can you set aside whatever Catholic beliefs you have regarding the issue before you," asked Graham. 

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"I can. I have done that in my time on the 7th Circuit. If I stay on the 7th Circuit, I'll continue to do that," Barrett said. "If I am confirmed to the Supreme Court, I will do that still." 

Barrett clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia and said she shares his judicial philosophy. Democrats say her confirmation would spell the end of the Affordable Care Act, its protections for pre-existing conditions, and even could result in the overturning of Roe v. Wade. 

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) asked her point-blank, "Do you agree with Justice Scalia's view that Roe was wrongly decided?"

"Senator I completely understand why you are asking the question, but again I can't recommit or say yes I am going in with some agenda because I'm not," Barrett said. "I don't have any agenda, I don't have an agenda to try and overrule Casey. I have an agenda to stick to a rule of law and decide cases as they come." 

When Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar asked her about Roe, Barrett said it's clear that people are still constantly talking about it, so that means it's not settled law in the same way that Brown v. Board of Education is final.
Roe v. Wade is "not a case that's universally accepted," Barrett explained. She said no one ever talks about overturning the Brown decision, but the constant questioning from senators about her views of abortion "indicates Roe doesn't fall in that category."

Still, Barrett summed her philosophy by telling the senators, “I apply the law. I follow the law. You make the policy.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on Barrett's confirmation next Thursday, from there it will go to a full Senate vote. Republicans hope to have her confirmed a week before Election Day. 

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