Amy Coney Barrett Shines In Questioning Despite Democrats’ Prodding

Core Democrat Values

( Republican and Democratic senators have been grilling Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett for two days, and so far, she’s living up to the task.

On Monday morning, much of the initial attention was given to the nomination process and not to Barrett herself. Democrats took aim at Republicans trying to push through President Donald Trump’s nominee before the presidential election, while Republicans defended their position.

Senators jabbed back and forth on a number of topics, including health care. That’s because an important case regarding the last legal bit of the Affordable Care Act is set to be heard in the near future.

California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein tried to make a mockery of Barrett by insinuating that just because she’s the nominee of a conservative president, that she would automatically overturn what’s left of Obamacare. She said:

“The stakes are extraordinarily high for the American people, both in the short term and for decades to come. Most importantly, health-care coverage for millions of Americans is at stake.”

Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley shot back, saying:

“That’s outrageous. As a mother of seven, Judge Barrett clearly understands the importance of health care.”

Once the attention turned directly to Barrett, though, she began to shine through.

Barrett gave her opening statement after five hours of statements from senators. In it, she said:

“Courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life. The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the people.”

On Tuesday morning, senators took direct aim at Barrett during day one of direct questioning. One of the biggest topics was abortion, and what Barrett’s views are on potentially overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

In response to a question from Feinstein, Barrett said, “I have no agenda to try to overrule Casey.”

She was referring to a 1992 case that said states can’t put an “undue burden” on a woman’s constitutional right to end a pregnancy. That ruling preserved the precedent that the 1973 Roe case set.

Later in questioning, Barrett wouldn’t give her opinions on what she would do if a case trying to overturn Roe v. Wade, or limit abortion rights, came before the Supreme Court. She said:

“I can’t express views on cases. I can’t pre-commit.”

Barrett’s best response came later Tuesday, when she was asked by Lindsey Graham, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, how it felt to be nominated for the Supreme Court. She responded, in part:

“I don’t think it’s any secret to any of you, or to the American people, that this is a really difficult — some might say excruciating — process. Jesse and I had a very brief amount of time to make a decision with momentous consequences for our family. We knew that our lives would be combed over for any negative detail. We knew that our faith would be caricatured. We knew our family would be attacked.

“And so we had to decide whether those difficulties would be worth it, because what sane person would go through that if there wasn’t a benefit on the other side?”

The benefit, she said was her commitment “to the rule of law and the role of the Supreme Court and dispensing equal justice for all.”