Barrett’s Evasiveness Deepens Concerns About Her Approach to Roe, the ACA, and Democracy

10.14.20

Barrett’s Evasiveness Deepens Concerns About Her Approach to Roe, the ACA, and Democracy

On the second day of her confirmation hearings, Amy Coney Barrett did nothing to allay concerns about her clear track record on overturning Roe v Wade and dismantling the Affordable Care Act. Her repeated refusal to answer basic questions also raised serious concerns about her ability to stand up to Donald Trump’s abuse of power.

Reproductive rights

  • Barrett did nothing to address concerns about her clear record of believing Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and reiterated her past statement that Roe v. Wade is not a “super precedent” or settled law.
  • Barrett refused to say whether it would be constitutional to criminalize IVF, as a group she has supported in the past proposes doing.
  • Barrett refused to say if she agrees with her mentor Justice Antonin Scalia that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, though she recently claimed “his judicial philosophy is mine.”

Health care

  • Barrett refused to commit to recusing herself from hearing a case about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act despite Trump’s public statements that his nominees would vote to overturn the law.
  • Barrett did nothing to allay concerns about her past criticism of rulings upholding the ACA, and she misstated the relevance of the current case to protections for people with preexisting conditions and the relationship between that case and the past dissent she praised.
  • Barrett failed to say when she became aware of President Trump’s commitment to nominating a justice who would overturn the Affordable Care Act.

Presidential abuse of power and democracy

  • Barrett refused to say whether the president can change the date of an election. (The president cannot.)
  • Barrett refused to say whether it is illegal to intimidate voters at the polls. (It is.)
  • Barrett refused to commit to recusing herself from attempts by Donald Trump to challenge the 2020 election, despite the fact that Trump and other Republicans have said she is being confirmed to help swing the result for him.
  • Barrett refused to say whether presidents should commit to a peaceful transfer of power.
  • Barrett refused to say whether the president can pardon himself.