Ten Questions Amy Coney Barrett Needs to Answer

Ten Questions Amy Coney Barrett Needs to Answer

With Amy Coney Barrett facing questions from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee today, she has a lot to answer for — extreme views on the ACA and Roe v. Wade, a failure to commit to recusing from cases about the 2020 election, and repeated failure to disclose pertinent information to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Here are ten questions that she must answer clearly and directly. If she evades or fails to answer these questions, it will be yet more evidence that she should not be confirmed.

Affordable Care Act

1. You wrote that Chief Justice John Roberts “pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute” when Roberts voted to uphold the law as constitutional in NFIB v. Sebelius. Have you changed your mind about that?

2. In 2015, you told NPR that Justice Scalia’s dissent in King v. Burwell had “the better of the legal argument” when the dissent would have gutted the Affordable Care Act and ended health care for millions. Have you changed your mind about that?

Roe v. Wade

3. Your name was listed on an anti-abortion ad that called the landmark Supreme Court decision affirming the legal right to abortion “infamous” and calling for “the unborn to be protected in law.” Do you still agree with that ad? Why didn’t you disclose it before journalists asked about it?

4. Your name was listed on an ad from an organization that supports criminalizing abortion and common parts of the IVF process. The ad, which ran on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, called for the “barbaric legacy” of Roe to end. You still have not disclosed that ad to the committee. Why do you continue to refuse to provide it to the Senate? Do you still agree with the contents of that ad?

5. You have repeatedly failed to disclose ties to anti-abortion organizations. CNN has reported that you gave two speeches you initially failed to disclose to anti-abortion groups and that video evidence of your remarks at a third speech about abortion rights were removed from the internet and have mysteriously disappeared. The Senate asks nominees to turn over remarks to evaluate their views and experience. Will you commit to disclosing any records or correspondence you have related to those speeches or ties to anti-abortion organizations and to ask the organizations to do the same, so we can try to get at the truth of why those remarks were not disclosed?

Other Issues

6. Republican Party leaders have repeatedly implied you are being confirmed in order to help Donald Trump contest the results of an election he loses. As you must be aware, that outcome would do enormous damage to public trust in the Supreme Court. Will you commit to recusing yourself from lawsuits in which Donald Trump or the Republican Party seek to influence or challenge the results of the 2020 election?

7. You took $4,200 from a group that has been designated an anti-LGBTQ+ hate group. You said in 2017 that it was not your practice to investigate the views of groups that you spoke to or, in this case, received payment from. Was that an error in judgment? Knowing now that concerns have been raised about their anti-LGBTQ+ views, would you speak to them or accept an honorarium from them?

8. During your time as a judge, you affirmed a ruling that allowed a company to segregate its employees by race in what another judge called a “separate-but-equal” arrangement. Do you stand by that vote?  

9. You participated in a series of indoor and outdoor events at the White House celebrating your nomination, during which most attendees failed to social distance or wear masks. Dr. Fauci said, “the data speak for themselves. We had a superspreader event in the White House, and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks.” Two members of the Judiciary Committee along with several others subsequently became infected with COVID-19. Do you think it reflected sound judgment to participate in these events, contrary to public health guidelines, especially at a time when COVID-19 infections are once again surging?

10. Since you were nominated, it has become clear that you failed to disclose at least two ads to which you signed your name, two talks you gave to anti-abortion organizations, and a case you worked on in private practice. How can the American people be sure that your record has been thoroughly vetted in less than 14 days if you have clearly not disclosed all the relevant information?