Amy Coney Barrett hearing

Trump’s Supreme Court candidate remains unclear on abortion

Trump’s Supreme Court candidate remains unclear on abortion

During her time to question Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Hirono asked, "Since you became a legal adult, have you ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors or committed any verbal or physical harassment or assault of a sexual nature?"

Plenty of figures on the left - including Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom Barrett is hoping to replace on the high court - have also used the phrase, which was considered acceptable as recently as a decade or two ago.

Wednesday's hearing opened with praise from committee chairman Sen.

Graham said Trump had made history by nominating someone "who is unashamedly pro-life".

A respected Notre Dame law professor but with only three years as an appeals court judge, Barrett is supported by conservatives for her personal opposition to abortion. Republicans have a 53-47 Senate majority, making Barrett's confirmation a virtual certainty.

In the hearings, Barrett called herself an originalist, meaning she interprets the Constitution's text to have the meaning it had at the time people ratified it. Progressives tend to interpret the Constitution in the context of today. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., criticizing GOP priorities in forcing the Senate action as the country suffers from the pandemic and Congress squabbles over approving additional economic aid.

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Barrett said she did not commit to anyone about how she would vote on an election dispute, the Affordable Care Act or any other case.

One of the most memorable moments of the hearing came when Barrett was asked if she watched the video showing the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed Black man who died May 25 after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck for several minutes.

"It's not the law of Amy, it's the law of the American people".

"We have a population that seems to be growing more secular in its orientation, so to have a greater number of political actors who are more adherent to more conservative incarnations of mainstream faith is anomalous", she said.

Judge Barrett responded, "In using that word, I did not mean to imply that I think that, you know, that it's not an immutable characteristic or that it's exclusively a matter of preference".

Leahy asked Barrett why she couldn't recuse herself - and pointed to the 2016 decision from Michigan Supreme Court Judge Joan Larsen to recuse herself from a recount case that year because Trump had placed her on his Supreme Court short list. And she responded to a question from Democratic Sen.

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If an election case does rise to the Supreme Court, she said, she would consider recusal, in consultation with the other justices.

That suggested that she does not feel bound, like previous courts, to firmly adhere to previous court decisions like Roe.

"It's distressing not to get a good answer", the US senator from California told the judge.

On Tuesday, some viewers said Barrett was deploying a kind of anti-LGBT dog-whistle that signaled she felt the same way - or, at least, lacked an understanding of the issues.

"I apply the law, follow the law, you make the policy", she said.

Democrats worry she could vote to overturn the 1973 ruling legalising abortion nationwide.

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