Questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Amy Coney Barrett was left unclear. In particular in his answers on the right to abortion, or the presidential election of November 3.
She showed herself “Patient, calm, a little severe”, analyze the New York Times, “And sometimes surprisingly laconic when she spoke about the law” : During her hearing on Tuesday, October 13 before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett, chosen by President Donald Trump to replace progressive icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court of the United States, a “Easily evaded most of the questions from Democratic senators who tried to put her on the spot”, estimates the newspaper.
Speaking without notes, she confidently delivered accounts of previous Supreme Court rulings, then, almost without exception, declined to say whether those rulings had been properly decided. […] She didn’t say how she would rule in potential abortion cases, the election [présidentielle du 3 novembre] and same-sex marriage – or a pending case on the Affordable Care Act [plus connu sous le nom d’“Obamacare”, la loi emblématique de l’ex-président Barack Obama qui a donné une assurance médicale à des millions d’Américains].”
A “Mix of expertise and avoidance”, sums it up New York Times. This type of strategy has also become, in recent decades, a classic for candidates for the highest judicial body in the country during their passage before the Senate, recalls the article. “The surest route to reward lies in the alternation of plausible statements and judicious silences”, The progressive judge Elena Kagan, who currently sits on the Supreme Court, when she was only a young professor of law, already theorized in a legal journal in 1995.
“It was in accordance with the views of my Church”
While voters across the United States are already voting for the presidential election and Republicans made it clear, before this grand oral, that they had the necessary votes to confirm the judge, “The hearing was sometimes aimed more at conveying political messages to the public watching television”, comment on Wall Street Journal.
Democrats’ questions “Strongly focused on abortion”. California Senator Dianne Feinstein asked Amy Coney Barrett if she agreed with the late Conservative Judge Antonin Scalia – whom she considers her “mentor” – on the fact that the stop Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision which established a constitutional right to voluntary termination of pregnancy, had been ill-decided.
The 48-year-old candidate, a mother of seven, replied that it would not be appropriate to share her legal point of view on the matter, noting that cases of abortion remain common in courts.
I fully understand why you are asking this question. But I can’t commit to it in advance or say, ‘Yes, I’m going with a program’, because I don’t. I don’t have an agenda. ”
“It is alarming not to get a clear answer”, Dianne Feinstein was indignant in return.
When another Democrat, Patrick Leahy, elected from Vermont, asked her about an anti-abortion ad in a local newspaper in 2006, which she signed when she was an academic and which opposed “Abortion on demand” and defended “The right to life from fertilization to natural death”, Amy Coney Barrett a déclaré :
I signed it when I left the church. It was in accordance with the views of my Church. My personal opinions have nothing to do with how I would decide business, and I don’t want anyone to be unclear on this matter. ”
A non-response who does not convince The Atlantic. “We will not know, at the end of Barrett’s nomination hearings, how she will rule on an abortion-related case”, notes the magazine.
The Wall Street Journal notes, however, that, as a judge of the Federal Court of Appeal in Chicago, “Amy Coney Barrett cast two dissenting votes which suggest that she might believe, at a minimum, that the Constitution should allow states more leeway to regulate abortions.”