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Key Moments From Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing

Key Moments From Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is expected to be confirmed down party lines after a marathon of questions from senators this week.

Barrett, who was nominated to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was disciplined and cool in the face of traps laid out by Democrats while drawing repeated praise from the Republican side.

Throughout the hearing, Barrett repeatedly cited the Ginsburg rule, which precludes judges from opining on issues they may have to rule on, though some Democrats argued she went too far and failed to answer key questions.

Here are some of the key moments from Barrett’s hearing:

Barrett would not say if the president can single-handedly delay election:

“If that question ever came before me, I’d need to hear arguments from the litigants and read briefs and consult with my law clerks and talk to my colleagues and go through the opinion-writing process,” she said. “So, you know, if I give off-the-cuff answers, then I would be basically a legal pundit, and I don’t think we want judges to be legal pundits. I think we want judges to approach cases thoughtfully and with an open mind.”

Barrett won’t commit to recusing from Obamacare case:

Barrett would not commit to recusing herself from the Obamacare case, which she previously criticized, nor from cases dealing with President Donald Trump and the election.

“I commit to you to fully and faithfully apply the law of recusal,” Barrett said. “I can’t offer a legal conclusion right now about the outcome of the decision I would reach.”

Barrett won’t comment on Roe v. Wade:

Barrett, who is anti-abortion, would not say whether she believed Roe v. Wade was rightly decided.

“I’m going to invoke Justice Kagan’s description, which I think is perfectly put,” she said, “She said that she was not going to grade precedent or give it a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down.”

She made clear, however, that Roe was not a “super-precedent” and could be overturned.

Barrett vowed to set aside personal views:

Barrett, a devout Catholic, vowed that she would not have an “agenda.”

“Judges can’t just wake up one day and say, ‘I have an agenda. I like guns, I hate guns. I like abortion, I hate abortion,’ and walk in like a royal queen and impose their will on the world,” she said. “You have to wait for cases and controversies, which is the language of the Constitution, to wind their way through the process.”

Barrett angered LGBTQ community:

Barrett drew ire when she described “sexual orientation” as “sexual preference.”

Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono confronted her about the issue.

“I would never mean to use a term that would cause offense in the LGBTQ community,” Barrett said. “So if I did, I greatly apologize for that.”

Democrats focus on Obamacare:

Democrats surrounded themselves with photos of people who would be affected by repealing Obamacare and repeatedly focused on health care in their questioning.

“These are life-or-death questions for people,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

“I am not here on a mission to destroy the Affordable Care Act,” Barrett said.

Barrett dodges on precedents:

Barrett repeatedly refused to comment on cases related to voting rights and civil rights, arguing that those issues may come up before the court.