President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett said on Tuesday at her U.S. Senate confirmation hearing she is not hostile to the Obamacare law, as Democrats have suggested, and declined to specify whether she believes landmark rulings legalizing abortion and gay marriage were properly decided.
President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Tuesday repeatedly declined to answer questions from U.S. senators – mostly Democrats – who tried to in vein to pin her down on her views on landmark rulings legalizing abortion and gay marriage or where she might stand on the health care law known as Obamacare.
"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." In Day 2 of her confirmation hearings, Barrett, a conservative federal appellate judge, declined to answer whether she believed Roe v.
Wade, which recognized a woman's constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy, was properly decided.
Barrett: "Senator, I completely understand why you are asking the question.
But again, I can't pre-commit or say, yes, I'm going in with some agenda because I'm not I don't have any agenda." Senator Dianne Feinstein -- whom she was speaking to -- was not pleased.
"On something that is a major cause with major effects on over half of the population of this country who are women, it is distressing not to get a straight answer." Barrett would also not comment on whether she agreed with the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia that the 2015 Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide was wrongly decided.
"Senator Feinstein, as I said to Senator Graham at the outset, if I were confirmed you would be getting Justice Barrett, not Justice Scalia.
So I don't think that anybody should assume that just because Justice Scalia decided a decision a certain way that I would, too." On the topic of the Affordable Care Act - Barrett declined to say whether she would recuse herself -- if confirmed -- from considering an upcoming case in which President Trump and Republican-led states are seeking to invalidate Obamacare.
Or from any case that may arise if there is a legal dispute over the outcome of the November presidential election.
She was insistent that no one at the White House sought a commitment from her on how she would rule on any issue.
"It would be a gross violation of judicial independence for me to make any such commitment or for me to be asked about that case." Republicans have a majority in the Senate, making Barrett's confirmation to a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court a virtual certainty.
Her nomination offers the chance to cement a conservative majority on the court for years to come and if confirmed - she'd be President Trump's third justice on the high court.