Commentary

Nominee Barrett’s answer on this question from Kamala Harris is hard to believe

As  Adam Liptak of the New York Times reported last evening, Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s answers to the questions Senate Judiciary Committee members posed yesterday represented, for the most part, a “deft mix of expertise and evasion”:

Judge Barrett seemed to have studied recent hearings carefully, absorbing their lessons. They were presciently summarized in a 1981 memorandum written by a young White House lawyer named John G. Roberts Jr., who helped prepare Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, another Reagan nominee, for her confirmation hearings.

“The approach was to avoid giving specific responses to any direct questions on legal issues likely to come before the court,” the memo said, “but demonstrating in the response a firm command of the subject area and awareness of the relevant precedents and arguments.”

Screenshot taken on Oct. 13 at Senate Judiciary confirmation hearing as Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Cal.) addressed Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett

That said, there was at least one important moment last evening when, under questioning from California Senator and vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, Barrett offered a thoroughly unbelievable response. As Maanvi Singh of The Guardian reported, the exchange centered on the debate over the future of the Affordable Care Act. After delivering a speech about the importance of the law, Harris then posed a question to Barrett. This is from Singh’s account:

She then addressed Barrett: “Prior to your nomination, were you aware of President Trump’s statement committing to nominate judges who will strike down the Affordable Care Act? And I’d appreciate a yes or no answer.”

Barrett maintained that before she was nominated to the Supreme Court, she was unaware of his public statements. “I don’t recall hearing about or seeing such statements,” Barrett said.

Harris asked how many months after Barrett wrote an article criticizing John Roberts’ decision upholding the Affordable Care Act she received her nomination for her appeals court position.

“The Affordable Care Act and all of its protections hinge on this seat,” Harris said.

“I would hope the committee would trust my integrity,” Barrett said, noting, as she has done throughout the hearings, that she has not made any commitments to rule a certain way on the healthcare law.

The assertion, and Barrett’s implication that she had somehow tuned out the president’s loud, public criterion for judges he’d appoint, is difficult to believe.

Indeed, it is. And the evasion goes right to the heart of the deep and fundamental flaw of Barrett’s candidacy for the Court — as well as those of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Simply put, any judge who would happily appear at the White House to accept a nomination from a serial liar and would-be autocrat like Donald Trump — a man who has quite blatantly and publicly articulated and established litmus tests for potential nominees — and then pretend to be unaware of those tests is simply not to be believed.

Barrett has known for some time that she was a potential nominee for the Supreme Court. Asking us to believe that she was unaware of the conditions Trump had publicly announced he would apply in selecting such a person indicates that another virus may have been spreading at that infamous Rose Garden ceremony: Trump’s incurable case of deceitfulness.

4 Comments


  1. Lori

    October 14, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    Serial liar? You mean Joe Biden I presume who continues to lie about his son Hunter’s dealings with Russia, China and specifically Burisma which are all about to finally be made public.

  2. Ann

    October 16, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    I think when the Trump family is held to task for all of their conflicts of interest – we can start talking about the Biden family.

  3. Christine

    October 21, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    What facts do you have about Hunter. You know the laptop report is false. The name written on report said she hadn’t written it. It has been also reported that this was a lie that the Russians gave Ruddy to bring back and give to Trump for controversy for the media to publish. Gosh it’s hard to keep up with all his lies. News report states Trump knows it’s untrue. And people still want the creep for President? So said.

  4. LVJT

    October 22, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    Donald Trump has given all of us reason to realize that he is unfit to be president. This man is a liar and a thief. We have allowed Trump to get away with things that no other president in history would be allowed to get away with. Donald Trump is a risk to our government. He is a public servant. Trump was never vetted properly. This country has lost all respect from other countries and our allies.

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