Democrat U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein pressed Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett about her views on abortion Tuesday during the second day of her confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.
The leftist news outlet AlterNet criticized Barrett for “refusing to say if she thinks Roe v. Wade should be overturned” but hinting that the infamous abortion ruling very well may be.
Feinstein, a pro-abortion Democrat, questioned Barrett repeatedly on the issue, asking if she agrees with the late Justice Antonin Scalia that Roe was “wrongly decided,” Business Insider reports.
Barrett served as a clerk for Scalia. She is President Donald Trump’s choice to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an idol of abortion activists who died in September. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Barrett would solidify a strong 6-3 conservative majority on the high court.
Democrat leaders and their allies in the abortion industry have been attacking Barrett for being a conservative, pro-life Catholic. During her confirmation to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017, Feinstein told Barrett that the “dogma lives loudly within you.”
On Tuesday, Feinstein began her questioning more civilly by praising Barrett and her family, which includes seven children. However, she quickly turned to questions about Supreme Court rulings on abortion, including Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
“Do you agree with Justice Scalia’s view that Roe was wrongly decided?” Feinstein asked.
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“Senator, I completely understand why you are asking the question,” Barrett replied. “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, I have no agenda to try to overrule Casey. I have an agenda to stick to the rule of law and decide cases as they come.”
AlterNet’s report continued:
“I don’t know if you’ll answer this one either. Do you agree with Justice Scalia’s view that Roe can and should be overturned by the Supreme Court?”
That’s when Coney Barrett appeared to hint that Roe v. Wade could be overturned, saying the “contours” of the case “could come up again.”
“I think my answer is the same, because, you know, that’s a case that’s litigated, it could, you know its contours could come up again in fact do come up, you know, they came up last term before the court.”
Feinstein concluded, “Well, that makes it difficult for me. And I think for other women also on this committee.”
Feinstein expressed frustration with Barrett, saying it was “distressing not to get a straight answer” on abortion.
During another line of questioning from Republican committee chair Lindsey Graham, Barrett said she will not just be another Scalia, CNN reports.
“If I’m confirmed, you would not be getting Justice Scalia. You would be getting Justice Barrett,” Barrett said. “And that’s so because originalists don’t always agree.”
Pro-life leaders hope Barrett will help to restore basic human rights for unborn babies and allow states to begin protecting them again.
Barrett is a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Like Scalia, she has been described as an “originalist” judge. Though her judicial rulings on abortion are few, she did rule in support of two Indiana pro-life laws during her time on the Seventh Circuit.
She signed a letter in 2006 that described abortion as “barbaric” and called for an end to Roe v. Wade. She also was a member of the Notre Dame University Faculty for Life Group from 2010 to 2016, and she received an award from the Thomas More Society, a pro-life Catholic legal group, in 2018.
Additionally, she has made several statements about the value of babies in the womb. According to Law and Crime, Barrett signed a public letter in 2015 that emphasized “the value of human life from conception to natural death.” She also said she believes that life begins at conception.
The Senate Judiciary Committee began its hearing to confirm her Monday. Republicans narrowly control the U.S. Senate, and pro-life leaders have strong hopes that they will confirm Barrett. However, Democrat Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said his party will not “supply quorum” for votes in the Senate as a way to try and block her confirmation.
A recent Morning Consult/Politico poll found Americans support Barrett’s confirmation by a double-digit margin.