Leaving Republicans proud of their selection, and Barrett, herself suggesting a stance of impartiality if selected, the third day of the SCOTUS hearings featured quite a few key moments, some of which involved birth control, Obamacare, gay marriage, and the coronavirus.
“I Have My Own Mind”
Drawing close parallels to Justice Antonin Scalia’s legal philosophy on the first day of her confirmation hearings, Barrett was asked if she’d be following his philosophies that opposed contentious matters like gay marriage, ObamaCare and voting rights.
When asked if she would follow the footsteps of her mentor, Barrett stressed upon the fact that she had her own judicial independence, along with a mind of her own.
Answering Senator Coons, she exclaimed, “I hope that you aren’t suggesting that I don’t have my own mind or that I couldn’t think independently or that I would just decide like, ‘Let me see what Justice Scalia has said about this in the past.'”
Despite the response from ACB, Coons went on to say, “My core concern here, your honor, is that your confirmation may launch a new chapter of conservative judicial activism, unlike anything we’ve seen in decades. And so with all due respect, I will be voting against your confirmation.”
The Criminalization of Birth Control
At one point during the hearings Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. Directed his question towards Barett, claiming that if she were to be selected, people might be concerned about the possibility of criminalization of birth control, which would, in turn, hinder relationships and marriage equality.
To this, Barrett responded, “I would be surprised if people thought that birth control would be criminalized…To suggest that’s the kind of America I want to create isn’t based on any facts in my record.”
Live-streaming court proceedings
When asked about the possibility of live-streaming court proceedings for better transparency and accountability, Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley sought Barrett’s thoughts on the matter.
Barrett told Grassley she’d “keep an open mind” about getting cameras in the court, by far the most elusive branch of government. This being said, Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., disagreed with Grassley, saying filming court proceedings would lead to “Michael Avenatti nonsense” and “theatrics.”
Coronavirus Infections, Smoking…Climate
Vice Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris posed two questions at Barrett- whether she believed the coronavirus is infectious, and whether the candidate accepts that smoking causes cancer.
To this, ACB was affirmative of both the facts, adding, “I’m not sure where exactly you’re going with this but… Sen. Harris yes every package of cigarettes warns that smoking causes cancer.”
Harris then moved on to ask Barrett “Do you believe that climate change is happening and is threatening the air we breathe and the water we drink?”
To this Barrett once again asked what the relevance of the question was, saying, “you have asked me a series of questions that are completely uncontroversial like whether COVID-19 is infectious, whether smoking causes cancer and then trying to analogize that to eliciting an opinion from me that is on a very contentious matter of public debate.”
She said she would not answer, “I will not do that. I will not express a view on a matter of public policy, especially one that is politically controversial because that’s inconsistent with the judicial rule as I have explained,” she continued.
Harris responded: “Thank you, Judge Barrett, you’ve made your point clear that you believe it is a debatable point.”