WASHINGTON (NEXTAR) — President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court pick Judge Amy Coney Barrett was in the hot seat for the first time Wednesday.
For hours, senators questioned the conservative judge on her record from health care to abortion rights to gun rights.
“Have you committed to the president or anyone else that you will vote repeal the affordable care act,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, asked Barrett during the second day of the confirmation hearing.
“Absolutely not,” Barrett responded.
Barrett pushed back against accusations that she has a vendetta against the Affordable Care Act.
“I’m not hostile against the ACA,” Barrett said.
Barrett insists if confirmed, she will be a judge and not a partisan policy maker.
“I am not hostile to any statue that you pass,” she said.
Republicans like Grassley say Americans can trust Barrett’s judgment.
“I think that your record shows that you will be a faithful judge that takes each case seriously,” Grassley said.
But Democrats like Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin say it’s Trump and not Democrats undercutting her integrity.
“The notion that this whole idea that you being used for political purposes is a Democratic creation — Read the tweets and you have plenty to work with,” Durbin said referring to the president’s tweets about Barrett.
Durbin adds Barrett’s past two critiques of Obamacare are concerning.
“We naturally draw a conclusion there’s going to be a third strike,” Durbin said.
He also questioned Barrett’s stance on racial inequality
“Have you seen the George Floyd video,” Durbin asked Barrett.
“Given that I have two Black children, that was very, very personal to me,” Barrett responded. “I think it is an entirely uncontroversial and obvious statement that racism persists in our country,” Barrett responded.
But Barrett stopped short of saying racism is systemic.
“Those things are policy questions,” Barrett said.
When asked if she believes Roe v. Wade is wrong, Barrett refused to say but did note scholars have not determined the law inconclusive.
She also would not confirm if she might recuse herself if the president were to challenge the outcome of this year’s election. Right now, Democrats are asking that she does.
After a marathon of questions, Barrett will be back for round two on Wednesday.