She was "patient, calm, a little harsh", analyzes the New York Times, "and sometimes surprisingly laconic when she spoke about the law": during her hearing Tuesday, October 13 before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett, chosen by President Donald Trump to replace progressive icon Ruth Bader Ginsberg on the United States Supreme Court, “easily sidestepped most of the questions from Democratic senators who tried to put her on the spot ”, Estimates the newspaper.
"Speaking without notes, she confidently delivered accounts of previous Supreme Court decisions, then, almost without exception, declined to say whether those decisions had been properly decided. (…) She did not say how she would rule in potential cases on abortion, the presidential election [November 3] and same-sex marriage - or an ongoing case on the Affordable Care Act [better known as the name “Obamacare”, the iconic law of former President Barack Obama that provided medical insurance to millions of Americans]. ”
A “mix of expertise and avoidance,” sums up the New York Times. This type of strategy has become, in recent decades, a classic for candidates for the highest judicial body in the country during their passage before the Senate, the article recalls. “The surest route to the reward lies in the alternation of plausible statements and judicious silences”, already theorized in a legal journal in 1995 the progressive judge Elena Kagan, who currently sits on the Supreme Court, whereas she does not was just a young law professor.
"It was in accordance with the views of my church"
While voters across the United States are already voting for the presidential election and the Republicans had clearly indicated, before this great oral, that they had the necessary votes to confirm the judge, “the hearing was sometimes aimed more at transmitting political messages to the public who watched on television, ”comments the Wall Street Journal.
The Democrats' questions "have focused heavily on abortion." California Senator Dianne Feinstein asked Amy Coney Barrett if she agreed with the late Conservative Judge Antonin Scalia - whom she considers her “mentor” - that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to voluntary termination of pregnancy, was ill-decided.
The 48-year-old candidate, a mother of seven, replied that it would not be appropriate to share her legal perspective on the matter, noting that cases of abortion remain common in the courts.
"I fully understand why you are asking this question. But I can't commit to it in advance or say, 'Yeah, I'm going with a schedule,' because I don't. I don't have an agenda. "
“It’s alarming that we don’t get a clear answer,” said Dianne Feinstein.
When another Democrat, Patrick Leahy, elected from Vermont, asked her about an anti-abortion ad that ran in a local newspaper in 2006, which she signed when she was an academic and which opposed “l 'abortion on demand ”and defended“ the right to life from fertilization to natural death, ”Amy Coney Barrett said:
"I signed it when I left the church. It was in accordance with the views of my church. My personal opinions have nothing to do with how I would decide business, and I don't want anyone to be unclear on this matter. "
A non-response that does not convince The Atlantic. “We will not know, after Barrett’s nomination hearings, how she will rule on an abortion-related case,” the magazine said.
The Wall Street Journal notes, however, that as a judge in the Chicago Federal Court of Appeal, “Amy Coney Barrett cast two dissenting votes which suggest that she might believe, at a minimum, that the Constitution should allow states to have more leeway to regulate abortions ”.