While there were no “gotcha” moments during yesterday’s marathon round of questioning for Judge Amy ConeyBarrett, her testimony is making news for an entirely different reason: she isn't taking or referencing any notes during her Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
During day two of the proceedings, which lasted about 12 hours, Texas Senator John Cornyn asked Barrett to hold up her reference paper after several hours worth of answering questions. She held up a blank note pad with only a letterhead reading "United States Senate" on it.
The courtroom broke out in laughter before Cornyn told her how impressive that is – as most of the senators have multiple notebooks throughout the process. As for the questions she was asked? The various legal topics included judicial activism, abortion rights, the upcoming election, gun regulations, religious liberty – and the Affordable Care Act. Here’s a sampling:
- Barrett calls herself an "originalist," telling senators that she doesn't think it's her role to update the Constitution or infuse her policy views into it.
- Barrett noted that her family owns a gun and insisted that it would not prevent her from ruling fairly in a 2ndAmendment case.
- Barrett was also pressed about being a devout Catholic and vowed to set aside her faith in rulings.
- Barrett said she is "committed to judicial independence" and "can't really speak to what the President has said on Twitter." The Supreme Court will a consider a case about overturning Obamacare shortly after the presidential election. Trump has also said he needs another conservative on the high court to deal with any election disparities.
- Barrett maintains that no one at the White House or in Congress has pressured her to rule in any particular way on any cases. She told Senators that it if they had, it would be a "short conversation."
- Barrett was pressed on the Affordable Care Act during her confirmation hearings and refused to commit to a vote affirming or rejecting the law known as Obamacare.