October 13, 2020

Day 2: Judge Barrett’s Commitment to Rule of Law, Impartiality Shine through Distractions

WASHINGTON?– Amid the first day of questions from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett described her role as a judge, the importance of impartiality and the inappropriateness of making commitments on how she will decide cases.

Here she is in her own words.

On judging:

“Justice is blind. We all dress the same. Once we put on the black robe we are standing united symbolically, speaking in the name of the law. Not speaking for ourselves as individuals.”—Judge Barrett to Sen. Sasse

 On personal preferences and the law:

"I have a life brimming with people who have made different choices, and I have never tried, in my personal life, to impose my choices on them. And the same is true professionally. I mean — I apply the law.”—Judge Barrett (NPR)

 On recusal:

“I certainly hope that all members of the committee have more confidence in my integrity than to think that I would allow myself to be used as a pawn to decide this election for the American people.” (New York Times)

On a question about the killing of George Floyd:

“Senator, as you might imagine, given that I have two black children, that was very, very personal for my family… We wept together in my room.” –Judge Barrett to Sen. Durbin (Politico)

On judicial independence:

“What I can tell you … is that no one has elicited any commitment in any case or even brought up a commitment in a case. I am 100 percent committed to judicial independence from political pressure.”—Judge Barrett (Washington Post)

CORNYN: "So, judge, you're not willing to make a deal."

BARRETT: "No, Senator Cornyn, I'm not willing to make a deal. Not with the committee. Not with the president. Not with anyone. I'm independent." (Washington Examiner)

On having no political or policy agenda:

“Judges can’t just wake up one day and say I have an agenda — I like guns, I hate guns, I like abortion, I hate abortion — and walk in like a royal queen and impose their will on the world.” (Associated Press)

"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." (Star Tribune)

In response to repeated questions about the Affordable Care Act:

"And I assure you I am not — I am not hostile to the ACA, I'm not hostile to any statute that you pass." (The Hill)

 “I'm not here on a mission to destroy the Affordable Care Act. I'm just here to apply the law and adhere to the rule of law.” (C-SPAN)