Judge Barrett To Sen. Coons: “I Hope That You Aren’t Suggesting That I Don’t Have My Own Mind”

[Image source: PBS Newshour video screenshots. Swamp Drain compilation].

Wednesday during the Senate Judiciary committee confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee established her judicial independence from her mentor, Justice Antonin Scalia, and assured senators that she would be an impartial jurist who would weigh opposing views fairly.

Judge Barrett on Tuesday, declined to commit to recusing herself from a potential lawsuit contesting the result of the 2020 election, but she said she would consider the questions surrounding recusal seriously. “I certainly hope that all members of the committee have more confidence in my integrity than to think I would allow myself to be used as a pawn to decide this election for the American people,” she told Senator Chris Coons (D-DE).

Judge Amy Coney Barrett admitted that she prescribes to the same originalist judicial philosophy that former Justice Antonin Scalia championed, which led Democrats to claim that Scalia’s past votes against Obamacare, gay marriage and the Voting Rights Act would be hers too.

However, when questioned Wednesday by Senator Chris Coons, Judge Barrett told the Delaware Senator it is unfair to expect she would decide a case just as the same as her mentor, Justice Scalia.

“To be clear, as I said I think in response to this question yesterday, I do share Justice Scalia’s approach to text; originalism and textualism. But in the litany of cases that you’ve identified, the particular votes that he cast, are a different question of whether I would agree with the way he applied those principals in particular cases,” Judge Barrett told Senator Coons on Wednesday.

“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.’ [Be]cause I assure you I have my own mind. But everything that he said is not necessarily what I would agree with or what I would do if I were Justice Barrett– that was Justice Scalia. So I share his philosophy, but I have never said I would always reach the same outcome that he did,” she added. Video Below

Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s official remarks:

As reported by Fox News:

Coons was making the case that adding Barrett to the court to fill the seat vacated by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal icon, will have a “profound” impact to swing the court in the conservative direction with a 6-3 majority.

Coons brought up a poster board of roughly 120 Supreme Court cases that were decided by a 5-4 majority where Ginsburg was in the majority and Scalia dissented.

Had Barrett been on the court instead of Ginsburg the difference in case outcomes would have had “huge consequences” on everyday Americans on issues ranging from health care to consumer protections and gun safety and immigration, Coons said.

“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,” Coons said. “And so with all due respect, I will be voting against your confirmation.”

Full exchange between Senator Chris Coons and Judge Amy Barrett:

(Related: Sen. Hirono Grills Judge Barrett Over Whether She Ever ‘Committed Assault Of Sexual Nature’ Or ‘Made Unwanted Requests For Sexual Favors’)