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The US Supreme Court is often the last say on major cases that impact public life. From abortion to gun rights, here's a look at what she's said about major issues in the past. Speaking in at Jacksonville University's Public Policy Institute , she told students judges should not be appointed based on policy preferences.
In her opening statement on 12 October, she tied herself once more to the late conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who she worked for as a clerk. Sometimes that approach meant reaching that he did not like. She added that "courts have a vital responsibility to enforce the rule of law" but they are not meant to "solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life".
For many, Judge Barrett's views on abortion and the landmark Roe v Wade ruling that protected the procedure nationally are at the centre of their support or condemnation of her nomination. She has not ruled specifically on abortion before, but she has reviewed two abortion restrictions cases while on the appeals court. Judge Barrett voted in favour of a law that would have mandated doctors to inform the parents of a minor seeking an abortion, with no exceptions.
She also called for a state law that sought to ban abortions related to sex, race, disability or life-threatening health conditions to be reheard. She was also one of five appeals judges who argued that an Indiana state law requiring burial or cremation for foetal remains may have been constitutional.
She wrote in a Texas Law Review article that the "public response to controversial cases like Roe reflects public rejection of the proposition that [precedent] can declare a permanent victor in a divisive constitutional struggle rather than desire that the precedent remain forever unchanging". Talking about abortion in at Jacksonville University, Judge Barrett said she did not think "abortion or the right to abortion would change".
Judge Barrett's abortion views aside, perhaps the more important is the question of how she views precedent - and what that might mean for Roe v Wade and other established rulings. A devout Catholic, Judge Barrett has been asked about her faith as it relates to her work during past confirmation hearings. She has been asked in particular about a article she co-wrote with a professor about Catholic judges.
She wrote that Catholic judges are "obliged by oath, professional commitment and the demands of citizenship to enforce the death penalty", while also being obliged "to adhere to their church's teaching on moral matters". During her confirmation hearing for the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Judge Barrett said she still "vehemently" believes that if there is a conflict between a judge's "personal conviction and that judge's duty under rule of law, that it is never ever permissible for that judge to follow their personal convictions in the decision of a case rather than what the law requires".
In the same hearing, she said she is a "faithful Catholic", but stressed her affiliation "would not bear in the discharge of my duties as a judge". Another major issue for voters is how a Justice Coney Barrett might rule on the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare law that brought insurance coverage to millions.
The Supreme Court is to rule on the legality of that law in November. There's just one ruling on the right to bear arms we can reference from Judge Barrett's record, but it is a controversial one. Gun rights supporters have praised her dissent in the case of a man who pleaded guilty to mail fraud, served his time and then challenged state laws that barred him as a felon from owning a gun again.
Saying "history is consistent with common sense", she argued that the government can only prohibit individuals shown to be dangerous from possessing guns. Speaking about her dissent to students at Hillsdale College last year, Judge Barrett said while it "sounds kind of radical to say felons can have firearms", she found no "blanket authority" to take guns away from Americans without showing the individual was a danger. During her Senate confirmation hearings, Judge Barrett said she and her family own a gun. The killing of black American George Floyd sparked mass demonstrations across the US and the world in Senator Dick Durbin asked Judge Barrett during the confirmation hearings whether she had seen the video of his death , in which he repeatedly told white police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck that he could not breathe.
As a result, she said it was an "entirely uncontroversial and obvious statement [that] racism persists in our country". However, as with other controversial issues she was asked about during the hearings, she refused to express her views on how she would rule on cases surrounding the issue. Hotly contested policy questions," she said. While she was happy to talk about her personal experience, giving her view on how to tackle the issue of racism "is kind of beyond what I'm capable of doing as a judge".
What's at stake in US Supreme Court fight. On her judicial philosophy. Who is Trump's Supreme Court pick? On abortion. Trump says new court ruling on abortion 'possible'. On precedent. On her faith. On healthcare.
On guns. On race. Battle over Supreme Court. What is the US Supreme Court? Related Topics. More on this story. Published 11 OctoberWoman wants sex Barrett Texas
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