Sen. Chuck Grassley asked Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett whether she made any promises to anyone on how she would rule on cases and whether her agenda is to overturn the Affordable Care Act.
The Iowa Republican questioned whether she committed to President Trump or “anyone else” that she will repeal the health-care act if confirmed.
“Absolutely not. I was never asked. And if I had been, that would have been a short conversation,” she said during the second day of her confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Barrett also declared her independence on how she could decide any issues that come before the court.
“I want to be very clear about this, Sen. Grassley, the answer is no one. I submitted a questionnaire to this committee in which I said no. No one ever talked about any case with me. No one on the executive branch side of it,” she said.
“Just as I did not make any pre-commitments, I cannot make pre-commitments to this body. It would be inconsistent with judicial independence,” she continued.
Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) returned to the question when it was his time to grill Barrett.
He said the president has been clear that he wanted to repeal Obamacare and nominated Barrett to the Supreme Court, concluding that Trump apparently expects her to side with him.
“Sen. Leahy, I want to begin by making two very important points, and they have to do with the ACA and any election dispute that may or may not arise,” she said. “I have had no conversations with the president or any of his staff on how I might rule in that case. It would be a gross violation of judicial independence for me to make any such commitment.”
Democrats have raised concerns about Barrett’s view on the ACA because she has in the past criticized Chief Justice John Robert’s decision to uphold the health-care law and because the court will take up another ACA case on Nov. 10 – a week after the presidential election.
The president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said they expect Barrett to be confirmed to serve on the court by the election.