Senator Dianne Feinstein, the committee’s top Democrat, opened her poll by asking Barrett to introduce her family seated behind her. Feinstein then turned to Roe v. Wade to ask if Barrett believes the landmark 1
“Do you agree with Justice Scalia’s view that Roe was wrongly decided?” Asked Feinstein.
Barrett declined to address Roe directly, quoting Judge Elena Kagan as being unable to comment on precedents that continue to be challenged in court.
“When she was in her confirmatory hearing, she said she would not mark a precedent or give a thumbs up or thumbs down, and I think in an area where precedents continue to be set and litigated, as is the case with Casey in particular, it would indeed be wrong and a violation of canons to do so as a seated judge, “replied Barrett. “So when I express a view of a precedent in one way or another, whether I say I love it or hate it, it signals to litigants that I might overturn one way or another in a pending case. “
“When it comes to something that is really a major cause, with a major impact on more than half of this country’s population who are women, it is ultimately depressing not to get a straight answer,” Feinstein said.
Barrett insisted she had no agenda, specifically mentioning Planned Parenthood v Casey, the 1992 ruling that set the standard for “undue burden” for restrictions on abortion.
“I can’t pre-set or say I’m starting an agenda because I’m not,” Barrett said. “What I am going to commit is that I will obey all the rules of rigid decision making. If a question arises before me whether Casey or another case should be overridden, I will obey the rigid decision law and it as that apply.” Court articulated it. “
Barrett also discussed District of Columbia v Heller, a 2008 case in which the Supreme Court affirmed the right to take over arms. She said the Heller decision “leaves room for gun regulations” and the right to bear guns is not “absolute”.