‘Judges don’t have campaign promises’

It’s Day 3, and I’m live-tweeting the hearings on a steady diet of coffee and peanut butter pretzels. Today each Senator will have twenty minutes for questions. We hope there will be more questions and fewer stump speeches.  

Shoutout to Senator Whitehouse for citing the June Medical bicameral, bipartisan Members of Congress amicus brief in his chart fest: 

The role of a judge was a theme throughout the day yesterday. Judge Barrett stuck to the Ginsburg rule–“no hints, no forecasts, no previews”–when she was repeatedly asked to opine on the specifics of past and upcoming cases. It would be inappropriate for any judge to tip her hand to how she might rule in a future case, and Judge Barrett’s commitment to judicial independence was on full display.  

Toward the end of the night, she stated: “Judges don’t have campaign promises.” It’s clear that Judge Barrett, as an originalist, views her role as interpreting the law, not making it. It is to be open to hearing the parties and willing to follow where the laws lead. Some of the Democrat Senators sought promises on certain cases, and promises of recusal. These are campaign promised unanchored to the case at hand, and Judge Barrett ably explained why such questions violated judicial independence.  

“It’s the ACA vs. ACB, I guess.” Senator Cornyn pointed out that many of his Democrat colleagues spent more time on Obamacare than on Judge Barrett’s judicial philosophy or record. They tried to get her to hint how she would rule in the upcoming oral arguments in California v. Texas and called for her recusal if she would vote against the law.  

Roe v. Wade was a hot topic, with Senator Klobuchar grilling Judge Barrett about whether Roe is “super-precedent.” Judge Barrett laid out the stare decisis factors, which help a judge determine whether something is settled law. She said: “Roe is not a super-precedent because calls for its overturning have never ceased” 

Senator Hirono listed a number of current abortion lawsuits, which also suggests to us that Roe and Casey are far from settled.  

The St. Joseph County Right to Life newspaper ad that’s been getting attention stated that the signers look forward to a day when all are protected in law and welcomed in life. We couldn’t agree more!  

See y’all tomorrow for the final day of hearings.