Senator Kamala Harris pointed out Justice Amy Coney Barrett would likely side with the two conservative judges who recently questioned same-sex marriage following Barrett’s opening statement in the Senate hearing to confirm her nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend and former Democratic presidential candidate also had a few things to say about Barrett’s opening statement.
During an interview with MSNBC’s AM Joy, he was read a section of Barrett’s opening statement, and in response said she was doing “what nominees do.”
“They write the most seemingly unobjectionable, dry stuff. But really what I see in there is a pathway to judicial activism cloaked in judicial humility,” Buttigieg said.
On the second day of the hearing, Barrett did not alleviate concerns when she refused to answer if she agreed with Justice Scalia who dissented on the landmark ruling in 2015 that allowed same-sex marriage.
“Well, that’s really too bad because it’s really a fundamental point for large numbers of people in this country,” Senator Dianne Feinstein said.
“I understand you don’t want to answer these questions directly but you identify yourself with a Justice that you, like him, would be a consistent vote to roll back hard fought freedoms and protections for the LGBT community. And what I was hoping that you would say is that this would be a point of difference where those freedoms would be respected and you haven’t said that,” Feinstein said.
In reply, Barrett said she had no agenda.
“Senator, I have no agenda and I do want to be clear that I have never discriminated on the basis of sexual preference and would not ever discriminate on the basis of sexual preference,” Barrett said.
“Like racism, I think discrimination is important. On the questions of law, however, I just, because I’m a sitting judge and because you can’t answer questions without going through the judicial process, can’t give answers to those very specific questions,” Barrett said.
Amongst some the use of the term sexual preference indicates sexuality is a choice and considered a dog whistle to appeal to religious conservatives.
It is expected Barrett will move forward from nomination this week as the committee is stacked with Republicans, which means it will likely go to a senate vote as early as next week.