As Donald Trump’s latest Supreme Court nominee submits to questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee considering her nomination, Judge Amy Coney Barrett is proving that she knows how to robotically evade questions about her potential future rulings as a member of the court if she is indeed confirmed.
It’s a time-honored strategy among nominees to the nation’s highest judicial body: refuse to reveal any personal opinions about how one might rule on a case to avoid saying something that would be held against them in the confirmation process.
Luckily, a nominee’s past decisions as well — as their other writings — give senators the opportunity to get a sense of how they might rule in similar future cases, as was the case with Barrett’s decision in a workplace discrimination suit that has been criticized for its tone-deafness over racial discrimination.
At today’s hearing, Democratic Judiciary Committee member Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) tried to get Barrett to comment on what seemed to be a simple and straightforward issue regarding whether federal law made it illegal to intimidate voters as they try to cast their ballots at the nation’s polls.
Barrett refused to answer — despite a clear statute already on the books prohibiting that exact behavior — citing her inability to “apply the law to a hypothetical situation.”
Klobuchar found it quite amazing that the nominee couldn’t parse the clear intent of a law validly passed by Congress that states that the intimidation of voters is illegal under federal law. So much so that she recited the text of the law to Barrett after her demurral in an embarrassing highlighting of the judge’s evasiveness.
Such evasiveness bodes ill for the enforcement of voting laws protecting the integrity of the American electoral system and creates serious questions about how Barrett may weigh in if — as expected — Trump and the GOP bring election disputes to the Supreme Court in the aftermath of his expected landslide defeat.
You can watch a clip of Senator Amy Klobuchar’s interaction with Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the video attached below.
WATCH: Senator @amyklobuchar just asked Judge Barrett whether it's illegal under federal law to intimidate voters at the polls.
Barrett refused to answer. Then Klobuchar read her the law. Astonishing. pic.twitter.com/cxoIaXTP9e
— Vanita Gupta (@vanitaguptaCR) October 13, 2020
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.