In her second turn at questioning Amy Coney Barrett, Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) managed to get the ultra-conservative judge to reveal more than she expected she was divulging about her attitude towards climate change, albeit through some canny grilling that forced Barrett to disclose her feelings in an indirect manner.
Senator Harris started by trying to get assurances from the right-wing judicial nominee that she would base her decisions in environmental cases on the scientific findings of experts rather than any political considerations.
“Scientific consensus has grown even more and stronger that climate change is real, and it is caused by manmade greenhouse gas pollution and it poses significant threats to human life,” Harris began. “If a case that comes before you would require you to consider scientific evidence, my question is, will you defer to scientists and those with expertise in the relevant issues before rendering a judgment?”
It was a simple and relevant question, but Barrett’s answer didn’t give Senator Harris the comfort level she was seeking from the Trump nominee.
“If a case comes before me involving environmental regulation, I will certainly apply all applicable law, deferring when the law requires me to,” Barrett replied. “And as I’m sure you know, Senator Harris, the Administrative Procedure Act does require courts to defer to agency fact-finding and to agency regulations when they’re supported by substantial evidence.”
At this point, Harris’s experience as a prosecutor helped her devise a line of questioning that would get Barrett to reveal her true feelings about whether climate change is a scientific fact or a politically-motivated hoax perpetrated by radical leftists who want to deprive America of its hamburgers.
“Do you accept that COVID-19 is infectious?” Harris queried the nominee.
“I think yes, I do accept that COVID-19 is infectious,” Barrett answered. “That’s something I feel like we can say you take judicial notice of. It’s an obvious fact, yes.”.
“Do you accept that smoking causes cancer?” Harris next asked.
“I’m not sure exactly where you’re going with this,” Barrett said suspiciously. “But you know, the notice that’s taken—”
“It’s just a question,” Harris interrupted. “The question is what it is. You can answer if you believe, yes or no.”
“Senator Harris, yes, every package of cigarettes warns that smoking causes cancer,” Barrett was forced to agree.
The California senator readied her wind-up and released her strike-out pitch.
“And do you believe that climate change is happening and is threatening the air we breathe and the water we drink?” Harris continued with her line of questioning.
Barrett fell right into her trap with her ill-considered answer.
“Senator, again, I was wondering where you were going with that. You have asked me a series of questions that are completely uncontroversial, like whether COVID-19 is infectious, whether smoking causes cancer, and then trying to analogize that to eliciting an opinion from me that is on a very contentious matter of public debate, and I will not do that. I will not express a view on a matter of public policy, especially one that is politically controversial because that’s inconsistent with the judicial role as I have explained.”
Of course, the very existence of climate change is only “politically controversial” to those who seek to profit from existing investments in the fossil fuels that are creating an extreme environmental crisis that has been well-documented and has had its causes agreed upon by the vast majority of climate scientists around the world.
Having backed Barrett into a corner and elicited her true opinion on the validity of climate science — that it is a “contentious matter of public debate,” rather than settled science — Senator Kamala Harris smiled sweetly as she delivered her victorious conclusion.
“Thank you, Judge Barrett, and you’ve made your point clear that you believe it’s a debatable point,” the Senator summed up her interrogation target’s inadvertent admission.
Anyone who values clean air, fresh water, renewable energy resources, and other lofty environmental goals should call their own senator now and urge them to reject the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the open seat in the Supreme Court.
Your descendants will thank you.
You can watch a video of Senator Kamala Harris’s questioning of Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the clip below.
Original reporting by Matthew Chapman at RawStory.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's 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.