Democrats grilled Amy Connie Barrett for health care on Tuesday and the Supreme Court nominee responded, sharing her personal story of her family’s access to health care.
Sen. Corey Booker, DNJ, gave rise to fears that his constituents were likely to lose protection under the Affordable Care Act if the Supreme Court dropped President Obama-era legislation during an upcoming case.
“They’re scared right now,” Booker said.
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“All I’m asking is, can you sympathize with this?” she added.
A mother of seven, including two from Barit, Haiti, came to visit an orphanage to adopt her daughter, Vivian.
“Senator, I could definitely sympathize with the people struggling,” Barrett replied. “I can sympathize with those who lack health care. You know, one of the things that was very striking to me was when we went to take our daughter Vivian from an orphanage in Haiti, like antibiotics. There was a lack of access to basic things.
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She continued: “It made me appreciate the fact that we have access to health care, so I can definitely sympathize with them all.”
While Barrett would not say how he would rule on the Affordable Care Act case coming before the court’s November 10, he pledged to “consider all arguments on both sides.”
The Democrats brought photographs of children and sick Americans to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing room to remind them of the health services at stake.
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Booker said he wanted the federal appeals judge to “understand the fear that’s in the US right now.”
Democrats believe Barrett would vote against the Affordable Care Act as his protege, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, had done twice before. On September 26, at the White House nomination ceremony, Barrett made a point to say that he shares the same philosophy as Scalia that a judge should apply the law in writing and not make policy.
“His judicial philosophy is mine too,” Barrett said.
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The 2012 case NFIB v. Sableius considered Barrett important to Chief Justice John Roberts to join the court’s liberal wing. The Affordable Care Act was upheld by a 5-4 decision. She wrote in a 2017 essay that Roberts “pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its laudable meaning to save the law.”
She publicly sided with dissidents, penned by Slalia, in another Supreme Court case that referred Obamacare to King v. Known as Burwell.
“The legal argument of dissent is preferable,” Barrett said after a ruling at NPR.
But on Tuesday, Barrett told the senators that he would approach the new Affordable Care Act case without any agenda.
“I am not here on a mission to destroy the Affordable Care Act. I am here just to enforce the law and follow the law, ”said Barrett.
The questioning of Barrett’s senators will continue on Wednesday as well.