Washington — Judge Amy Coney Barrett returned to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday for the second day of questioning in her confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court, after a marathon first round of questioning in which she declined to weigh in on some of the most pressing issues she will face if confirmed to the high court.
Thursday’s round of questioning is shorter, with each senator getting 20 minutes to pose questions as opposed to 30 minutes. Democrats have pursued sharper lines of questioning than they did on Tuesday, probing Barrett on her past opinions and writings and how she applies her judicial philosophy.
Democrats have pressed her to explain her views on challenges to the Affordable Care Act, Roe v. Wade and the upcoming election, should the Supreme Court have to weigh in. But Barrett refused to indicate how she might judge cases that come before the high court, a time-honored tactic that has been deployed by Supreme Court nominees of both parties.
“I have no mission and no agenda. Judges don’t have campaign promises,” Barrett said toward the end of Tuesday’s hearing.
During one memorable exchange with Senator Dianne Feinstein, who questioned her on abortion, she said she had “an agenda to stick to the rule of the law.”
“If I express a view on a precedent one way or another, whether I say I love it or I hate it, it signals to litigants that I might tilt one way or another in a pending case,” she said.