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World News

Factbox: Not 'a royal queen' - Supreme Court nominee Barrett's Senate testimony

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee spent a second day on Wednesday closely questioning President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on issues from abortion to healthcare.

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifies on the third day of her U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 14, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Pool

Here are some of Barrett’s notable comments from the two days of questioning.

ON JUDICIAL AUTHORITY

“Judges can’t just wake up one day and say, ‘I have an agenda, I like guns, I hate guns, I like abortion, I hate abortion,’ and walk in like a royal queen and impose, you know, their will on the world.”

ON JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE

“No one has elicited from me any commitment in a case or even brought up a commitment in a case. I am 100% committed to judicial independence from political pressure.”

ON HER FAMILY AND RELIGION

“I’ve made distinct choices. I’ve decided to pursue a career and have a large family. I have a multi-racial family. Our faith is important to us. All of those things are true, but they are my choices. And in my personal interactions with people -- I mean, I have a life brimming with people who’ve made different choices and I’ve never tried, in my personal life, to impose my choices on them.”

ON WHETHER TRUMP CAN DELAY THE NOV. 3 ELECTION

“If that question ever came before me, I would need to hear arguments from the litigants and read briefs and consult with my law clerks and talk to my colleagues and go through the opinion-writing process. So you know, if I give off-the-cuff answers, then I would be basically a legal pundit, and I don’t think we want judges to be legal pundits. We want judges to approach cases thoughtfully and with an open mind.”

ON ROE V WADE, THE LANDMARK CASE THAT LEGALIZED ABORTION

“I’m answering a lot of questions about Roe, which I think indicates Roe does not fall in that (super-precedent) category. Scholars across the spectrum say that doesn’t mean that Roe should be overruled, but descriptively it does mean it is not a case that everyone has accepted.”

ON HER MENTOR, THE LATE JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA

“He was a very eloquent defender of originalism, and that was also true of textualism, which is the way that I approach statutes and their interpretation. And similarly to what I just said about originalism, for textualism, the judge approaches the text as it was written with the meaning it had at the time, and doesn’t infuse her own meaning into it. But I want to be careful to say that if I’m confirmed, you would not be getting Justice Scalia. You would be getting Justice Barrett.”

“I certainly didn’t mean that every sentence that came out of Justice Scalia’s mouth, or every sentence that he wrote is one that I would agree with.”

ON RACISM AND THE KILLING OF GEORGE FLOYD

“Given that I have two Black children, that was very, very personal for my family. Jesse was with the boys on a camping trip in South Dakota. So I was there, and my 17-year-old daughter Vivian, who’s adopted from Haiti, all of this was erupting. It was very difficult for her. We wept together in my room.”

“As a person, I have a general belief that racism is abhorrent.”

ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY

“I have no agenda and I do want to be clear that I have never discriminated on the basis of sexual preference and I would not discriminate on the basis of sexual preference.”

Compiled by Patricia Zengerle and Will Dunham, editing by Chris Reese

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