mcloudyn.png
Friday October 30th, 2020 12:59AM

The Latest: Barrett clarifies her use of 'sexual preference'

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett (all times local):

5:25 p.m.

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is clarifying her use of the phrase “sexual preference,” apologizing to those who interpreted her word choice as suggesting hostility toward LGBT rights.

Earlier in her confirmation hearing, Barrett told senators that she has not “discriminated on the basis of sexual preference,” a phrase that is not used by LGBT advocates because of its suggestion that sexual orientation or gender identity is a choice. Democratic senators seized on that moment, with Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii warning Barrett that the term is “offensive and outdated.”

Barrett later clarified that she intended to suggest no hostility with her use of the term and offered an apology when prompted by Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa. The judge also said that her declining to state her views on the high court’s 2015 decision upholding same-sex marriage rights is “not indicating disagreement with it.”

___

4:45 p.m.

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett has declined to say whether she views the criminalizing of in vitro fertilization as constitutional, describing it as an abstract question.

The appeals court judge nominated by President Donald Trump to join the nation’s highest court signed a 2006 statement opposing “abortion on demand” that was circulated by a group in her home state of Indiana that has also criticized IVF.

While the statement Barrett signed didn’t address IVF, Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois has urged her colleagues to reject Barrett’s nomination, citing her daughter’s conception using the common reproductive technology.

During her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, Barrett has so far said it would be “inappropriate” to restate her personal view on abortion as a public official and that she signed the 2006 statement “in my personal capacity.”

The Roman Catholic Church, of which Barrett is a member, is opposed to abortion. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has described IVF as “in disagreement” with church teachings.

—-

4:30 p.m.

The Barrett children attended their mother’s Senate confirmation hearing just days after multiple cases of coronavirus were reported at the private Christian school in Indiana attended by some of the older siblings.

Mark D. Fox, deputy health officer of the health department in St. Joseph County, Indiana, said on Tuesday that three cases were reported Friday from the Trinity School at Greenlawn. The school, affiliated with the People of Praise religious community, has been holding in-person classes with such precautions as daily temperature screenings, wearing masks when indoors and social distancing.

Fox said it is his understanding that one teacher and two students tested positive. It was not immediately clear whether any of the Barrett children had close contact with those infected.

A White House official said Tuesday that Amy Coney Barrett is tested daily for COVID-19 and that her children had also recently tested negative for the virus, though the official declined to provide the dates of those tests.

—By Michael Biesecker.

___

4 p.m.

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett says an article she wrote criticizing Chief Justice John Roberts’ 2012 opinion saving the Affordable Care Act does not reflect any “hostility” toward the law.

Barrett was answering questions from Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, who brought up the article she wrote in 2017 before she became a judge that said Roberts had “pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute.”

Democrats have focused much of their questioning on the health care law, as the court will hear a new case in November that could overturn it. Barrett said that case is very different, and her “critique of the reasoning” in the previous case does not mean she doesn’t like the law. “I can promise you that’s not my view, that’s not my approach to the law,” she said.

Coons said he believes the article is highly relevant to the upcoming case and that in many ways Barrett has signaled how she would rule. He said he believes Republicans are rushing her confirmation partly so she can rule on that case.

“It concerns me gravely,” Coons said.

___

3:45 p.m.

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett says she signed a statement in 2006 opposing “abortion on demand” on her way out of church and “in my personal capacity,” separate from her current status as a federal judge.

The 2006 statement, which Barrett did not initially include in materials provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee in advance of her confirmation hearings this week, has raised questions for some critics about whether the appeals court judge can separate her personal views from her judicial decision-making.

Barrett, nominated by President Donald Trump to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, told senators Tuesday that she sees as “distinct my personal moral religious views and my task of applying law as a judge.”

She noted that the substance of the 2006 statement, which framed life as beginning at conception, is in line with the Roman Catholic Church’s position on abortion. Barrett also said that while she shared her views publicly as a private citizen at that time, she doesn’t “feel it is appropriate” to disclose similar views now.

___

3:05 p.m.

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett says she doesn’t consider the high court’s Roe v. Wade decision on abortion a “super-precedent” that can’t be overruled.

Barrett said the court’s 1973 ruling that affirmed the right to abortion isn’t in the same category as the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling, which declared segregated public schools unconstitutional.

Barrett said in an exchange with Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar that the Roe decision does not have the same secure place in the law as Brown v. Board of Education.

Barrett says no one talks about overturning the Brown decision. But she says all the questions she’s gotten in her confirmation hearing about her views of abortion “indicates Roe doesn’t fall in that category.” She says it’s “not a case that’s universally accepted.”

President Donald Trump has said he would appoint justices who would overturn a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion. Democrats worry that the court could have enough anti-abortion justices to threaten abortion rights if Barrett is confirmed.

12:10 p.m.

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is defending an opinion she wrote arguing that a person who's convicted of a nonviolent felony should not automatically be disqualified from owning a gun.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois challenged Barrett’s argument, saying it would make it easier for felons to bring guns into his home city of Chicago, which is plagued by gun violence caused in part by guns brought in from Barrett’s home state of Indiana.

In a dissent in the 2019 gun rights case of Kanter v. Barr, Barrett argued a conviction for a nonviolent felony such as mail fraud was not enough to disqualify someone from owning a gun.

Durbin accused Barrett of judicial activism, noting a Supreme Court ruling by Barrett’s mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, upheld the idea that felons can be barred from gun ownership.

___

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE SUPREME COURT CONFIRMATION HEARINGS:

Barrett is facing senators’ questions during a second day of confirmation hearings. Republicans control the Senate and want to confirm President Donald Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before Election Day to cement a conservative court majority.

Read more:

— Health care law on line at court, but is it likely to fall?

— Takeaways: Coronavirus at center of Supreme Court hearings

— Barrett hearing turns to discussion of few high court cases

— Joe Biden addresses idea of high court packing: 'I’m not a fan'

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

11:50 a.m.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett says the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May had a “very personal” effect on her family and she and her children wept over his death.

President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court made the comments at her Senate confirmation hearings on Tuesday, three weeks before Election Day. Barrett was asked by Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin whether she had seen the footage of a police officer pressing a knee to the Black man’s neck until he stopped breathing. Barrett said she had.

Barrett has two Black adopted children. She says the Floyd video was “very, very personal” for her family and they “wept together.”

Floyd’s death touched off mass demonstrations about police brutality and reform around the country.

Barrett made a distinction between her feelings as a person and her role as a judge, refusing to give her thoughts on systemic racism as Durbin had requested. She said commenting on what policies should be used to combat racism would be “kind of beyond what I’m capable of doing as a judge.”

___

11:35 a.m.

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett insists she does not necessarily oppose the Affordable Care Act, the health care law that’s being challenged in a case heading to the court next month.

Barrett told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday she’s “not hostile to the ACA.”

Barrett is being questioned about her past writings, including a piece in which she was critical of Chief Justice John Roberts’ previous rulings on the Obama-era law.

The appellate court judge distanced herself from those writings, saying they were not addressing specific aspects of the law as she would if confirmed. The court is set to hear a challenge to the law Nov. 10.

Barrett told the senators, “I apply the law. I follow the law. You make the policy.”

Still, Barrett appeared stumped when grilled by Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Virginia about particulars of the law, also called Obamacare. Barrett could not recite specifics, including that 23 million people are covered by the law or that more than 2 million people are on their parent’s health insurance.

___

10:50 a.m.

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett says she can’t give an opinion on whether she’d recuse herself from any election-related litigation involving President Donald Trump.

Barrett said Tuesday in her confirmation hearing that she has not been asked by Trump or anyone else how she’d rule in possible upcoming cases, including the election.

She says it would be a gross violation of judicial independence to make a commitment on how she’d rule. She says it’s a violation of the judicial independence to put a justice on the court as a means of obtaining a particular result.

But Trump has said he would look for justices who were anti-abortion. He’s said he wanted the full nine justices to decide election-related matters.

___

10:15 a.m.

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett says she can’t answer whether President Donald Trump has the power to delay the general election.

Trump floated the idea earlier this year as the coronavirus pandemic worsened. The Republican president has derided mail-in voting as rife with fraud though there is no evidence to suggest that.

But, Trump does not have the authority to unilaterally change the date of the election. Article II of the Constitution gives Congress the power to choose the timing of the general election. An 1845 federal law made the date the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked Barrett during her confirmation hearing on Tuesday if she could say whether Trump had that authority. Barrett said she’d need to confer with her colleagues and read litigation to decide the question.

___

10 a.m.

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is declining to say whether she thinks Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established the right to abortion, should be struck down.

Barrett sidestepped questions about that landmark case from the Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, as the panel held a second day of hearings on Barrett’s nomination.

Barrett says she won’t answer questions about whether she would rule that Roe v. Wade should be overturned because she would not join the court with “some agenda” on the subject. She says her only agenda is to “stick to the rule of law and decide cases as they come.”

Feinstein told Barrett that it was “distressing to not get a straight answer” to her question.

The conservative Barrett was nominated by President Donald Trump last month to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

One of Democrats’ biggest fears is that Barrett’s all but certain confirmation by the Republican controlled Senate would create a 6-3 conservative majority on the court that could well overturn Roe v. Wade.

___

9:55 a.m.

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett says the confirmation process is “excruciating” but that that she accepted President Donald Trump’s nomination because she is “committed to the rule of law” and the role of the Supreme Court.

Barrett said that “if the difficulty is the only reason to say no, I should serve my country.” She added that even though there are “momentous consequences” for her family, they are “all-in” on the decision because they share her belief in the rule of law.

Still, she said she has tried to be on a “media blackout for the sake of my mental health.”

Barrett said she and her husband “knew that our lives would be combed over for any negative detail, we knew that our faith would be caricatured, we knew our family would be attacked.”

___

9:40 a.m.

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett says she will be able to put aside her Catholic beliefs when ruling if she’s confirmed as a justice on the nation’s highest court.

Barrett told Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on Tuesday she “can” set aside her Catholic beliefs and has “done that” since her confirmation as an appeals court judge in 2017. Graham chairs the Judiciary Committee overseeing Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing.

Barrett was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the court. She’s fielding questions from senators on the judiciary panel this week.

Republicans have warned Democrats against criticizing Barrett’s religion or making it an issue in the hearings, although Democrats have made clear they have no plans to do so this week.

___

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Online Supreme Court News, AP Health, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Business, AP Health - Women's health
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Virus spread high in Iowa on eve of Trump rally
Hospitalizations, virus spread and deaths continue at high levels in Iowa on the eve of a campaign rally by President Donald Trump, where Gov. Kim Reynolds and thousands of other Trump supporters will likely defy the governor’s own emergency proclamation to keep distance between people
5:36PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Trips by Trump, Biden illustrate calculations on voting map
With Election Day just three weeks away, President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden are concentrating on battleground states both see as critical to clinching an Electoral College victory
5:35PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Apple unveils new iPhones for faster 5G wireless networks
Apple unveiled four new iPhones equipped with technology for use with faster new 5G wireless networks
5:34PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Cut cable shuts down Virginia's online voter registration
A severed fiber optic cable has shut down Virginia's online voter registration system
5:12PM ( 50 minutes ago )
Supreme Court halts census in latest twist of 2020 count
The U.S. Supreme Court has stopped the once-a-decade head count of every U.S. resident from continuing through the end of October
5:11PM ( 52 minutes ago )
Supreme Court halts 2020 census for now
The U.S. Supreme Court has stopped the once-a-decade head count of every U.S. resident from continuing through the end of October
5:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Takeaways: Barrett is reticent as Dems focus on health care
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is facing her first day’s worth of questions from Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee
3:04PM ( 2 hours ago )
McConnell slates October revote on GOP COVID relief plan
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that he’s scheduling a procedural vote on a GOP COVID-19 relief bill for next week
2:56PM ( 3 hours ago )
Wall Street drifts lower as a 4-day rally loses momentum
Stocks are moving lower on Wall Street Tuesday, taking a pause after a four-day winning streak
2:53PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Barrett hearing turns to discussion of few high court cases
The second day of Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing quickly turned to discussion of a few notable high court cases, including key decisions on abortion and gun rights
11:23AM ( 6 hours ago )
Barrett won't commit to recusing from election disputes
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is telling senators she would bring no “agenda” to the court, batting back questions on abortion, gun rights and other hot-button issues
11:23AM ( 6 hours ago )
The Latest: Barrett says Trump didn't ask about the election
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett says she can’t give an opinion on whether she’d recuse herself from any election-related litigation involving President Donald Trump
11:07AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online Supreme Court News
More masks, less play: Europe tightens rules as virus surges
Governments across Europe are ratcheting up restrictions in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus
5:10PM ( 53 minutes ago )
Possible safety issue spurs pause of COVID-19 antibody study
Independent monitors have paused enrollment in a study testing the COVID-19 antiviral drug remdesivir plus an experimental antibody therapy being developed by Eli Lilly
4:36PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: North Dakota ranks first in new cases per capita
Health officials in North Dakota said Tuesday that a sixth straight day of record active COVID-19 cases put the state’s number of current infections at 4,600
4:21PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Health
Report: Social media influencers push voting misinformation
Popular and verified social media accounts are helping spread online misinformation around the U.S. vote that's casting doubt on this year's election
4:38PM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump lawyers ask Supreme Court to halt tax record turnover
President Donald Trump is asking the Supreme Court to put on hold an appeals court ruling that Trump’s accountant must immediately turn over tax records to a New York state prosecutor
3:07PM ( 2 hours ago )
Bloomberg gives $500,000 to juice Dem turnout in Miami-Dade
Billionaire former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is donating $500,000 to juice Democratic turnout in Miami-Dade County
2:57PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Elections
Biden addresses idea of high court packing: 'I'm not a fan'
Joe Biden says he is “not a fan” of the idea of adding seats to the Supreme Court
9:19AM ( 8 hours ago )
Michelle Obama, LeBron James team to help boost early voting
A voter initiative led by Michelle Obama is partnering with a similar group founded by NBA star LeBron James and other prominent Black athletes and entertainers to generate excitement about voting early for the Nov. 3 election
8:20AM ( 9 hours ago )
Barrett to face senators on health care, legal precedent
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is set to face senators’ questions during a second day of confirmation hearings
12:08AM ( 17 hours ago )
General Election News
Microsoft attempts takedown of global criminal botnet
Microsoft says it has taken legal action seeking to disrupt a major cybercrime digital network that uses more than 1 million zombie computers to loot bank accounts and spread ransomware
7:56PM ( 22 hours ago )
The Latest: Senate panel schedules 1st Barrett vote Thursday
The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a vote to approve Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court — before her confirmation hearings have even ended
5:55PM ( 1 day ago )
Belarus ramps up crackdown on protests, detains over 700
Police in Belarus detained 713 people during Sunday's mass protests against reelection of the country’s authoritarian leader, the harshest crackdown on protesters in weeks
3:34PM ( 1 day ago )
General Presidential Election News
NASA's new moonshot rules: No fighting or littering, please
NASA’s new rules for its moon-landing program say no fighting or littering is allowed
4:55PM ( 1 hour ago )
Delta posts $5.4 billion 3Q loss as pandemic hammers travel
Delta Air Lines is the first carrier to report financial results for the third quarter, and the numbers are grim
4:27PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Explains: The promise of 5G wireless - speed, hype, risk
A much-hyped network upgrade called “5G” means different things to different people
2:09PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
Politics has way of finding Supreme Court eager to avoid it
The Supreme Court might prefer to avoid politics, but politics has a way of finding the court
6:59AM ( 4 days ago )
Justices say women can get abortion pill by mail, for now
The Supreme Court will continue to allow women to obtain an abortion pill by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic
7:06PM ( 4 days ago )
2 million stillbirths every year, pandemic might worsen toll
The World Health Organization and partners say there are about 2 million stillbirths every year, according to its first-ever global estimates
6:47PM ( 5 days ago )
AP Health - Women's health
Trips by Trump, Biden illustrate calculations on voting map
With Election Day just three weeks away, President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden are concentrating on battleground states both see as critical to clinching an Electoral College victory
5:35PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Apple unveils new iPhones for faster 5G wireless networks
Apple unveiled four new iPhones equipped with technology for use with faster new 5G wireless networks
5:34PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Trump, Biden trips illustrate Electoral College calculations
With Election Day just three weeks away, President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden are concentrating on battleground states both see as critical to clinching an Electoral College victory
5:31PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Pache in Braves lineup with Duval out, Pederson is DH for LA
Cristian Pache is starting in center field and batting ninth for the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series
5:25PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Barrett unscathed by tough Democratic confirmation probing
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett has spent a long day batting back Democrats' tough questioning at her Senate confirmation hearings
5:17PM ( 47 minutes ago )