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United States: not yet appointed, future Supreme Court judge already ambiguous on abortion

We knew it was going to be “a long week of quarrels”. Monday began, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the examination of the candidacy of Justice Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court. replacing the progressive Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on September 18.

On Tuesday, during a ten-hour hearing, the magistrate, a devout practicing Catholic, vowed to keep her faith out of her work, but she refused to give her opinion on a series of hot topics, including the very sensitive right women to have abortions, particularly hard hit in recent years.

“That doesn’t mean it has to be canceled”

Appointed federal judge at the United States Court of Appeal for the 7th Circuit in November 2017, Amy Coney Barrett did not have time to build up a jurisprudence that would allow her assertion to be verified. But she has repeatedly defended the right of Supreme Court justices to shy away from decisions made by their peers.

This is where the critical moment of the hearing began on Tuesday, questioned by several Democrats, Coney Barrett considered that the Roe v. Wade, who recognized the right to abortion in January 1973, was “not a superprecedent”. “I answer a lot of questions about Roe v. Wade, which I think indicates that (this decision) does not fall into that “super-precedent” category.

“It does not mean that it must be canceled,” she however took care to add, kicking in touch. “Whether I say that I love him or hate him, that will send a signal,” she justified, before evading the same way on the subject of guns, or the legalization of same-sex marriage. And to conclude: “I apply the law, I am the law, you make the policy”.

A petition to defend the right to life

At 48, this mother of seven children, two of whom are adopted and a child with Down’s syndrome, has never hidden being personally opposed to abortion. “Life begins with conception,” she wrote in an article for the magazine of the Catholic University where she taught for 20 years. She also signed a petition to defend the right to life “from conception to natural death”. “I signed this when I left church” “almost 15 years ago in a personal capacity still as a private citizen, and now I am a public servant”, she replied to Senator Josh Hawley who questioned him.

In a speech to her students a few years ago, she presented herself as a “lawyer of a different style”, believing that a “legal career” should serve a cause, that of “building the Kingdom of God” .

Tuesday, she spontaneously raised the subject. “Our faith is important to us,” she said, mentioning her husband and children, some of whom were attending the hearing, “but these are my choices”, and “I never tried to impose them. To others, she assured.

The Democratic Dean in the Senate, Dianne Feinstein, found “worrying not to have a clear answer”, but refrained from reiterating the criticisms she made three years ago during a first hearing of Ms Barrett . “Religious dogma lives noisily in you”, she had launched to him then. The formula had increased the aura of the judge in traditionalist Christian circles.

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