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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Amy Coney Barrett: “I’m Not Here On A Mission To Destroy The Affordable Care Act”


As the Affordable Care Act continued to come up as a key issue among Democrats during the second day of Supreme Court confirmation hearings, President Trump’s nominee Amy Coney Barrett sought to defuse the topic by saying, “I’m not here on a mission to destroy the affordable Care Act.” 

Key Facts

Barrett’s self-defense came in response to questions from Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) about a law review article she wrote in 2017 while working as a law professor for Notre Dame University. 

In the article, Barrett wrote that Chief Justice John Roberts, who sided with liberal justices on the court to uphold the Affordable Care Act’s as constitutional in 2012 in NFIB vs. Sebelius, had “pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute.” 

Coons argued that this writing suggested Barrett would move to strike down the Affordable Care Act, which is on the court’s docket one week after Election Day. 

Barrett maintained her position as an academic is different from her position as a judge and the critique would not impact her judgement on any future cases relating to Obamacare. 

Crucial Quote 

“I have no hostility to the ACA,” said Barrett. “If a case came up before me, presenting a different question to the ACA, I would approach it with no bias or hostility.” 

Key Background 

Democrats have used the Affordable Care Act as a key line of attack against Barrett, arguing that President Trump is trying to push through her confirmation so the court will be stacked in his favor before Nov. 10, when the ACA is on the docket. President Trump has explicitly stated beforehand that he would pick a Supreme Court justice who would take down the legislation, however, Barrett has pushed back against these claims, insisting she is “independent” and will judge separately of any personal beliefs she may hold. 

Further Reading 

“Democrats Getting Frustrated As Amy Coney Barrett Stays Close-Mouthed” (Forbes) 

“Amy Coney Barrett Says She’s Open To Recusal, Won’t Be Influenced By President Trump” (Forbes)

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