Democrats announce outside witnesses to attack Barrett on abortion, Obamacare
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Democrats will continue to attack Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett over Obamacare and abortion during tomorrow’s questioning of outside witnesses, including a young woman who as a teenager “fought for her right” to have an abortion.
With their choice of four outside witnesses, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee seem to follow the line of questioning employed during yesterday’s and today’s confirmation hearings, which involved only Barrett. Tomorrow, the committee will hear from several outside witnesses, four of which were named by the Democrats.
Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) announced earlier today that senators may question Crystal Good, who “fought for her right to obtain an abortion at age 16. Crystal will speak about the importance of reproductive rights and justice.”
The phrase “reproductive rights and justice” is a euphemism for abortion and contraception.
Two witnesses will be speaking about the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.
One of them is Stacy Staggs, “a mother of 7-year old twins. Stacy’s twins have multiple pre-existing conditions due to their premature birth and rely on the Affordable Care Act’s protections.”
“Stacy works with Little Lobbyists, a nonprofit started by families with children who have complex medical needs,” Feinstein’s press release stated. “Stacy will discuss the devastating effects on her family if the Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Care Act.”
The other, Dr. Farhan Bhatti, is “a family physician and CEO of Care Free Medical, a nonprofit clinic. Dr. Bhatti will discuss the harm to his patients if the Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Care Act.”
Finally, Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, “will speak about the importance of voting rights and other civil rights protected by the Constitution and federal law.”
Like abortion and Obamacare, the issue of voting has come up frequently during the hearings.
Republicans also announced a number of outside witnesses.
One of them is former federal judge Thomas B. Griffith, who on Monday wrote about his conviction that Barrett’s Catholic faith would not influence her decisions as a Supreme Court justice. Griffith said in his article for Bloomberg that he sees “no reason to think” Barrett would impose her faith on others via her rulings.
“It takes no guesswork to determine whether Barrett will approach her work in this way,” Griffith, himself a Mormon, argued. “She has already said that she will. In her 2017 confirmation hearings, she said (under oath!) that a judge should ‘never’ impose her ‘personal convictions, whether they derive from faith or anywhere else, on the law.’ She said so again in a 2019 speech to Hillsdale College: ‘A judge is obligated to apply the law as it is, and not as she wishes it would be.’”
“And she said so again in a 2019 speech at Princeton University: ‘A judge’s view about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act should not turn on whether he or she thinks the act is good or bad policy.’”
Saikrishna Prakash, a law professor at the University of Virginia, will testify, as well. On the day after Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Prakash explained the nominee “approaches stare decisis from a practical perspective” in her academic writing.
The legal term stare decisis refers to judges granting weight to past rulings’ status as precedent, regardless of whether they were rightly decided. Some judges put more weight on it than others, with Justice Clarence Thomas being most critical of the concept.
The question of stare decisis is especially relevant with regard to potentially overturning the legalization of abortion in the 1973 landmark case Roe v. Wade.
Barrett “doesn’t ever say that the courts should be overturning a bunch of precedents,” Prakash told Bloomberg. “She disagrees with those who want to revolutionize case law.”
As a professor, and then a judge, Barrett was instrumental in forming young minds. Two of her students and clerks will be testifying at tomorrow’s hearing.
Amanda Rauh-Bieri clerked for Barrett on the Seventh Circuit, and Laura Wolk, who was the first blind woman to clerk at the Supreme Court, is one of Barrett’s former students at the University of Notre Dame.
While all these witnesses will be part of the same panel, a separate panel will feature comments from two representatives of the American Bar Association (ABA), the most prominent and influential association of lawyers in this country.
In a letter dated October 11, the ABA wrote that a “substantial majority of the Standing Committee determined that Judge Barrett is ‘Well Qualified,’ and a minority is of the opinion that she is ‘Qualified’ to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. The majority rating represents the Standing Committee’s official rating.”