- Amy Coney Barrett emphasized her lack of antipathy toward the Affordable Care Act during her confirmation hearing Tuesday.
- “I am not hostile to the ACA,” she told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- Democrats have focused the bulk of their questioning on an upcoming Supreme Court case that could overturn the law, reflecting their worries that Barrett would be the deciding vote as President Donald Trump promised to appoint justices who would dismantle Obamacare.
- During her three years as a circuit court judge in Chicago, Barrett has not faced any cases involving the Affordable Care Act, but she has written academic criticisms on aspects of Obamacare.
- Chief Justice John Roberts “pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute,” Barrett wrote in 2017.
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Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Tuesday gave an adamant defense against the notion that her appointment to the Supreme Court would spell doom for the Affordable Care Act’s key protections, saying to the Senate Judiciary Committee, “I am not hostile to the ACA.”
Democrats have dedicated the majority of their questioning to whether Barrett would vote to overturn key provisions of Obamacare in an upcoming Supreme Court case involving the constitutionality of the law’s individual mandate provision, which the court upheld in 2012 in a 5-4 vote.
Barrett has not faced any cases involving the ACA in her three years as a circuit court judge in Chicago, but she has written against certain provisions in the bill during her time as a law professor at the University of Notre Dame.
In 2017, she wrote that Chief Justice John Roberts “pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute.”
—Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) October 13, 2020
But on Tuesday, she told senators: “I think that your concern is that because I critiqued the statutory reasoning that I’m hostile to the ACA, and that because I’m hostile to the ACA that I would decide a case a particular way. And I assure you that I am not.”
Barrett circled back to her judicial philosophy as a textualist, telling the committee that her commitment is always to how the law and statutes are written and not making any outside assumptions.
“I’m not hostile to any statute that you passed,” she said.