The Latest: Barrett clarifies her use of ‘sexual preference’

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 Mazie Hirono of Hawaii warning Barrett that the term is “offensive and outdated.”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 …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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