The Latest: Barrett steers clear of transfer of power issue

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett (all times local):

6:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court is declining to get involved in the question of whether the president should commit to a peaceful transfer of power if the election doesn’t go his way.

Trump has said that he’ll “see what happens” before agreeing to any election outcome.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, a Democrat, asked Barrett about the issue Tuesday on the second day of her confirmation hearing. Booker asked: “Do you believe that every president should make a commitment unequivocally and resolutely to the peaceful transfer of power?”

“Well, senator, that seems to me to be pulling me in a little bit into this question of whether the president has said that he would not peacefully leave office and so to the extent that this is a political controversy right now as a judge I want to stay out of it,” she responded.

Booker asked again.

“One of the beauties of America from the beginning of the republic is that we have had peaceful transfers of power and that disappointed voters have accepted the new leaders that come into office, and that’s not true in every country, and I think it is part of the genius of our Constitution,” Barrett responded.


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 Mazie Hirono of Hawaii warning Barrett that the term is “offensive and outdated.”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

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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