"Senator, I'm not exactly sure what you're getting at with asking me to endorse the fact or whether any particular practice constitutes voter discrimination. I'm very happy to say that I think racial discrimination still exists in the United States, and I think we've seen evidence of that this summer."
"Senator, again, I was wondering where you were going with that. You have asked me a series of questions like that are completely uncontroversial, like whether COVID-19 is infectious, whether smoking causes cancer and then trying to analogize that to eliciting an opinion on me that is a very contentious matter, opinion from me, that is on a very contentious matter of public debate. And I will not do that. It will not express a view on a matter of public policy, especially one that is politically controversial because that's inconsistent with the judicial role, as I have explained."
Amy Coney Barrett is refusing to say whether she thinks race discrimination in voting still exists, in response to a question from Sen. Kamala Harris.
The Supreme Court nominee has refused in two days of testimony in her confirmation hearing to opine on many topics, including whether a president can unilaterally delay the election.
The issue arose when Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, asked if Barrett agreed with a sentence from a 2013 opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts in which he wrote that "voting discrimination still exists; no one doubts that."
Barrett said she will "not comment on what any justice said in an opinion."
President Donald Trump's nominee also said says she cannot express a view on climate change because it is a "matter of public policy."
Harris asked Barrett a series of questions, including whether she thinks coronavirus is infectious, whether smoking causes cancer and whether "climate change is happening and it's threatening the air we breathe and the water we drink."
Barrett responded that she does think coronavirus is infectious and smoking causes cancer, but declined to answer on climate change, saying that it is "a very contentious matter of public debate, and I will not do that, I will not express a view on a matter of public policy, especially one that is politically controversial."
Scientists say that climate change is man-made, caused by people burning fossil fuels and it's worsening sharply.
The exchange came near the end of the second and final day of Barrett's testimony.
Harris is the junior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Confirmation hearings , Legislature hearings , Legislature , Government and politics , Presidential elections , National elections , Elections , Judicial appointments and nominations , Government appointments and nominations , Judicial appointments and nominations , Judiciary , Climate change , Environmental concerns , Environment , Environment and nature , Climate change , Climate , United States presidential election , Discrimination , Human rights and civil liberties , Social issues , Social affairs , Supreme courts , National courts , Courts , National courts , National governments , Political endorsements , 2020 United States presidential election , Smoking , Public health , Health , General elections
Donald Trump , Kamala Harris , Amy Coney Barrett , John Roberts
Supreme Court of the United States, United States government, U.S. Democratic Party, United States Senate, United States Congress
California , United States , North America , District of Columbia