FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Contact: Heather Cirmo
Human Coalition Action National Legislative Advisor Chelsey Youman made the following statement in response to Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s comments on Roe v Wade:
“Amy Coney Barrett’s response to Sen. Diane Feinstein’s question of whether she agrees with Justice Scalia’s view that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided would have made Ruth Bader Ginsburg proud. The former justice was famous for saying “no hints, no forecasts, no previews” when it came to judicial nominees’ hearing responses. So famous that it became known as the Ginsburg rule — though even Barrett today acknowledged that the rule was in effect long before RBG.
“Every judicial nominee knows not to commit on a legal issue ahead of time so as to avoid recusing themselves if such a case were later put before them. Feinstein knows this, but was just seeking an opportunity to paint Barrett as evasive and unwilling to champion the so-called reproductive rights Feinstein holds so dear. ‘On something that is really a major cause with major effect on over half of the population of this country, who are women … it’s distressing not to get a straight answer,’ Feinsten said. Barrett didn’t take the bait.
“What’s encouraging to note is Barrett’s distinction between precedent, which can be changed, and super precedents, which Barrett described as ‘precedent that is so well-established that it would be unthinkable that it would ever be overruled.’ She further stated that there are about six on the list that scholars have identified. She cited Brown v. Board of Education as an example with Roe or Casey excluded from the list. She said that those cases continue to be litigated and challenged, implying that abortion rights are not yet so resolved so as to make this issue insurmountable to challenge.”