What Sen. Mike Lee told Amy Coney Barrett in Supreme Court confirmation hearing

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, speaks during a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. | Susan Walsh, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Mike Lee lamented what he sees as attempts to politicize the courts, telling U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Monday that she’s a judge not a policymaker.

In his opening statement at Barrett’s confirmation hearing, the Utah Republican said the Constitution is not just a “judicial thing” but belongs to the executive and legislative branches as well.

Lee said it’s one of the many reasons “I will object anytime anyone tries to attribute to you a policy position and hold you to that. You’re not a policymaker, you’re a judge. That’s what we’re here to discuss.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee opened what is expected to be four days of hearings on Barrett, who President Donald Trump nominated to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Monday’s hearing was confined to opening remarks from committee members and Barrett, a federal appeals court judge.

Democrats on the committee focused largely on health care in their opening statements, some showing pictures of Americans suffering during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. They say Barrett would be a threat the Affordable Care Act and abortion rights.

Susan Walsh, Associated Press
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, standing right, talks to Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah., as Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, sits below, before a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

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Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said Republicans have obsessed over repealing Obamacare but haven’t been able to do it. He said Trump is sending Barrett to the high court to do his “political chores — abolish Obamacare, rule in his favor on any election contest and more.

“You cannot feel good about a president cheapening this historic moment. The future of the Affordable Care Act and so many others hang in the balance,” he said.

Lee attended the hearing in person after testing positive for the coronavirus more than a week ago. He cited a letter in a written statement that he had met Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to end COVID-19 isolation for those with mild to moderate forms of the virus.

“Specifically, it has been greater than 10 days since symptom onset, you have had no fever in absence of fever reducing medication for at least 24 hours, and your other symptoms have improved,” according to the letter.

Lee said Democrats’ arguments against Barrett felt more like a hearing on legislation or policy than a judicial confirmation hearing.

“These tactics of creating fear and uncertainty and doubt, these tactics that result in relentless protests outside of the one branch of government that isn’t political astound me, they dismay me, they disappoint me. They reflect that fact that we have allowed for the politicization of the …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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