October 13, 2020

Crapo, Barrett Discuss Judicial Philosophy on Day 2 of SCOTUS Confirmation Hearing

Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), a member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, today questioned Judge Amy Coney Barrett during the Committee’s first round of questioning as part of its week-long hearing to consider Judge Barrett’s nomination to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. 

During a 30-minute question and answer session, Senator Crapo asked Judge Barrett about her judicial jurisprudence, the principle of stare decisis, the Chevron deference and the process of judicial recusal. 

In summarizing the doctrine of stare decisis, Judge Barrett stated, “Stare decisis is short for ‘stand by the thing decided and don’t disturb the calm.’  So courts don’t recklessly get into the business of disrupting people’s lives.” 

Senator Crapo asked Judge Barrett to address the difference between the judicial decision-making process compared to the opinions of a professor.  Judge Barrett responded, “A professor…is at a 10,000-foot level and not in the trenches like the judges…not deciding a real case with real litigants.  In the judicial process, I have had the experience of changing my mind at various points along the way.  Judges keep an open mind all the way through, and that is evidence of how the judicial process is a different enterprise than an academic critique.” 

In addressing the Affordable Care Act and the upcoming ruling in California v. Texas, Senator Crapo stated, “I am passionate about ensuring that all individuals, especially Idahoans, have affordable, quality health care coverage, and making sure they have coverage for their pre-existing conditions is especially important.  Reasonable people can disagree about the totality of the success of Obamacare, and…many of the policies in Obamacare had bipartisan agreement.  Here we are now talking about an upcoming ruling on one part of Obamacare.”  

Judge Barrett would not commit to how she would rule in California v. Texas, but spoke about the concept of severability as Senator Crapo indicated the Supreme Court discussed in its session last year. 

Senator Crapo’s full line of questioning with Judge Barrett can be viewed HERE, or by clicking the image below.

Round two of questioning will take place tomorrow, October 14, 2020.  Live footage of tomorrow’s hearing can be viewed on the Judiciary Committee’s website