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tv   Sen. Harris  CSPAN  October 17, 2020 1:28pm-1:48pm EDT

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it has shaped me as a person. a lifer you have experience that makes you aware in your interactions with others , it gives you empathy for them. the same is true is having a son with a disability. that whileake clear my life experiences, i hope they have given me wisdom and compassion, they don't dictate how i decide cases. before and aed couple of times, sometimes you have to decide cases where you don't like the results. while i hope my family has made me a better person, and my children have given me perspective on life, i still don't let those experiences dictate the outcome. sen. hawley: you will follow the law wherever it leads.
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president trump announced your nomination, he tweeted obamacare will be replaced with a much better and far cheaper alternative. in reality, there is no alternative that protects the millions of americans who depend on the affordable care act every day. the truth is president trump and the republicans in congress are fighting to take health care away from the american people in the middle of a pandemic. president trump has said he wants to protect the american people's health care. the reality is right now he's asking the supreme court to take it away. klobuchar asked you earlier today but did not receive an answer, prior to your nomination, were you aware of president trump's statement
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committing to nominate judges who will strike down the affordable care act? i would appreciate a yes or no answer. be barrett: i want to careful. as i'm sitting here, i do not recall seeing those statements. i do not recall seeing or hearing those statements, but i do not know what context they were in. i cannot definitively give you an answer. i do not recall hearing about or seeing such statements. i imagine you are surrounded by a team that helped prepare you for this hearing. judge barrett: i have been. sen. harris: let me finish, if you don't mind? thethey inform you of president's statements? that this might be a question that was presented to you? judge barrett: when i had my .alls with senators it came up
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many of the democratic senators wanted to know about the affordable care act and to satisfy themselves that i had not made any commitments to the president about it. so you then became aware of the president's statement? context oftt: in the these conversations, i cannot remember whether senators framed questions in the context of president trump's comments. perhaps so. from my perspective the most important thing is to say i have never made a commitment. i have never been asked to make a commitment. i would hope the committee would trust in my integrity not to entertain such an idea and that i would not violate meiosis. sen. harris: just so i'm clear -- then we can move on. are you saying you are now aware or not aware that president trump made these comments about who he would nominate to the united states supreme court? judge barrett: what i was saying -- i thought you initially
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framed the question as whether or not i was aware for this process began. were you aware before this hearing began? judge barrett: you are asking me now that i was aware before the hearing began? sen. harris: as a follow-up question i am, yes. judge barrett: when i had my calls with democratic senators this question came up and i don't recall, but it may well have been that they referenced those comments in the course of those calls. even if so, that was not something that i heard or saw directly by reading it himself. lahey asks: senator you earlier today, what i think it bears repeating -- do you think it is important for the american people to believe supreme court justices are independent and fair and impartial? i am asking a yes or no answer, please. judge barrett: yes. sen. harris: my colleagues have asked whether you would recuse
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yourself on cases involving the. he describe the process by which that would work or happen. my question is, isn't it true that at the end of that process, regardless of that process, it would be you who ultimately would make the decision about whether or not you would recuse yourself? judge barrett: that is true. i cannot have you elicit a commitment from me about how i would make that decision in advance. sen. harris: what have ask you is, is it not correct that that is the process, that ultimately he would be you -- and you alone -- that would make the decision about whether you would be recused? you have already opined on the constitutionality of the afforded -- affordable care act. that satisfies the president's promise. senate republicans rushed this process so that you could rule on this very case. the reasonable question about willimpartiality
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undoubtedly hang over this court's ultimate decision in the affordable care act. if you refuse to recuse yourself. i strongly believe that. routinelyurt justices consider the consequences of their decisions on people's lives. earlier this year the supreme court ruled against president trump in his effort to repeal daca protections. children who have arrived in the united states -- many before they could talk. chief justice roberts wrote the opinion for a majority that included the crucial vote -- ruth bader ginsburg. the court rejected the trump administrations attempt to end protections for dreamers. chief justice roberts says the administration had not taken into consideration the fact that any dreamers rely on those protections when they started their careers and businesses.
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when they served in the military of the united states. when they bought homes and when they started families. you whetherno ask it is appropriate for a supreme court justice to consider real-world impact. but you are a sitting judge now. in deciding whether to uphold government actions do you consider the consequences of your ruling on people's lives? judge barrett: senator harris, that is already the decision of every case. sen. harris: and so you do? judge barrett: every case has consequences on people's lives. of course i do, in every case. that is part of the process. sen. harris: would you do that if you are actually voted onto the united states supreme court? judge barrett: senator,
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considering how the resolution of a dispute will affect parties , will affect people, it is part of the decision-making process and i will continue engaging in that process. sen. harris: if the affordable care act is struck down more than 100 million americans with pre-existing conditions would pay more for insurance or be denied coverage entirely. than 20 million americans could lose their coverage entirely, including nearly 3 million black americans and over 5 million latino americans who receive access to health insurance because of the affordable care act. insurers will once again be able to discriminate against more than 50% of african-americans -- african-americans and more than 40% of latinos with pre-existing conditions. insurers will be able to deny than oneto more quarter of native americans with conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
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the midst of a pandemic that is not going away anytime soon. a pandemic, that when age is taken into account, is three times as deadly for black, latino, pacific islander, and native americans. a pandemic that has killed approximately one in 1000 black americans. one in 1200 native americans, and one in 1500 latino americans. judge barrett, would you consider the 135 million people who gained protections under the affordable care act when deciding a case that challenges that law? judge barrett: senator harris, if i were to be confirmed and conclude that i was able to sit on the case, pursuant to the recusal statute, and then if i heard the case and decided the case, i would consider all the protections that congress put in place.
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earlier during this hearing, the question would be figuring out whether congress, assuming that the mandate is unconstitutional now, whether that, consistent with your intent -- this is congress' law -- would permit this act to stand or whether the flawed portion of it could be excised out. that is a question not of what judges want, it is not a question of the supreme court, it is a question of what congress wanted in the statute. that is the statute that you enacted and extended this health care coverage to millions of americans. sen. harris: what weight we get -- would 135 million americans you give the fact that with pre-existing conditions are depending on the protections of the affordable care act? what weight would you give that? judge barrett: as i mentioned to senator hirono, story decisive stakes interests into account.
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decisis is about taking interest into account. as i said before, it's about keeping stability in the law. the law often takes into account reliance interests. i can't give you the commitment you are asking for me of how i would structure my decision-making process. ask you to: i would consider if you are confirmed on the court. the incredible benefit of the affordable care act. the destruction of its protections will have a devastating impact on millions -- hundreds of millions -- of americans. judge barrett testified yesterday that justice ruth bader ginsburg opened the door for many women in law. i certainly believe and know that to be true as a personal matter. she was a trailblazer for women's equality and gender
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equity. as a civil rights lawyer and as the second woman ever to sit on the united states supreme court, justice ginsburg broke many barriers for women across the country. we, i believe, all fondly remember her as a person who had patience. to had the vision and well make our country a more equal place, and a more just place. one of the things she fought for controlman's right to her own body and to make decisions about her body and health care and reproductive choices. the constitution of the united states protects a woman's right to choose whether or when to become a parent. it protects a woman's right to choose abortion. women of color, immigrant women, women with low income, and women in rural areas face significant barriers when attempting to
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access both control, cancer screenings, and comprehensive reproductive health care. moreover, anti-choice activists and politicians have been working for decades to pass laws and file lawsuits designed to overturn roe and the precedent s that followed. the threat to choice is real. last year, the court heard a it an opportunity to revisit and overturn its abortion precedent in a case called jim medical services. the supreme court struck down a medically unnecessary restriction that would have closed all but one abortion clinic in louisiana. chief justice roberts agreed with the court's four liberal members that the court was bound by its own precedent to strike down the louisiana law because it was virtually identical to a texas law that the court ruled
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unconstitutional in 2016. as a result, women in the state were able to receive the full range of reproductive care. chief justice roberts wrote his own separate opinion in the case to make clear that in the future he could not be counted on to uphold a woman's right to choose. justice ginsburg provided the critical fifth vote to strike down the unconstitutional abortion restriction. we must be honest about the impact of her passing and the impact it will have on the court's decision in cases regarding women's access to reproductive health care. now, my republican colleagues have said there is a minimal chance that the supreme court will overturn roe. but back in january, 39
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republican senators, including 10 members of this very committee, signed their names to a supreme court brief that asked "take up the issue of whether roe should be reconsidered and if appropriate, overruled." so let's not make any mistake about it. allowing president trump to determine who fills the seat of ruth bader ginsburg, a champion for women's rights and a critical vote in so many decisions that sustained the right to choose, poses a threat to safe and legal abortion in our country. after all, president trump said that overturning roe v. wade will, "happen automatically, in my opinion, because i am putting pro-life justices on the court." judge barrett, several times today you have quoted justice ginsburg's testimony about not
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making predictions in future cases. however, she was far more forthcoming at her confirmation hearing about the essential rights of women. in 1993, justice ginsburg's confirmation hearing shows that she testified that, "the decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman's .ife to her well-being a decision she and dignity. it is a decision she must make for herself. she is -- if the government controls that decision, she is being treated less than a fully adult human is possible for her own choices. " judge ginsburg went on to say, "it is essential for women's equality with man that she be the decision-maker. that her choice the controlling.
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if you impose restraint that impede her choice, he were disadvantaging her because of her sex." now, justice ginsburg did not tell the committee how she would vote in any particular case but she did freely discuss how she viewed a woman's right to choose. your recordrrett, clearly shows you hold a different view. in 2006, you signed your name to an advertisement published in the south bend tribune. it describes roe v. wade as an exercise of raw judicial power and called for putting an end to the barbaric legacy of roe v. wade. you signed a similar ad in 2013 that describes roe as infamous and expressed opposition to abortion. also in 2013, you wrote an article about supreme court
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precedent in which you excluded roe from a list of well cited cases that you said, no justice would overrule even if she disagreed. suggesting, of course, that you believe roe is susceptible to being overturned. roethe 40th anniversary of you delivered a speech in which you said that the court's recognition of the right to choose was, "created through judicial fiat." rather than grounded in the constitution. during your tenure on the seventh circuit court of appeals, you have been willing to reconsider abortion restrictions that other republican-appointed judges found unconstitutional. as the senate considers filling the seat of justice ruth bader ginsburg, who was straightforward enough in her confirmation hearings to say that the right to choose is inequalityto women's
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," i would suggest that we not pretend that we don't know how this nominee views a woman's right to choose to make around health or decisions. i ask unanimous consent that the following three documents be entered into the record. the letter opposing judge barrett's nomination from the naacp. a statement opposing her nomination from the planned parenthood federation of america and planned parenthood action fund. and, a report opposing judge barrett's nomination from the naacp legal defense and educational fund. sen. graham: without objection. sen. harris: thank you, mr. chairman. sen. graham: are you tired, judge? judge barrett: i'm looking forward to the end of the hearing today, i must admit. >> me too. i'm still going to ask you questions.


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