Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
(CNSNews.com) – Judge Amy Coney Barrett does not hate puppies, the Senate Judiciary Committee and America learned on Wednesday. The disclosure came as Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) asked the Supreme Court nominee a series of questions evidently designed to poke fun at Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who had just confronted Barrett on her positions on a range of issues from racial discrimination to climate change.
Barrett is also not a racist, believes in science, and does not hate chinchillas.
Harris had used her time to try to elicit position statements from the judge on various issues, including climate change, unhappy with Barrett’s earlier responses to questions on the subject.
“If a case that comes before you would require you to consider scientific evidence, my question is, will you defer to scientists and those with expertise in the relevant issues before rendering a judgment?” Harris asked.
“If a case comes before me involving environmental regulation, I will certainly apply all applicable law deferring when the law requires me to,” Barrett replied, noting that the Administrative Procedure Act requires courts to defer to federal agencies’ fact-finding and regulations when supported by substantial evidence.
“So yes,” she continued, “I would apply that law and defer when the law requires me to defer.”
Harris then asked Barrett if she accepts that COVID-19 is infectious.
Barrett said she did, calling it “an obvious fact.”
“Do you accept that smoking causes cancer?” was Harris’ next question.
“I’m not sure exactly where you’re going with this,” Barrett said, then after some crosstalk continued, “Senator Harris yes, every package of cigarettes warns that smoking causes cancer.”
“And you believe climate change is happening and it’s threatening the air we breathe and the water we drink?”
Barrett said Harris had asked a series of questions that were “completely uncontroversial” before tacking on one trying to elicit an opinion from her on “a very contentious matter of public debate and I will not do that. I will not express view on matter of public policy, especially one that is politically controversial.”
Harris said, “you’ve made your point that you believe it’s a debatable point.”
After the Democratic vice presidential nominee wrapped up her time – with a statement on why the proceedings should not be happening at this time – Kennedy was next to question the nominee.
“Judge, let’s try to answer some of Senator Harris’ accusations,” he began.
“Are you a racist?”
“I am not a racist, Senator Kennedy.”
Asked whether she supported corporations over “working people” in all cases – alluding to another issue raised by Harris – Barrett said she does not, and “I think if you look at my record, you will see cases in which I’ve decided for plaintiffs, not corporations.”
“Are you against clean air, bright water, and environmental justice?”
“I am not against any of those things,” Barrett replied. “Those are policies that the Congress has pursued in many statutes, and I think we all reap the benefits of when those statutes work.”
Kennedy asked Barrett whether she supports science, children and prosperity, and said she did in each case.
“Do you hate little warm puppies?” Kennedy asked.
“I do not hate little warm puppies,” Barrett answered with a laugh.
Then she added, “I think that my daughter Juliet, who’s ten, would want me to put in a plug right now to say I do not hate chinchillas. Because we don’t have a puppy in the Barrett house, but we do have a very fluffy chinchilla. And so I don’t hate chinchillas either.”
“Duly noted,” said Kennedy.