Analysis | The GOP’s Josh Hawley problem on Amy Coney Barrett and Roe v. Wade

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FEINSTEIN: Do you agree with Justice Scalia’s view that Roe was wrongly decided?

BARRETT: So Senator, I do want to be forthright and answer every question so far as I can. I think on that question, I’m going to invoke Justice [Elena] Kagan’s description, which I think is perfectly put. When she was in her confirmation hearing, she said that she was not going to grade precedent or give it a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down, and I think in an area where precedent continues to be pressed and litigated, as is true of Casey, it would be particularly — it would actually be wrong and a violation of the canons for me to do that as a sitting judge.

So if I express a view on a precedent one way or another, whether I say I love it or I hate it, it signals to litigants that I might tilt one way or another in a pending case.

FEINSTEIN: So on something that is really a major cause with major effects on over half of the population of this country, who are women, after all, it’s — it’s distressing not to get a straight answer. So let me try again — do you agree with Justice Scalia’s view that Roe was wrongly decided?

BARRETT: Senator, I completely understand why you are asking the question but again, I can’t pre-commit or say, “Yes, I’m going in with some agenda,” because I’m not. I don’t have any agenda. I have no agenda to try to overrule Casey. I have an agenda to stick to the rule of law and decide cases as they come.

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