LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Sunday expressed concerns that the public may increasingly view the court as a partisan institution.
Judges need to be “hyper vigilant to ensure that they don’t let personal biases creep into their decisions, because judges are people too,” Barrett said at a conference hosted by the McConnell Center of the University of Louisville.
Introduced by Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, who founded the center and played a key role in upholding it in the final days of the Trump administration, Barrett has spoken at length about his desire for others to see the Supreme Court as non-partisan.
Barrett said the media reporting of opinions does not reflect the deliberative process in making those decisions. And she insisted that “judicial philosophies are not the same as political parties”.
“Saying the court’s reasoning is wrong is different from saying the court is acting in a partisan fashion,” said Barrett, whose confirmation of the seat left open by the death of liberal judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg cemented the court’s conservative control. . “I think we have to assess what the tribunal is doing on its own terms. “
Barrett’s comments followed a high-profile decision earlier this month in which the court refused by 5-4 to intervene to prevent a Texas law banning most abortions from coming into force, sparking outrage from abortion rights groups and President Joe Biden.
Barrett was asked about this decision by students who submitted questions in advance and also asked about another recent court decision in which he refused to block a lower court decision ordering the Biden administration to reinstate a Trump-era program known informally as Stay in Mexico. . Barrett said it would be “inappropriate” to comment on specific cases.
Several supporters of the right to abortion demonstrated in front of the Hotel Seelbach, where the private event was being held.
Barrett, 49, also spoke about his introduction to court amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying “it’s definitely a different experience.” The court has been hearing pleadings over the phone for more than a year, although it recently announced a return to the courtroom in October.
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