Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit set the record straight Tuesday with regard to questions of character and judicial partiality, telling Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar that she does not “attack people, just ideas.”
The remark came during the second day of Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing held before the Senate Judiciary Committee, when Klobuchar accused the judge of having previously criticized Chief Justice John Roberts for his majority decision in the 2012 case that saw the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate upheld as constitutional.
“Did you say that? That [Roberts] pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute?” Klobuchar asked.
“One thing I want to clarify is you said that I criticized Chief Justice Roberts,” Barrett responded. “And I don’t attack people, just ideas.”
“OK,” Klobuchar replied.
“That was just designed to make a comment about his reasoning in that case — which, as I’ve said before, is consistent with the way the majority opinion characterized it as the less plausible reading of the statute,” Barrett added.