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Barrett hearings day 2: Barrett faces questions on abortion, Catholic faith, race, and religious freedom

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett was pressed on Tuesday for her position on abortion, marriage, and health care, during her first day of questioning by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Barrett’s Catholic beliefs have been the subject of some scrutiny in the press in recent weeks, but on Monday and again on Tuesday, Democratic senators said that her religion would not be a topic of questions. 

But the nominee did tell senators Tuesday that she could “set aside” Catholic doctrine when making a decision on the bench,

While affirming the importance of her Catholic faith, Barrett said that she could “set aside” Church teaching when ruling on the bench, in order to make judgments based upon her reading of the law. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, had asked her if she could “set aside whatever Catholic beliefs you have regarding any issue before you.”

“I can,” Barrett answered, saying that she has done so while serving as a judge on the Seventh Circuit appeals court and “if confirmed to the Supreme Court, I will do that still.”

Barrett is a Catholic mother of seven who is a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. She formerly taught at the University of Notre Dame law school.

Pressed repeatedly for her views on abortion, marriage, health care, and other issues, Barrett invoked a standard on Tuesday that she credited to Ruth Bader Ginsburg when she had been considered for the Court: “no hints, no previews, no forecasts” of future decisions, as Barrett summarized it.

Read more at Catholic News Agency

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