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Amy Coney Barrett Takes Veiled Swipe at Ketanji Jackson

'[R]ead like it actually is an honest effort and persuasive effort, even if one you ultimately don’t agree with, to determine what the Constitution and precedent requires...'

(Headline USA) Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett said Monday that judges are not deciding cases to impose a “policy result,” but are making their best effort to determine what the law and the Constitution require.

In a visit to California’s Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, she urged Americans to “read the opinion” and consider the court’s reasoning before making judgments about the outcome.

“Does [the decision] read like something that was purely results driven and designed to impose the policy preferences of the majority, or does this read like it actually is an honest effort and persuasive effort, even if one you ultimately don’t agree with, to determine what the Constitution and precedent requires?” Barrett asked during the wide-ranging, 45-minute interview at the hilltop library in Simi Valley, northwest of Los Angeles.

While the remark may simply be an expression of her longstanding judicial philosphy, some might also construe it as a swipe at presumptive incoming Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, whose history of Amy Coney Barrett / IMAGE: Reagan Foundation via YouTube came under fire during recent confirmation hearings.

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Despite Jackson’s alarming track record of legislating from the bench to shoehorn cases into her desired outcome, three RINO senators—Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska—have indicated they intend to help Democrats vote her onto the court.

Notwithstanding the apparent dig at her future colleague, however, Barrett also offered some sage advice.

“I think one of the difficult things that I experienced that I wasn’t really fully prepared for, was the shift into being a public figure,” she said. “Also, security is much different now. … We all have security details, and that’s different.”

Barrett was nominated by then-President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy after the death of liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was confirmed without Democratic support in late—October 2020—just days before the election—by a deeply divided Senate, 52-48.

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Collins, who faced a contentious re-election that Nov. 3, voted with Democrats to oppose Barrett’s confirmation.

In a nation splintered by partisanship and wracked by incivility, Barrett appeared to acknowledge that expected court decisions on abortion and gun control would be seen through a political lens and lead to division.

Barrett also spoke dubiously of introducing cameras to the high court, defended free speech rights and admitted she is a lousy basketball shot.

While she said she was not expressing an opinion on cameras in the courtroom, she added “people don’t behave the same when they know that there’s a camera there.”

Americans should judge the court—or any federal court—by its reasoning, she said. “Is its reasoning that of a political or legislative body, or is its reasoning judicial?” she asked.

The program was briefly interrupted by a heckler. Barrett said afterward, “As a mother of seven, I am used to distractions and sometimes even outbursts,” which elicited a round of applause from the capacity crowd.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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