Amy Coney Barrett tells Senate panel she signed ad decrying Roe v. Wade as ‘infamous’
Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, submitted a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday showing she had previously signed on to an ad that referred to the Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion as “infamous” and called “for the unborn to be protected in law.”
The ad, sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s Faculty for Life and Fund to Protect Human Life, was published in 2013, according to Bloomberg. Barrett, who has served as a law professor at Notre Dame since 2002, joined more than a hundred other university members in signing the ad criticizing the 1973 abortion ruling.
“In the 40 years since the Supreme Court’s infamous Roe v. Wade decision, over 55 million unborn children have been killed by abortions,” the ad started.
It continued, “We faculty and staff at the University of Notre Dame reaffirm our full support of our university’s commitment to the right to life, we renew our call for the unborn to be protected in law and welcomed in life, and we voice our love and support for the mothers who bear them.”
The new filing comes as Democrats have called into question Barrett’s position on Roe v. Wade ahead of her confirmation hearing next week, with conservatives hoping a bolstered conservative majority on the court will revisit the decision legalizing abortion.
The filing follows a letter earlier this week from Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee to Assistant Attorney General Beth Williams asking for answers over the absence of a separate 2006 ad in the South Bend Tribune that Barrett signed in support of a statement opposing “abortion on demand” and supporting the “right to life.”
The panel’s 10 Democrats, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), argued that the omission of the 2006 ad in materials given to the committee “raises concerns that the process of collecting materials responsive to the [committee], like the nomination process itself, has been rushed, for no legitimate reason.”
In a statement following Barrett’s letter to the Senate panel on Friday, aides to the Judiciary Committee emphasized that it is standard practice for nominees to provide updates for their nomination questionnaires.
Friday’s letter also discloses a lecture and a seminar Barrett gave in 2013 in her capacity as a Notre Dame law professor following a report by CNN about the talks earlier in the day.
According to the network, the seminar was co-sponsored by the school’s Right to Life club and constitutional studies minor, and the lecture was held by the law school’s Jus Vitae club, which has a mission “to promote, uphold, and defend the sanctity of all human life from the moment of conception to the point of natural death,” as stated on Notre Dame’s website.
Trump officially announced Barrett’s nomination at a White House ceremony two weeks ago, with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Monday officially scheduling the panel to start its days-long hearing for Barrett on Oct. 12.
The announcement came as two top Republican members of the committee tested positive for the coronavirus after attending Barrett’s nomination ceremony, with another two members self-isolating.
Trump and Senate Republicans are pushing to confirm Barrett to the Supreme Court before Nov. 3, despite protests from Democrats that the winner of the election should put forward the next court pick.
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