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Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that she doesn't have a judicial "agenda" on abortion — and declined to answer if she believes that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and can be overturned.

Why it matters: Barrett, whose confirmation would tilt the balance of the Supreme Court to a 6-3 conservative majority, is under pressure by Senate Democrats to outline how she would rule on health care, elections and abortion cases. In 2006, Barrett signed an open letter calling Roe v. Wade "barbaric" and "an exercise of raw judicial power."

What she's saying: "I completely understand why you're asking the question, but, again, I can't pre-commit or say, 'Yes, I'm going in with some agenda,' because I'm not. ... I have an agenda to stick to the rule of law and decide cases as they come."

The big picture: Barrett's confirmation process began in the Senate on Monday and is on track to take less than a month.

  • Her opening statement noted that "policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the People" — not the judicial branch.
  • "Courts have a vital responsibility to enforce the rule of law, which is critical to a free society. But courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life," Barrett said at Monday's hearing.

Go deeper: How Amy Coney Barrett would change the way the Supreme Court works

Go deeper

Democrats fret about Garland for attorney general

Judge Merrick Garland. Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

If Joe Biden picks Merrick Garland to be his attorney general, he could cost his party control of one of the most important judicial appointments in America — and many Democrats do not want the president-elect to take that chance.

How it works: Biden still hasn't named his choice to lead the Justice Department, and if he taps Garland, it would open up his seat on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. If Democrats don’t win both Georgia Senate runoff seats next month, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would almost surely prevent the president-elect from filling it.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook's scandals have been great for shareholders

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios

Facebook has been embroiled in scandal for the past five years, and while the specific allegations change over time, a central theme is constant. Given the choice between commercial and moral imperatives, Facebook always seems to choose the option that is best for the share price.

Why it matters: Facebook's stock chart supports that narrative. Since the 2016 scandals alleging that the social network was infiltrated by foreign actors trying to influence the outcome of democratic elections, Facebook's revenues — and its stock — have been soaring.

Biden to tap telecom trio for NTIA, FCC posts

Jessica Rosenworcel. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

President Joe Biden on Tuesday is expected to name Alan Davidson as head of the telecom arm of the Commerce Department, Jessica Rosenworcel as chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission and Gigi Sohn as a commissioner at the FCC, according to a person familiar with the process.

Why it matters: Internet availability and affordability has been a key policy priority for the White House, but the administration lagged in tapping people for the agency posts that oversee the issues.