Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that she's not "hostile" toward the Affordable Care Act or any statute passed by Congress, defending a past writing in which she criticized Chief Justice John Roberts' opinion upholding the law.
Why it matters: Democrats' central message throughout the confirmation fight has been that Barrett was nominated in order to help President Trump and conservatives dismantle the ACA when the Supreme Court hears a lawsuit against it on Nov. 10.
- Roughly 20 million Americans rely on Obamacare coverage, and millions more have pre-existing conditions that would render them unable to buy insurance without ACA protections.
- Barrett insisted that she has never spoken to the White House about how she would rule on a potential case.
What she's saying: "I think that your concern is that because I critiqued the statutory reasoning, that I'm hostile to the ACA, and that because I'm hostile to the ACA, that I would decide a case a particular way — and I assure you that I'm not," Barrett told Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).
- "I'm not hostile to the ACA. I'm not hostile to any statute that you pass," she added.
- Barrett doubled down on her stance that she does not want her role on the court to be about policymaking, stating, "I apply the law. I follow the law. You make the policy."
The big picture: Barrett's confirmation process began in the Senate on Monday and is on track to take less than a month. She's under intense scrutiny from Senate Democrats to outline how she would rule on abortion, health care and elections, but has repeatedly declined to voice her opinion on potential future cases.