A video of Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein grilling the frontrunner to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the US Supreme Court, has resurfaced after president Donald Trump vowed to replace the late justice.
Following Ms Ginsburg’s death on Friday evening, Mr Trump said he would fill her now vacant seat on the Supreme Court “without delay,” despite the presidential election taking place in just a few weeks' time.
A place on the court is a lifetime position and if a justice is appointed by Mr Trump, it would likely give the court a Conservative super majority that could stand for decades.
Mr Trump said on Sunday that he has an “obligation” to appoint a replacement for Ms Ginsburg, and US Circuit Court judge Amy Coney Barrett is rumoured to be the frontrunner for the position.
The 48-year-old devout catholic was considered by the president to replace retired justice Anthony M Kennedy in 2018, when Brett Kavanaugh was chosen instead. At the time, Mr Trump said he was saving the former law professor for Ms Ginsburg’s seat.
A 2017 clip from Ms Barrett’s nomination hearing for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, where Ms Feinstein raised concerns over her devout catholic beliefs, has resurfaced on social media following Ms Ginsburg’s death and the rumours about her nomination.
At the hearing, Ms Feinstein told the 48-year-old: “I think in your case, professor, when you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the Dogma lives loudly within you.
“And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have thought for, for years in this country.”
In response to the California senator’s remarks, Ms Barrett claimed that she would be able to keep her professional and religious beliefs separate, according to the Indianapolis Star.
She added that she would “follow all Supreme Court precedent without fail” and would “never impose my own personal convictions upon the law.”
During her confirmation hearing, she also claimed that she would regard Roe vs Wade, which ruled the US constitution protects a woman’s choice to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction, as a binding precedent.
However, despite this claim, she has previously argued that US judges should not be forced to uphold the Roe vs Wade ruling, according to The Washington Post.
In her position on the Circuit Court of Appeals, Ms Barrett also called for the re-hearing of a case that denied vice president Mike Pence’s abortion law, which would have prevented abortions if the fetus was disabled.
Additionally, in 2012, the mother to seven children told a class at the University of Notre Dame that it is always good to remember that a “legal career is but a means to an end…and that end is building the Kingdom of God.”
The decision on the timeline of the justice nomination is causing controversy, with many Democratic officials arguing that it should wait until after the results of 3 November’s election are confirmed.
On Friday evening, Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, said that the nomination should wait until after the election, following his tribute to Ms Ginsburg.
He said: “There is no doubt, let me be clear, that the voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider.”
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