Day three of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett could well have been labeled Independence Day, as the nominee sought to remind Democratic senators that she will decide the law based on her judgment and no one else’s.

 

During the hearing, Democratic Sen. Christopher Coons of Delaware sought to determine how much of a carbon copy Barrett would be of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, and asked whether she would agree with Scalia’s dissent in a 1996 case that ended the male-only admissions policy at Virginia Military Institute.

“Well Senator Coons, to be clear, as I said, I think in response to this question yesterday, I do share Justice Scalia’s approach to text, originalism and textualism, but in the litany of cases that you’ve just identified, the particular votes that he cast are [a] different question of whether I would agree with the way that he applied those principles in particular cases,” Barrett replied.

“And I’ve already said, and I hope that you aren’t suggesting that I don’t have my own mind or that I couldn’t think independently or that I would just decide like, ‘Let me see what Justice Scalia has said about this in the past.’

“Because I assure you, I have my own mind,” she said.

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