UofM law professor weighs in on Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearings

UofM law professor weighs in on Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearings

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Rhodes College alumna Amy Coney Barrett is facing tough questions from senators on both sides of the aisle as she goes through her confirmation hearings forw the U.S. Supreme Court.

Professor Steve Mulroy, who teaches Constitutional Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, gave some insight into how Barrett answered questions.

Mulroy says Barrett is holding her composure and doing an “artful” job of dodging questions.

By doing so, Mulroy believes senators will have to base their decisions on her past writings.

Mulroy says it is extremely common for nominees to do this.

“One reason is, they don’t want to give the opposition any ammunition to use in the debate to sink their confirmation. Another loftier reason is that judges are not supposed to say in advance how they would rule in a given case because they don’t want to undermine confidence in the fairness of the judiciary. They should reserve judgment and then take each case as it comes based on the facts of the law,” said Mulroy.

He acknowledges the canons of judicial ethics forbid a judge from speaking in advance on how they will rule on a specific case, but it doesn’t prevent them from speaking generally about their views.

That said, Mulroy says Barrett could have made a general comment when asked whether a president can delay an election.

Mulroy says her choosing not to is not surprising based on the way these hearings go.

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