Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans appear to be working as “one unit” during the second day of Judge Amy Coney Barrett‘s Supreme Court confirmation hearing, former House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said Tuesday.
Gowdy, now a Fox News contributor, cited as an example the questioning of Barrett by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., which touched on Barrett’s religious faith, her family and some of her past judicial decisions.
“I’m sure Josh wanted to do something else with his time, but the group as a whole said, ‘You need to give her a chance to explain the following things,'” Gowdy said. “I think they are working as one unit, which as a Republican is incredibly rare and I am happy to see it.”
Gowdy added that Democrats have been similarly disciplined in their questioning, which has largely focused on trying to pin Barrett down on health policy.
“The Democrats are focusing on health care and suddenly wanting to scare people that she is going to claw back rights and the Republicans are remarkably well-disciplined, much more disciplined than the House Judiciary Committee ever was,” he said.
Discussing the 2012 National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius case, in which the Supreme Court upheld most of the Affordable Care Act, Gowdy recalled that “four of the justices felt the way the Obama Administration was arguing it was unconstitutional, all nine disagreed with their Commerce Clause analysis.
“It wasn’t just a conservative bloc, all nine thought that it should not stand,” he added.
“There are 1,000 ways to protect pre-existing conditions and provide access to health care. I think what Judge Barrett is saying is find a way that passes constitutional muster. There were 1,000 ways to do it but is not the Supreme Court’s job to find one of those ways.”