Judiciary Committee Democrats Write to DOJ on ‘Omissions’ from Barrett’s Questionnaire

October 12, 2020 Updated: October 12, 2020

Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats penned a letter to the Justice Department on Oct. 11 pointing to purported omissions from the questionnaire responses submitted by Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Barrett disclosed giving two talks about abortion in 2013 on the questionnaire submitted to the committee earlier this month, but she did not disclose the same talks in the questionnaire she submitted in 2017 when she was being confirmed to a circuit court position, the letter (pdf) states.

“It is troubling the Judge Barrett supplemented her [questionnaire] to include these talks only after they were identified in the press,” the letter, addressed to Assistant Attorney General Beth Williams, states.

The letter also points to Barrett’s disclosure of an advertisement she signed as a member of Notre Dame University’s Faculty for Life. The Democrats say Barrett signed, but has not disclosed, a similar advertisement she signed in 2006 as a member of the St. Joseph County Right to Life Organization.

“Nominees are only required to disclose materials they ‘wrote or edited,’ and Judge Barrett neither wrote nor edited this ad,” Senior White House Communications Adviser Ben Williamson wrote on Twitter.

The Democrats asked Barrett to hand over the 2006 ad to the committee and to supplement her questionnaire with responsive materials from her membership in Notre Dame’s Faculty for Life.

The senators pointed to press reports that claim Barrett failed to disclose working as one of two lead attorneys who defended a Pittsburgh steel magnate who was accused of allegedly orchestrating the bankruptcy of a Pennsylvania hospital system.

The case—Tenet Health System Philadelphia, Inc. v. Abdelhak—was the “largest non-profit healthcare bankruptcy in the country at the time,” the letter states, but Barrett did not disclose it in response to a question asking to list the 10 most significant litigations Barrett personally handled. Barrett only listed three cases in the response to the question and did not include Tenet v. Abdelhak.

“These new omissions raise more questions about the reliability of Judge Barrett’s [questionnaire] and her candor before the committee,” the letter states. “These new omissions also raise serious concerns about Judge Barrett’s rushed confirmation process and the hasty process of collecting materials responsive to the [questionnaire].”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

The Democrats sent a similar letter last week suggesting that Barrett failed to disclose a 2006 open letter “that opposed women’s reproductive freedoms and explicitly called for overturning Roe v. Wade,” a landmark case in which the Supreme Court largely prohibited state-level limits on abortion.

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