Speed Reads

Barrett Confirmation

Barrett refuses to answer Klobuchar's 'hypothetical' question on voter intimidation

Judge Amy Coney Barrett returned to a familiar argument Tuesday during her Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sen. Amy Klobucher (D-Minn.), citing a situation in her home state that involved an outside contractor hiring "poll watchers" to patrol voting locations, asked her if voter intimidation was illegal.

"I can't characterize the facts in a hypothetical situation, and I can't apply the law to a hypothetical set of facts," Barrett responded. "I can only decide cases as they come to me, litigated by parties on full record after fully engaging precedent, talking to colleagues, writing an opinion. And so I can't answer questions like that."

Klobuchar then read aloud a law "that has been on the books for decades" which bans threatening, coercing, or attempting to intimidate at the voting booth, but Barrett still said it wasn't "appropriate" to answer whether a "reasonable person" would be intimidated by armed civilians at the polls. Tim O'Donnell