The following is an unedited excerpt from yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing questioning Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee. The subject is whether Judge Barrett believes in climate change.
Kamala Harris: Do you accept that COVID-19 is infectious?
Amy Coney Barrett: Uhh, I think, yes, I do accept that COVID-19 is infectious, that is something of which I feel we could say we take judicial notice of, it's an obvious fact, yes.
Kamala Harris: Do you accept that smoking causes cancer?
Amy Coney Barrett: I'm not sure exactly where you're going with this, but you know, the notice…(garbled)
Kamala Harris: Just a question of whether you can answer if you believe…you know…
Amy Coney Barrett: Senator Harris, yes, every package of cigarettes warns that smoking causes cancer.
Kamala Harris: And do you believe that climate change is happening and it's threatening the air we breathe and the water we drink.
Amy Coney Barrett: Uhh, Senator, again I was wondering where you were going with that. You have asked me a series of questions like that are completely uncontroversial, like whether COVID-19 is infectious, whether smoking causes cancer, and then trying to analogize that, soliciting an opinion on me that is a very contentious matter, an opinion from me that is on a very contentious matter of public debate. And I will not do that, I will not express a view on a matter of public policy especially one that is politically controversial because that's inconsistent with the judicial role, as I have explained.
Kamala Harris: Thank you, Judge Barrett. You've made your point that you believe this is a debatable point.