Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) contrasted Barrett’s view on climate change with the nominee’s views on coronavirus and smoking during a line of questioning today, the third day Amy Coney Barrett has been grilled by the Senate.
“Do you accept that COVID-19 is infectious?” asked Harris, who is running for vice president.
“Yes, I do accept COVID-19 is infectious…it’s an obvious fact,” said Barrett.
“Do you accept that smoking causes cancer?”
“I’m not sure exactly where you’re going with this,” Barrett told Harris, but added, “Yes, every package of cigarettes warns that smoking causes cancer.”
“And do you believe that climate change is happening and is threatening the air we breathe and the water we drink?” Harris replied.
“You have asked me a series of questions that are completely uncontroversial…and then trying to analogize that to elicit 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,” Barrett said.
“Thank you, Judge Barrett,” Harris said. “You’ve made your point clear that you believe it’s a debatable point.”
The climate comments follow a similar statement by Barrett from Tuesday in which she said she doesn’t have “firm views” on climate change.
Earlier Wednesday, Barrett also said she didn’t want to “opine” on what causes climate change and said her beliefs wouldn’t be relevant to a position on the court.
“I don’t think that my views on global warming or climate change are relevant to the job I would do as a judge nor do I feel like I have views that are informed enough, and I haven’t studied scientific data. I’m not really in a position to offer any kind of informed opinion,” she said.
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