What Amy Coney Barrett Has Said About ACA

Democrat lawmakers have suggested President Donald Trump picking the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's successor could mark the end of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), placing focus upon the stance of his nominee towards this legislation.

Amy Coney Barrett, a judge for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals based in Chicago, is touted as a potential selection by Trump—though bookmakers have placed her behind Barbara Lagoa in terms of being the favorite.

With a legal challenge to the ACA to be heard in November, Trump's pick, which he is set to announce Saturday, could be decisive—potentially leaning the court in favor of striking it down.

Barrett has previously been critical of elements within the ACA, also known as Obamacare, while she has also questioned aspects of a decision which saw it upheld against a court challenge in 2012.

She signed a petition arguing against the ACA insisting employers provide access to birth control in insurance plans.

The petition argued this infringed "religious freedom," and said: "The simple fact is that the Obama administration is compelling religious people and institutions who are employers to purchase a health insurance contract that provides abortion-inducing drugs,
contraception, and sterilization. This is a grave violation of religious freedom and cannot stand."

Barrett also wrote a journal article, published in 2017, which argued against a 2012 Supreme Court ruling which supported Congress' authority in regards to enforcing certain ACA provisions. This ruling, which was passed by a 5 to 4 vote, upheld the ability to require most Americans get health insurance or face a tax penalty for not doing so.

She argued the decision was made based upon this being treated as a tax, which she said it should not have been.

Of this decision she wrote: "Chief Justice Roberts pushed the Affordable Care Act
beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute. He construed the penalty imposed on those without health insurance as a tax, which permitted him to sustain the statute as a valid exercise of the taxing power; had he treated the payment as the statute did—as a penalty—he would have had to invalidate the statute as lying beyond Congress's commerce power."

She went on to state she "vehemently objects to the idea that a commitment to judicial restraint—understood as deference to democratic majorities—can justify a judicial refusal to interpret the law as written."

Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment and reached out to Barrett through Notre Dame Law School, where she works as a professor of law, in regards to her stance on the ACA.

As well as Barrett's position on the ACA likely to be scrutinized, her thoughts on Roe v. Wade —a landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that established women's constitutional right to choose to have an abortion—and her position regarding judicial precedent have also been focused upon as people anticipate Trump's nomination.

 Affordable Care Act obamacare
Drugs are portioned out at the Clay-Battelle Community Health Center's pharmacy in Blacksville, West Virginia on March 21, 2017. Questions are being raised over the views on the Affordable Care Act from her potential successors. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/Getty