Watchdog Groups Say Amy Coney Barrett Hid Controversial Records, Demand Notre Dame Release All Documents

A second anti-abortion advertisement uncovered Friday evening has prompted several nonpartisan and progressive government accountability groups to demand the University of Notre Dame release all of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett's records.

Multiple watchdog groups are questioning why much of Barrett's record, particularly her ties to anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ groups, were not released as part of the judicial record up-front. Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, whose GOP chairman supports approving Barrett by Election Day, sent a letter to the Department of Justice Sunday asking why there was a convenient "omission" of materials about Barrett's ties to a bankrupt hospital system and her ardent pro-life stances at Notre Dame.

A second previously undisclosed ad from 2013 came to light Friday which revealed Barrett signed an anti-abortion ad marking the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973. Barrett has made several past remarks and writings against women's right to have an abortion, which was the target of the 2013 ad sponsored by the Notre Dame Fund to Protect.

"We renew our call for the unborn to be protected in law," reads the ad signed by Barrett and dozens of faculty and staff at the Catholic university in Indiana.

Barrett's affiliation with the group was omitted from initial paperwork, which progressive groups say is evidence of more hidden records. Her senate confirmation hearings begin Monday, although a necessary majority of Republicans in the senate have already offered their tacit approval of her confirmation.

The nonpartisan government watchdog group Accountable.US, which last year merged three progressive nonprofits groups into one outfit, said Barrett deliberately hid her controversial records. Several progressive groups noted Barrett listed her name on an "anti-choice ad" that labeled the Roe v. Wade decision "barbaric."

"There has never been a Supreme Court nominee about whom we knew so little and yet the Senate is ramming through a confirmation hearing," said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. "The public has a right to know what Amy Coney Barrett is hiding before she is considered for a lifetime appointment to the high court," "Confirmation hearings should be postponed until we can examine all of Coney Barrett's professional history."

"These new revelations outline Coney Barrett's omissions from her Senate Judiciary disclosure forms about earlier work with a group hostile to LGBTQ rights, her work as one of the lead attorneys defending a steel magnate accused of helping drive a hospital system into bankruptcy, and her failure to disclose two talks to anti-abortion groups," reads the Accountable.US statement released Saturday.

In a statement to NBC News on Sunday, White House spokesman Judd Deere dismissed the urgent plea for more information on Barrett prior to her likely confirmation. Deere said Barrett has been "extraordinarily transparent throughout this process."

Newsweek reached out to Notre Dame faculty for additional remarks Sunday afternoon.

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Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's nominee for the US Supreme Court, looks on as she meets with senators on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on October, 1, 2020. GRAEME JENNINGS - Pool/Getty Images
Watchdog Groups Say Amy Coney Barrett Hid Controversial Records, Demand Notre Dame Release All Documents | Politics