STATEMENT: Amy Coney Barrett’s Climate Denial Is Disqualifying

Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, during the second day of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for her Supreme Court nomination, Amy Coney Barrett denied the science behind climate change using the go-to line for climate deniers, “I’m not a scientist.”

As Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) asked her thoughts  on climate change, Barrett struggled to answer, saying: “I’ve read about climate change;”  “I’m certainly not a scientist;” and “I would not say that I have firm views on it.”

In response, Climate Power 2020 Executive Director Lori Lodes released the following statement on why Barrett’s answers are unacceptable and calling for no Supreme Court confirmation until after a president is inaugurated in January 2021.

“It is disqualifying for a Supreme Court nominee in 2020 to refuse to acknowledge that climate change is real. Amy Coney Barret may not be a scientist, but the science is not up for debate,” said Lodes. “The Supreme Court regularly has the last word on clean air, clean water, and climate, and we cannot afford another Justice who rejects science when interpreting our laws. The stakes of this Supreme Court nomination and the election couldn’t be any higher as far too many Americans — often disproportionately Black, Brown, and Indigenous individuals — are already living with and dying from the climate crisis. More than 12 million Americans have already voted. Let the people decide and then let the next administration fill the vacancy.”

There are a number of critical cases before the courts that could decide the future of our climate and the health of the people living in the United States. With so much on the line, a 6-3 conservative majority would throw out climate action and discard clean air and clean water protections to protect polluters and corporate special interests.

During this administration, the courts have served as the strongest check on Trump’s executive power, blocking many of the most egregious, unlawful, and extreme rollbacks put forward by the administration to gut health, safety, and climate protections. The administration’s attempts to roll back environmental and health safeguards have been defeated or abandoned 69 out of 83 times after the cases were taken to the courts.