SCOTUS expert: Trump appointee could upend decades-old legal precedents

Professor Deborah Pearlstein discusses the judicial records of Judge Amy Coney Barrett and Judge Barbara Lagoa, and how a judge chosen by President Donald Trump could reshape America.
5:41 | 09/22/20

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Transcript for SCOTUS expert: Trump appointee could upend decades-old legal precedents
And to further drill down on the judges on president trump short list and how it trump appointment could reshape our laws would bring accord goes a law professor and former Supreme Court clerk. Deborah Perle Stine thanks so much for joining us professor. To be with you so Lister would judge Amy coney Barrett what really know about her judicial record and also her thoughts on hot button issues like abortion Affordable Care Act. And it is voting laws if there's to be a contested election. She. So I don't judge bear it hasn't been on the bench for very long but she has been on the federal mentions 2017. She was fiscally clerk herself when she was the Supreme Court and before she is served as a judge she was an academic so well she hasn't on the bench trigger lock her she trio is pretty rich she publish a lot as an academic. I think there are few things we can probably rely at least and NG certainly conservative Catholic. And and based on her confirmation hearings and other statements seems like quite reliably. The doesn't support sort of a right to abortion necessarily. It's unclear whether she would vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade but she's written directly on the principal story this crisis that is. Can a Supreme Court how bound as the Supreme Court by its own prior decisions and she's positioned American democratic. That if the Supreme Court should feel less downed. Then it has historically by prior decisions all of those. Things or alarm bells for people do a would be worried about Roe vs. Wade upbeat and she describes herself for has been described as an original list and and and somebody you strictly adheres to that text. Both the constitution and statutes. I think isn't pretty reliable concerted she's likely to vote with the conservative bloc on questions like. Statutes like the affordable health care acted and the like. So it's it's harder to say when it comes to statutory interpretation a little bit. But I think conservatives who view her as a very solid vote. Or particularly on social issues they worry most about. And that same question but directed at a judge Barbara would go who spent far less time than judge Tony Barrett on the federal bench what might we expect from her. Absolutely so why is being on the federal bench for less than a year she served on the Florida Supreme Court old fertilizer that year. And an on Florida state courts before a match and ended her career is and she was a federal prosecutor to theirs were much less not only many fewer opinions to look at she's issued. Quite a few years since she's been on that eleventh circuit for less than here. She doesn't have the same sort of record of academic rating that we have for Amy honey bear toe it's much harder to discern. Sort of exactly what her views are now that said I think there are some themes that emerge right she seems to be known as her opinions are consistent. With somebody who is pretty reliably pro business. Most of her cases on the federal bench so army of being criminal law federal sentencing and certainly with her background as a federal prosecutor. One might imagine her views. Remain relatively pro prosecution. As well. I think it's again harder to say based on her judicial opinions how many she would vote. On and not so much economic issues but the social issues like abortion. That and that remained such hot button issues for conservatives and rest of the country. And it's about all of its its stake here the Supreme Court has certainly had. Conservative majorities before but now we could see a six to three split how transformative would that be for the court and the country. Yeah it's a great question in a really complicated when I think. This takes the court. Are pretty high before and really for decades now while it's been quite conservative court hears gang. At least one swing vote so you had circumstances where there could be negotiation between the relatively more conservative justices in a relatively more liberal justices over a single justice is and it had the effect off and certainly with Justice Kennedy now again we see with chief Justice Roberts in powering a single. More moderate view. Ads as answered this decisive factor on the court. Without the need to negotiate with a more solid majority in one direction or another there's a risk that the court will be less cautious. Will overturn more precedence will move more quickly will be less concerned about institutional issues and so that's a set of questions that unto the extent these nominees and whoever's nominee becomes the for the senate. And confirmation process would certainly want to focus on. More broadly for the country. We've been focused on the current court and could last decades about. Powell likely it is that presidents like rovers is weak cases from the 1960s and seventies. Will survive but with a very solid conservative majority yesterday's 63. I'm and justices already on the bench who were known to want to elevate. The rights of corporations and property and reduce the ability in the power of the federal government to engage in regulation through administrative agencies like the environmental. Like the EPA the FDA even read their address to the federal agencies. We. Go to the 1930s. Really start to be called into question in next transformation we haven't seen on the court for a long time. Professor pearl Stein thank you so much for your insight we really greatly appreciate that. You you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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