| The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman refutes opponents’ fears that U.S. Supreme Court justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett would be a vote in waiting to make abortion illegal.
While conservative and a devout Catholic, Barrett has shown as a federal appeals court judge that she respects legal precedent established in rulings by the nation’s highest court, Portman said.
“Look at way she has ruled. She has respected precedent, whether its the ACA (Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare) or Roe v. Wade or anything else. That is a significant issue to be reminded of,” Portman said.
“If you are not imposing your own views, policy views or personal views, then you are going to do very little damage to existing law” under the U.S. Constitution, Portman said Tuesday in a call with Ohio reporters.
Prior to her appointment to the federal appeals court, Barrett said she did not envision the core of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling — holding women have a right to an abortion — to change, but that restrictions imposed by states could be proper.
Portman, who will meet Barrett soon before Senate confirmation hearings begin, sees the former University of Notre Dame law professor nominated by Republican President Donald Trump as an “originalist” who doesn’t legislate from the bench.
“I’m looking forward to considering her nomination. She is really impressive,” Portman said of the nominee who would give Republican-appointed justices 6-3 dominance of the Supreme Court.
Portman took issue with New York Times reporting that revealed Trump paid only $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017 and paid no taxes at all in 10 of the 15 prior years. Saying he is under IRS audit, Trump has declined to release his tax forms.
“One thing I thought was interesting, would anyone want their tax returns leaked to the public?” he asked. “I know a lot of people are cheering from the left.”
Portman repeated, though, that he continues to support politicians disclosing their assets and income so the voters can assess the numbers. “When it comes to the presidency, I think transparency is appropriate,” he added.
Asked if he paid more than $750 in federal income taxes last year — when his disclosure form showed his family income totaled about $2 million — Portman replied, “I paid my fair share of taxes, that’s for sure.”