President Donald Trump on Saturday announced his intent to nominate federal appellate court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late liberal icon Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court. The conservative Barrett will be Trump’s third nominee to the nation’s highest court, and if confirmed by the Senate, would swing the ideological balance of the court to the right.
“Today, it is my honor to nominate one of our nation’s most brilliant and gifted legal minds to the Supreme Court,” Trump said of the former Notre Dame law professor. “She is a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution.”
The president also injected politics into his introduction of Barrett, emphasizing her support for issues that are integral components of his 2020 re-election campaign.
“The stakes for our country are incredibly high. Rulings that the Supreme Court will issue in the coming years will decide the survival of our Second Amendment, our religious ability, our public safety, and so much more,” Trump said.
“We must preserve our priceless heritage of a nation of laws, and there is no one better to do that than Amy Coney Barrett.”
Upon taking the podium, Barrett said she was “deeply honored” to accept the nomination, adding that she hoped to become a justice in the mold of her former boss and mentor Justice Antonin Scalia.
“I was lucky enough to clerk for Justice Scalia. And given his incalculable influence on my life, I am very moved to have members of the Scalia family here today, including his dear wife, Maureen,” she said. “I clerked for Justice Scalia more than 20 years ago, but the lessons I learned still resonate. His judicial philosophy is mine, too. A judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policymakers, and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they might hold.”
She also honored Justice Ginsburg, saying the flag was flying at half-staff to mark “the end of a great American life.”
“Justice Ginsburg began her career at a time when women were not welcome in the legal profession. But she not only broke glass ceilings, she smashed them,” Barrett said. “For that, she has won the admiration of women across the country, and indeed, all over the world. She was a woman of enormous talent and consequence, and her life of public service serves as an example to us all.”
Barrett largely spoke of Ginsburg as Scalia’s friend — despite the stark differences in jurisprudence between the two justices.
While two Republican Senators – Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins – have said they would not vote to confirm a new Justice with a presidential election just weeks away, Barrett’s confirmation is widely expected to be confirmed in upper chamber of the legislature.
[image via YouTube/C-SPAN screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]