Seventh Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee in her confirmation hearings to the United States Supreme Court. Proceedings are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. EST each day from Monday, October 12 to Thursday, October 15.
By replacing the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Barrett would solidify the conservative majority by 6 to 3. The GOP has a 53 to 47 majority in the chamber, and would have the votes to confirm the nominee despite two Republicans–Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, and Maine’s Susan Collins—saying they would not vote to confirm a new Justice so close to the upcoming presidential election. That timing did not stop President Donald Trump from moving ahead with the nomination.
Democrats and critics of the administration have bitterly remarked on how the GOP-led Senate sandbagged then-President Barack Obama, even though he had almost a full year left in office when late conservative justice Antonin Scalia passed away in February 2016. Trump took advantage of that long-term opening by tapping Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch for the seat.
NEW — Amy Coney Barrett’s opening statement. Notable line: “The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the People. The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try.” pic.twitter.com/Uvuqlgn4km
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) October 11, 2020
In opening statements released Sunday, Barrett described Scalia as a big influence on her as a judge.
“His judicial philosophy was straightforward: A judge must apply the law as written, not as the judge wishes it were,” she wrote. “Sometimes that approach meant reaching results that he did not like. But as he put it in one of his best known opinions, that is what it means to say we have a government of laws, not of men.”
Still, Democrats will likely scrutinize her to some degree regarding her attitudes on abortion after it was after it was reported she omitted from a Senate questionnaire her involvement in signing an anti-abortion ad.
Jerry Lambe contributed to this report.
[Image via Demetrius Freeman – Pool/Getty Images]
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