If there is any former member of the nation’s highest court that pro-life Americans would want a Supreme Court nominee to emulate, it would likely be Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Scalia was one of the minority of judges on the nation’s highest court who is pro-life and supports overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that allowed virtually unlimited abortions.
“You want a right to abortion? There’s nothing in the Constitution about that. But that doesn’t mean you cannot prohibit it,” he said in an interview previously with California Lawyer.
Scalia was a stalwart defender of the Constitution and an originalist who regarded the Constitution as a document that shouldn’t be reinterpreted with different views than originally intended. And that’s the mold Judge Amy Coney Barrett says she emanates from.
Barrett has described herself as a constitutional originalist and did so again during her confirmation hearing today.
“So in English, that means that I interpret the Constitution as a law, that I interpret its text as text, and I understand it to have the meaning that it had at the time people ratified it,” Barrett said. “So that meaning doesn’t change over time and it’s not up to me to update it or infuse my own policy views into it.”
Graham then referenced Scalia, for whom Barrett clerked early in her career, asking how she would react to being called a female version of Scalia.
“I would say that Justice Scalia was obviously a mentor, and as I said when I accepted the president’s nomination, that his philosophy is mine too,” Barrett said. “You know he was a very eloquent defender of originalism, and that was also true of textualism, which is the way that I approach statutes and their interpretation.”
Barrett was careful to say that she may not approach every single legal issue in the exact way Scalia did.
“I want to be careful to say that if I’m confirmed you would not be getting Justice Scalia, you would be getting Justice Barrett,” she said. “And that’s so because originalists don’t always agree, and neither do textualists.”
Amy Coney Barrett says she considers Justice Scalia a mentor, but adds, if she’s confirmed: “You wouldn’t be getting Justice Scalia, you would be getting Justice Barrett.” https://t.co/tQWZEu9GSm pic.twitter.com/rvow69mN6g
— Bloomberg (@business) October 13, 2020
In comments today during her confirmation process, Judge Amy Coney Barrett also confirmed she is committed to the rule of law.
“I’m committed to the rule of law and the rule of the court,” she said. “If I give off-the-cuff answers then I would be basically a legal pundit and I do not think we want judges to be legal pundit. I think we want judges to approach cases thoughtfully and with an open mind.”
Judge Amy Coney Barrett delivered her opening remarks to the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday and she made two major points.
First, she talked about the proper role of the courts, saying they are not supposed to make law and legislate from the bench. She also refused to back down to attacks from Senate Democrats on her faith, saying she strongly believes in prayer and thanked the many Americans who are prayer for her amid those attacks on her Christian faith.
“I believe in the power of prayer and it’s been uplifting that so many people have been praying for me,” Judge Barrett told members of the judicial panel.
“Nothing is more important to me, and I am so proud to have them behind me,” she added.
Before that, Judge Barrett discussed the proper role of the Supreme Court.
“Courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our life,” she explained. “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.”
“When I write an opinion resolving a case, I read every word from the perspective of the losing party. I ask myself how would I view the decision if one of my children was the party I was ruling against,” she went on to say. “Even though I would not like the result, would I understand that the decision was fairly reasoned and grounded in the law? That is the standard I set for myself in every case, and it is the standard I will follow as long as I am a judge on any court.”
The liberal American Bar Association has given President Donald Trump’s latest Supreme Court nominee its highest rating, issuing the rating on the opening day of her Supreme Court confirmation hearings in the Senate.
Last week, a new national poll showed Americans support the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett by double-digit margins.
A new Morning Consult poll shows Americans support Barrett on a 46-31% margin and that 15% margin of support is an increase from the polling firms last national survey in September following her nomination. That poll had Americans backing Barrett 37-34%, a resulting 12% increase from the 3% margin previously.
“Democrats are losing the Supreme Court messaging war, new polling indicates, with support for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation trending in the GOP’s direction,” the polling firm indicated. “Nearly half (46 percent) of voters in an Oct. 2-4 Morning Consult/Politico poll said the Senate should confirm Barrett — up 9 percentage points since President Donald Trump announced her nomination on Sept. 26 — as more voters say the chamber should consider her elevation to the high court as soon as possible, regardless of who wins next month’s election.”
Seventy-seven percent of GOP voters back Barrett’s confirmation, up 6 points from late last month. Among independents, the share who said she should be confirmed increased 8 points, to 36 percent, while the share of Democratic voters who said she should be confirmed increased 10 points, to 24 percent.
Even Democratic voters have softened their opposition to Barrett’s confirmation: The latest survey found 59 percent said the Senate should wait to see who wins the election, compared with 79 percent who said in the wake of Ginsburg’s death that the election winner should pick the next justice.
It’s not as if Barrett’s nomination is flying completely under the radar. Though 1 in 5 voters initially heard “a lot” about it, that share had doubled just a few days later following the first presidential debate.
Barrett, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame and judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, believes life begins at conception and has noted how both pro-life and pro-abortion legal experts have criticized Roe v. Wade as a bad decision. Barrett criticized the ruling for “ignit[ing] a national controversy” through judicial fiat.
Though her judicial rulings on abortion are few, she did rule in support of two Indiana pro-life laws during her time on the Seventh Circuit. She also has made several statements about the value of babies in the womb. According to the Law and Crime blog, Barrett signed a public letter in 2015 that emphasized “the value of human life from conception to natural death.”
Judge Amy Barrett was number one on the Supreme Court wish list for most pro-life voters and she was also the first potential high court nominee to get an in-person meeting with President Donald Trump. That’s not a surprising considering the president previous said he was “saving her” for an appointment to the Supreme Court should Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg retire or pass away.
Barrett, a mother of seven, was a former law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia. Like Scalia, Barrett describes herself as an “originalist” judge.
When it comes to abortion cases, Barrett has been on the pro-life side. She voted in 2016 to allow a hearing on a pro-life law from the state of Indiana that requires abortion centers to offer a proper burial or cremation for babies they kill in abortions. And in 2019, she voted to allow a hearing on another Indiana pro-life law allowing parents to be notified when their teenage daughter is considering an abortion so they can help her make a better decision for her and her baby.