Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court Hearing Concludes, Mitch McConnell Says “We Have the Votes”

National   Steven Ertelt   Oct 15, 2020   |   3:31PM    Washington, DC

After four days of hearings, the Senate Judiciary Committee has concluded its evaluation of Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who is possibly the most pro-life nominee to ever come before the panel.

Democrats started the day desperately trying to derail the nomination. Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee defeated a motion by Democrats attempting to block a vote on Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination.

The the panel heard from witnesses, including members of the American Bar Association, who explained that they found Judge Barrett to be well-qualified — their highest rating — for the Supreme Court.

Now the committee will stand in recess until next Thursday, October 22nd, giving members a week to evaluate written documents and review the hearings before the committee votes on her confirmation that day. But the formality is little more than that — as no Democrats on the panel are expected to join the committee’s Republicans to vote for her nomination.

SIGN THE PETITION: Vote to Confirm Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett

After the committee approves her nomination, which is likely to pass in a 12-10 party-line vote, the full Senate will consider her and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans have the votes to confirm her on the Senate floor. He said the chamber will bring up her nomination on October 23, with debate starting that day and a vote expected to take place the week of October 26th.

Judge Barrett might perhaps be the most pro-life Supreme Court nominee to ever be considered for a spot on the nation’s highest court. Most nominees never produce the kind of pro-life and the kind of involvement in the pro-life movement that Barrett brings to the table.

She signed a letter in 2006 that described abortion as “barbaric” and called for an end to Roe v. Wade. She also was a member of the Notre Dame University Faculty for Life Group from 2010 to 2016, and she received an award from the Thomas More Society, a pro-life Catholic legal group, in 2018.

Barrett also added her name to a 2012 letter that criticized the Obama administration for trying to force religious groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor to pay for contraception, including types that may cause abortions, in their employee health plans.

And she has made several statements about the value of babies in the womb. Barrett signed a public letter in 2015 that emphasized “the value of human life from conception to natural death.” She also said she believes that life begins at conception.

Judge Barrett’s pro-life views and her originalist approach to evaluating law and the Constitution have earned her double-digit support from the American people.

A new Morning Consult poll shows Americans support Barrett on a 48-31% margin and that 17% margin of support is an increase from the polling firm’s last national survey last week showing a 15% margin in her favor.

During her confirmation hearings, Judge Amy Coney Barrett indicated that the infamous Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which ushered in an era of virtually unlimited abortions claiming 62 million lives, is not a “super-precedent” that can’t be overturned.

During a discussion with Senator Lindsey Graham, Judge Barrett acknowledged that Roe “is not super precedent” and referred to an article that has been brought up during her confirmation hearings about how there are only a handful of Supreme Court decisions that are considered so sacrosanct they will never be reversed.

Graham followed on the article and explained that one of the reasons a Supreme Court decision is not super precedent is because there continues to be contention about the issue. He explained that abortion is still contentious and that Congress and state legislatures continue passing laws to protect unborn babies from abortion.

Previously, Judge Barrett said Roe is not in same category as the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling, which declared segregated public schools unconstitutional because there is still a massive debate about whether Roe is legitimate.

Barrett says no one talks about overturning the Brown decision but explained that significant disagreement over it “indicates Roe doesn’t fall in that category.” She says it’s “not a case that’s universally accepted.”

“Well people use super precedent differently. The way that it’s used in the scholarship and the way that I was using it in the article the that you’re reading from was to define cases that are so well settled that no political actors and no people seriously push for their overruling and I’m answering a lot of questions about Roe, which I think indicates that Roe doesn’t fall in that category,” Barrett said.

“Scholars across the spectrum say that doesn’t mean Roe should be overruled, but descriptively, it does mean it’s not a case that everyone has accepted and doesn’t call for its overruling,” she continued.

“But that does not mean that Roe should be overturned,” Barrett told Senator Amy Klobuchar. “It just means that it doesn’t fall on the small handful of cases like Marbury v. Madison and Brown v. [The Board of Education] that no one questions anymore.”

In comments 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.