The Sept. 18th death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg opens up a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. This turn of events shortly before the presidential election brings to front and center once again how important the issue of judge selection for our courts is and how much an election matters to determine the future of our nation.
Some are saying the nomination and confirmation process for a new Supreme Court justice should wait until after the election as was done in 2016 when a vacancy opened up due to Justice Antonin Scalia’s death that year. But as Senator Grassley has explained so well, 2016 was a year when the presidency and the Senate were held by opposite parties (Obama as a Democrat and the Republicans held the Senate). This year 2020 is different. The presidency and the Senate are held by the same party, the Republicans. So the nomination and confirmation processes should move forward.
President Trump has named an outstanding nominee in Judge Amy Coney Barrett, saying she is “a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials, and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution.” Her own words say it all: “I love the United States and the United States Constitution. I am truly humbled by the prospect of serving on the Supreme Court.” I hope she is confirmed.
Judge Barrett is known to be a conservative jurist, a strict constructionist, an originalist, who adheres to the Constitution and the law when issuing rulings and avoids judicial activism, that is, legislating from the bench. We need more of that on the Supreme Court!
Judge Amy Barrett was a professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School and fairly recently was vetted and confirmed as a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017. Her record since that time demonstrates a clear and consistent conservative approach. She has also clerked for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, also a conservative jurist.
As a wife and a mother currently raising seven children, she brings a healthy dose of reality to her perspective on the law. Two of her children she and her husband adopted from Haiti. Their youngest has Down’s syndrome, a condition about which they learned during pregnancy but chose to continue the pregnancy.
Some on the left are saying Judge Barrett should be disqualified because of her strong Catholic faith and beliefs and because of her pro-life stance. Interesting that they never felt Ruth Bader Ginsburg should be disqualified because of her Jewish faith and her strong women’s rights activism. This type of religious bigotry should have no place in the vetting of a Supreme Court nominee.
Iowa’s two senators, Sen. Grassley and Sen. Ernst, have spoken highly of Judge Barrett’s nomination, expressing hope that the ugly, disrespectful, and unfair behavior displayed by the left will not be repeated this time. The next few weeks should prove interesting.