Politics

President Trump Nominates Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court

Written by Michael Palomba

On Saturday, President Trump officially announced his Supreme Court nominee to fill the vacancy left by the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He selected highly regarded Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace Justice Ginsburg.

“Today it is my honor to nominate one of our nation’s most brilliant and gifted legal minds to the Supreme Court,” Trump said in the Rose Garden alongside Barrett. “She is a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution — Judge Amy Coney Barrett,” said Trump. 

Barrett is Trump’s third appointment to the nations highest court, and—if confirmed by the Senate—would replace one of the Court’s most prominent liberals. Barrett’s confirmation would mark a major shift in the Supreme Court, giving conservatives a clear majority for the first time in decades.

File:Amy Coney Barrett.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

This isn’t President Trump’s first time considering Barrett for the Supreme Court, however. She was among the front runners to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy in 2018. The president ended up selecting now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh for that vacancy.

Upon receiving her nomination, Barrett said, “This is a momentous decision for a president and if the Senate does me the honor of confirming me, I pledge to discharge the responsibilities of this job to the very best of my ability.”

“I love the United States and I love the United States Constitution,” she added. “I am truly humbled by the prospect of serving on the Supreme Court.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praised Barrett in a statement, saying that Trump “could not have made a better decision.”

“Judge Amy Coney Barrett is an exceptionally impressive jurist and an exceedingly well-qualified nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States,” McConnell added.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham also praised Barrett, describing her as “highly qualified in all the areas that matter – character, integrity, intellect, and judicial disposition.”

The announcement came about a week after the death of Justice Ginsburg, whom Trump praised as a “legal giant and a pioneer for women.”

Senator McConnell has indicated that Barrett will receive a vote on the Senate floor, despite fierce opposition from Democrat leaders. Democrat leadership has threatened all kinds of extreme measures like re-impeaching President Trump to stop the confirmation hearings and packing the Court if they win the presidency and Senate majority this November. Republicans are following hundreds of years of Senate precedent in their decision to confirm Amy Coney Barrett, but Democrats refuse to accept the position they are in and they are willing to shred the Constitution to prevent her confirmation.

“Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish was that she not be replaced until a new president is installed” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “Republicans are poised to not only ignore her wishes, but to replace her with someone who could tear down everything that she built. This reprehensible power grab is a cynical attack on the legitimacy of the Court.”

Schumer knows that it is the president’s constitutional duty to appoint new justices when there is a judicial vacancy—and Justice Ginsberg was aware of that as well. A “dying wish” has no constitutional standing or relevance, and there’s no reason to pretend otherwise. 

In 2016, regarding the appointment of Merrick Garland by President Obama, Ginsberg said that “there’s nothing in the Constitution that says the president stops being the president in his last year.”

Senator Graham has released the prospective schedule for Barrett’s confirmation process. The introduction will likely begin on October 12 and be followed with two days of questioning and a review of the committee’s recommendation would begin on October 15. 

“We’ll report her nomination out of the committee on October 22,” Senator Graham said. “Then it will be up to McConnell as to what to do with the nomination.”

All said and done, Amy Coney Barrett could be confirmed by the Senate before the end of October.

 

Photo by Wally Gobetz via Flickr