Written By: Clare Kelly
On Saturday, Sept. 26, President Donald Trump officially announced Amy Coney Barrett as his nomination to the Supreme Court. This marks President Trump’s third nomination, subsequently to Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh. In Trump’s remarks to the people, he acknowledges Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as “a true American Legend” and “ a legal giant and a pioneer for women,” according to the briefing statement released by White House staff. When Trump introduced Amy Coney Barrett, he described her as “a woman of unparallel achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials, and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution.” Barrett graduated from Rhodes College and the University of Notre Dame Law School, where, on a full scholarship, she “served as the Executive Editor of the Law Review, graduated first in her class, and received the law school’s award for the best record of scholarship an achievement.” Judge Barrett’s experience includes serving as a clerk for Judge Laurence Silberman, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, serving as a clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court and teaching at the University of Notre Dame Law School. According to the briefing statement delivered by President Trump, “the entire Notre Dame Law facility and faculty…wrote letters of support of Amy’s nomination to the Seventh Circuit,” in which “[t]hey wrote, in effect: “Despite our differences,…we unanimously agree that Amy is such a person…devoted to the fair and impartial administration of the rule of law.” As President Trump details, Barrett, if confirmed, will make history as the “first mother of school-ages children ever to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.”
The subsequent briefing, released on Monday, Sept. 27, detailed a list of senators, representatives and organizations expressing their approval for the nomination. “Regardless of what you or I may think of the circumstances of this nomination, Barrett is highly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court,” remarked Professor Noah Feldman, a Law Professor from Harvard University.
While many conservatives expressed their approval, Democrats call for the seat to remain open until the election decides the presidency, as the Wall Street Journal details in their article, “Trump’s Nomination of Barrett Heighten Partisan Conflict as Election Nears.” As the nomination gains speed, according to Politico, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats plan to block Senate Republicans from confirming the nomination of Barrett before the election. Last week, Schumer “invoked the rarely used ‘two-hour rule,’ which can be used to halt all committee business after the Senate has been in session for more than two hours”
According to NPR’s article, “Senate Judiciary Panel To Start Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing on Oct. 12,” the confirmation hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee will last four days with “opening statements, questions, and testimony from outside witnesses.” Barrett plans to meet with the Judiciary Committee beforehand, while some Democratic Senators plan not to meet and to simply question her during the hearing.
The news around the nomination of Judge Barrett continues to heighten and creates tension as the 2020 election date looms closer.