President Trump Selects Judge Amy Coney Barrett for US Supreme Court
Photo Courtesy: The New York Times
By: Megan Talley
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Just one week after the passing of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Trump chooses Amy Coney Barrett to fill her seat on the Supreme Court of the United States. This would be the President’s third Supreme Court appointment since his inauguration in 2017, if confirmed by the Senate.
President Trump calls the nomination "a very proud moment indeed," and calls Barrett a judge "of towering intellect" and with "unweilding loyalty to the Constitution." He even describes her as having "one of our nation's most brilliant and gifted legal minds."
Barrett, in accepting the nomination at the White House Rose Garden, first commended her potential predecessor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as a woman that "not only broke glass ceilings, but shattered them." She then continued to thank her family, even comparing it to the nine member court in preparing her for this appointment, and her former mentor, the late Antonin Scalia. Afterwards, she spoke directly to the American people, saying she "assures you [she'll] meet the challenge with both humility and courage."
Barrett has been one of the most talked about candidates for the Supreme Court, even making the shortlist for President Trump’s last appointment in 2018, where he instead chose Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Since the passing of Ginsburg, Barrett has been the notable front-runner for the job, along with Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Lagoa.
Originally from Louisiana, Barrett comes with experience in both education and in the federal court system. She served first as a law clerk in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit from 1997 to 1998, then for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia from 1998 to 1999. After leaving to practice law at a D.C. firm for a few years, she went to teaching at the George Washington School of Law, and most notably for her alma mater, Notre Dame. Then in 2017, President Trump appointed her as United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Judge Barrett describes herself as a “public-meaning originalist,” a view similar to that of the late Scalia. According to the Associated Press, Barrett has “several telling dissents in which Barrett displayed her clear and consistent conservative bent."
The picking of Barrett comes just 38 days before the 2020 Election, causing much discussion and arguments in Congress on whether the current President should be choosing now, or whether they should wait until after the people take to the polls on November 3rd. This comes after the Senate blocked President Obama’s pick, Merrick Garland, over 200 days before the 2016 Election to replace the late Antonin Scalia. On average, it takes about 70 days to confirm a justice, according to the Congressional Research Service.
US Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R), notably said in 2016, “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.” But hours after Ginsburg’s passing, he said, “We pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda. Once again, we will keep our promise.”
Confirmation hearings are said to be starting very soon, according to Senate Republicans and the President.