Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a consummately qualified jurist who has proven on and off the bench that she has the decency, the intellectual rigor, and the fundamental respect for our country and its Constitution to serve honorably on the Supreme Court.
Though Democrats are sure to continue their misguided campaign to paint Judge Barrett as an extremist, it’s clear when reviewing her record as a jurist and teacher the only thing extreme about her commitment to moral character and generosity.
When Barrett was elevated to the appellate court by President Trump in 2017, every one of her fellow full-time faculty members at Notre Dame Law School supported her appointment. Though they came from a wide spectrum of political beliefs and approaches to jurisprudence, her colleagues made clear in their letter that they are in total agreement that Barrett is the “model of a fair, impartial, and sympathetic judge.”
Barrett has shown through her nearly one hundred written opinions on the appellate court that she is a strong Constitutional originalist who will not cut the American people out of their own government by treating the Supreme Court as a third chamber of Congress.
As a teacher, Barrett is known among her students as a thoughtful, tireless educator who encourages a variety of opinions among her students and frequently draws long lines to her office hours, both to discuss the course and to seek her advice as a mentor.
In her personal life, Barrett has shown an uncommon generosity by adopting a boy and girl from Haiti following the 2010 earthquake while already raising four children, including a son with Down syndrome.
But at Barrett’s 2017 confirmation hearings, Democrats on the Judiciary Committee seemed to have her mistaken for someone else.
Foreshadowing Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., silly attack on the Catholic philanthropic group the Knights of Columbus a year later, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., asked Judge Barrett ominously if she was an “orthodox Catholic.” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., followed up with her now-famous concern that “the dogma lives loudly within” Judge Barrett.
The message was clear: anyone who disagrees with the modern liberal orthodoxy regarding abortion and activist jurisprudence must be animated by an extreme religious cult.
“From beginning to end, in every case, my obligation as a judge would be to apply the rule of law,” Barrett responded to Durbin, echoing sentiments she has been abundantly clear on throughout her public life.
As Barrett unambiguously concluded in a 1998 essay that will surely be cherry-picked for misleading quotes in her Supreme Court confirmation hearings, “judges cannot — nor should they try to — align our legal system with the Church’s moral teaching whenever the two diverge.”
The fact that Democrats do not share the same reservations about whether Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, a Catholic, could do the job of president makes it clear that their anti-religious rhetoric is a clumsy last-ditch attempt to keep jurists who will respect the limits of the Constitution off the bench.
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I agree that faith should be the key word in Judge Barrett’s confirmation hearings, but I believe the relevant question of faith is if she will faithfully interpret the Constitution. Her record unmistakably indicates that she will.
Judge Barrett’s sterling record as a Constitutional originalist demonstrates that she will be a phenomenal Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and I believe her reputation as an educator and a model for decency and citizenship will make Americans proud to have her on the highest court for many years to come.
I fully support Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination and will vote to confirm her without hesitation.