After hearing from Senate Republicans and Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett removed her black mask and finally spoke at her confirmation hearing, telling lawmakers her judicial philosophy was shaped heavily by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
The Washington Examiner reports,
Barrett, 48, is on track to be confirmed by Election Day, dismaying Democrats who fear that a justice who will rule similarly to the conservative Scalia will skew the court to the far-right for decades to come.
Barrett, in her opening statement, outlined her resume, which included clerking for Scalia, whose “colorful” opinions she had thoroughly studied.
“More than the style of his writing, though, it was the content of Justice Scalia’s reasoning that shaped me,” Barrett told the Judiciary Committee. “His judicial philosophy was straightforward. A judge must apply the law as written, not as the judge wishes it were. Sometimes, that approach meant reaching results that he did not like. But as he put it in one of his best known opinions, that is what it means to say we have a government of laws, not of men.”
It’s the second time since her nomination that Barrett signaled her alignment with Scalia. During the Rose Garden ceremony in which President Trump announced her nomination, Barrett again echoed Scalia, telling the audience on the White House grounds, “His judicial philosophy is mine.”
Barrett’s comments confirm the worst fears of Democrats: That the court will now include another conservative unlikely to serve as a swing vote in the same manner Chief Justice John Roberts has on critical cases such as Obamacare, which he voted mostly to uphold in a 2012 decision.
Democrats made the case Monday that Barrett will vote to strike down Obamacare when the case reaches the Supreme Court on Nov. 12.
Barrett, in her opening statement, which was initially released on Sunday, said she does not plan to make policy from the bench and plans to interpret the Constitution and laws “as they are written,” saying that the high court must remain independent.
“When I write an opinion resolving a case,” Barrett wrote, “I read every word from the perspective of the losing party. I ask myself how I would view the decision if one of my children was the party I was ruling against.”
Democrats have mostly steered clear of questioning Barrett’s dedication to her Catholic faith after backlash over her initial confirmation to the federal appeals court in 2017.
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