President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Saturday — 38 days ahead of the U.S. election — to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The nomination brushes aside what was reportedly Ginsburg’s dying wish: that her replacement not be confirmed until the next president is in office.
Barrett, 48, of South Bend, Indiana, is a Trump appointee to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and onetime clerk to the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Barrett said Saturday that Ginsburg “not only broke glass ceilings — she smashed them.”
The Supreme Court nominee clearly identified herself with her former boss Scalia, who died in 2016 and was a consistently conservative vote in his nearly 30 years on the court, as opposed to Ginsburg's liberal leanings.
“His judicial philosophy is mine too: a judge must apply the law as written,” Barrett said in a Rose Garden press conference.
For Barrett, a mother of seven, Trump said family "is a core part of who she is."
Barrett will “decide cases based on the text of the Constitution as written," he said.
A Conservative High Court Nominee: Barrett is widely viewed as a conservative jurist whose appointment to the Supreme Court could swing key decisions on ideologically divisive matters such as health care, gun laws and the Roe v. Wade abortion decision.
Her nomination also comes at the same time that concern is increasing over the specter of the November contest between Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden going to court. Lawsuits are flying over a high volume of absentee ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2000’s Bush V. Gore, the court settled a Florida recount dispute in favor of Republican George W. Bush.
Senate Fight Over Barrett Ahead: Her nomination now goes to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said a vote will be held.
"President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate," McConnell said in a statement issued the day Ginsburg died.
When former President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace Scalia in March 2016, McConnell blocked it, arguing that it was too close to the election in November of that year.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement Saturday that he opposes Barrett’s appointment and that it would result in the Affordable Care Act being struck down.
"Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish was that she not be replaced until a new president is installed. Republicans are poised to not only ignore her wishes, but to replace her with someone who could tear down everything that she built," the New York senator said.
When Trump paid respects at Ginsburg’s coffin on the Supreme Court steps Thursday, he and First Lady Melania Trump were met with boos and a chant of “vote him out!” the New York Times reported.
On Saturday, Trump referenced the 2018 nomination hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which were roiled by testimony from Christine Blasey Ford that the judge sexually assaulted her in the early 1980s.
“I’m sure it’ll be extremely noncontroversial,” Trump said of Barrett’s nomination. “We said that the last time, didn’t we?”
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