Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearings to begin Oct. 12

Daily News Article   —   Posted on October 8, 2020

(Compiled from The Wall Street Journal with WKOW27) – President Trump formally nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on September 26, kicking off what is expected to be a rapid confirmation process aimed at installing another conservative-leaning judge just weeks before Election Day.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled nomination hearings for Judge Barrett to begin Monday, October 12th at 9 a.m. ET and continue through Thursday, October 15th. (Watch the hearings next week at

This comes as two Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee (Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina) have tested positive for COVID-19, which has led to calls from Democrats to delay the proceedings.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said confirmation hearings will proceed as scheduled for October 12.

“Judge Barrett’s hearings will begin one week from today. Chairman Graham has all the tools to conduct a hybrid hearing, just like the 150 others the Senate has held this year,” McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Twitter Monday evening.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is scheduled to begin the hearings on his panel on Monday — a timeline that would allow a full Senate vote before the Nov. 3 election.

Judge Barrett, 48 years old, is a member of the Chicago-based Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and a former law clerk for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. [She was] seen as a likely choice given her conservative credentials, strong support among Republican senators and the president’s desire to nominate a woman to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

“Today it is my honor to nominate one of our nation’s most brilliant and gifted legal minds to the Supreme Court,” Mr. Trump said in the Rose Garden, with Judge Barrett at his side. “She is a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution.”

Mr. Trump also said that if confirmed, Judge Barrett, who appeared with her husband and seven children, would be the first mother of school-age children to serve on the court. To her children he said, “thank you for sharing your incredible mom with our country.”

“This should be a straightforward and prompt confirmation,” Mr. Trump said. He asked Democrats to provide Judge Barrett with “the respectful and dignified hearing that she deserves.”

Senate Republicans, who hold a narrow majority, are preparing a fast-paced schedule to confirm the new justice by Nov. 3, a move many GOP lawmakers say is crucial in the case of delayed or disputed election results.

Judge Barrett said she was “truly humbled by the prospect of serving on the Supreme Court,” adding that “should I be confirmed I will be mindful of who came before me.”

Justice Ginsburg, Judge Barrett said, “not only broke glass ceilings, she smashed them.” She also spoke of the friendship between Justice Ginsburg and Justice Scalia, whom Judge Barrett described as a mentor, adding that she shared Justice Scalia’s philosophy that “a judge must apply the law as written” and that “judges are not policy makers.”

When Judge Barrett had her first confirmation hearing in 2017 to serve on the Chicago-based federal appeals court, she stressed that a judge’s personal views should remain separate from his or her professional life.

“It’s never appropriate for a judge to impose that judge’s personal convictions, whether they derive from faith or anywhere else, on the law,” she told lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Compiled from two Wall Stree Journal reports with WKOW ABC27. Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission.



On the Role of Judges:
Judges are like umpires in baseball or referees in football or basketball. Their role is to see that the rules of court procedures are followed by both sides. Like the ump, they call ‘em as they see ‘em, according to the facts and law-without regard to which side is popular (no home field advantage), without regard to who is “favored,” without regard for what the spectators want, and without regard to whether the judge agrees with the law. (from the American Bar Asociation)

“The role of a judge is to be a neutral interpreter of already established law, not legislator of new law or social policy.  A judge can have his or her own opinions, even strong ones, and still read the law neutrally.  Fundamentally, judges are expected to not bring their personal politics and philosophies to the bench. Judges are expected to read the law in its clear intent and apply it without regard to result. Changing the law should be left to the people and their legislators.”  Sean Rushton, Committee for Justice Executive Director, from the WashingtonPost .com.

“One of the big confusions in the…Senate fight over the confirmation of judicial nominees is that this is an issue about ‘liberal’ judges versus ‘conservative’ judges.  The vastly more important issue is whether people who go into court should expect their cases to be decided on the basis of the law [textualist/constitutionalist/constructionist] or on the basis of the particular judge’s own philosophy [activist judges] …Liberals have rooted for judicial activism because this activism has favored liberal causes and liberal views on such issues as abortion, the death penalty, gay marriage, and racial quotas.  But activism can be used by any judge for any purpose.” Thomas Sowell, Hoover Institution

NOTE: …It is crucial…to have a president who understands the judiciary’s proper role. As Ronald Reagan once noted, “[The Founders] knew that the courts, like the Constitution itself, must not be liberal or conservative.” For Reagan and for the Founders, judges were to be selected based on their ability to put political preferences aside and interpret the Constitution and laws based on their original meaning.  Rather than scrutinizing judicial nominees based on their perceived political leanings, [every] president should appoint judges who apply the law regardless of their own policy preferences. (from “Misunderstanding the Role of Judges” by Deborah O’Malley)