Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett will tell senators that courts “should not try” to make policy, leaving those decisions to the political branches of government, according to opening remarks for her confirmation hearing obtained Sunday by The Associated Press.
The Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, set to begin Monday, are taking place three weeks before Election Day.
“I have been nominated to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat, but no one will ever take her place,” Barrett wrote, according to her opening remarks.
Barrett wrote that she has resolved to maintain the same perspective as her mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who was “devoted to his family, resolute in his beliefs, and fearless of criticism.”
She wrote extensively of her family in the statement and maintained that she will never let the law define her identity or crowd out the rest of her life. She wrote that a similar principle applies to the courts, which are “not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life.”
“The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the People,” she wrote. “The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try.”
NEW — Amy Coney Barrett’s opening statement. Notable line: “The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the People. The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try.” pic.twitter.com/Uvuqlgn4km
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) October 11, 2020
As could be expected, the position drew mixed reviews.
Exactly correct. SC nominations have become a political food fight because congress lacks the will and or votes to pass legislation on sensitive divisive issues such as abortion. Distorting the 1789 constitution to find a “right” to abortion is ludicrous, pass a law on abortion
— lulucenter (@lulucenter1) October 11, 2020
Lately a significant amount of the government’s policy decisions and value judgments have ended up in court. Is she serious?
— Tom (@TomBaltes) October 11, 2020
They all say that.
— Dan Sahr (@DanielRSahr) October 11, 2020
Barrett’s statement noted that “courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life.”
Republicans who control the Senate are moving to put the 48-year-old judge on the Supreme Court before the Nov. 3 election, in time to hear a high-profile challenge to the Affordable Care Act and any election-related challenges that may follow the voting.
The hearing is taking place less than a month after the death of Ginsburg gave Trump the chance to replace the liberal justice and entrench a conservative majority on the nine-member court. Barrett would be Trump’s third Supreme Court justice.
The country will get an extended look at Barrett over three days, beginning with her opening statement late Monday and hours of questioning Tuesday and Wednesday.
Democrats have pressed in vain so far to delay the hearings, first because of the proximity to the election and then because of the coronavirus.
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