Nominated by Trump to Supreme Court to Senators: Courts “should not try” to make policy


U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett will tell senators the courts “shouldn’t try” to make policies, leaving those decisions to the political branches of government, according to opening remarks from her confirmation hearing obtained on Sunday by the Associated Press.Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, which are set to begin Monday as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the country, take place three weeks before election day and after millions of Americans have already voted. President Donald Trump appointed the Federal Court of Appeal judge shortly after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on September 18.

“I was nominated to take the seat of Justice Ginsburg, but no one will ever replace her,” Barrett told the committee, according to her opening speech.

Barrett says she was determined to maintain the same perspective as her mentor, the late Judge Antonin Scalia, who was “devoted to his family, steadfast in his beliefs and unafraid of criticism.”

She speaks at length about her family in the statement and says she will never let the law define her identity or oust the rest of her life. She says a similar principle applies to courts, which “are not designed to solve all problems or right all wrongs in our public life.”

“Political decisions and value judgments of government must be made by elected political branches and accountable to the people,” she said. “The public shouldn’t expect the courts to do this, and the courts shouldn’t try. “

Hearings so close to unprecedented elections

Republicans, who control the Senate, are advancing at breakneck speed to place the 48-year-old judge on the Supreme Court ahead of the Nov. 3 election, in time to hear a high-level challenge to the Affordable Care Act and any election related to the challenges that may follow the vote.

Another reason to move fast: It’s unclear whether election results would make it harder to confirm Barrett before the end of the year if Democrat Joe Biden wins the White House and Democrats win Senate seats.

The hearing takes place less than a month after Ginsburg’s death which gave Trump the chance to replace liberal justice and devote a Conservative majority to the nine-member tribunal. Barrett would be Trump’s third Supreme Court justice.

The country will have an extended look at Barrett for three days, starting with his opening statement late Monday and questioning times Tuesday and Wednesday.

Democrats have so far insisted unsuccessfully on delaying hearings, first due to the proximity of elections and now the threat of coronavirus. No Supreme Court candidate has ever been confirmed so close to a presidential election.


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