INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WEHT) In an op-ed for the Indy Star, U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind) wrote about Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s upcoming Supreme Court confirmation hearing. He hopes she will be judged fairly for her merits and trusts her ability to uphold the Constitution.
The op-ed can be read in its entirety below:
“The Senate Judiciary Committee begins its Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett this week. My hope is that they will be informative and productive, not unlike those that led to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s bipartisan confirmation in 1993.
Judge Barrett deserves no less.
As a fellow Hoosier, I have had the privilege of getting to know Judge Barrett and her family over the last several years. She is an incredibly sharp legal mind, a woman of great integrity, and a dedicated mother of seven. Anyone who fairly evaluates her superb qualifications and temperament will agree that Judge Amy Coney Barrett is the right person for the job.
She held prestigious clerkships for Judge Laurence Silberman on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court.
She is a respected educator, having taught for nearly two decades at Notre Dame Law School, where she was named Distinguished Professor of the Year three times. In 2017, she was nominated to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit and I was proud to vote for her confirmation.
I was not alone in my esteem for Judge Barrett. During that confirmation process, students and colleagues – former and current – came forward with words of support and praise by the score.
There was no credible criticism of Judge Barrett based on her legal qualifications then, and I do not anticipate any now. She will be guided by the law and precedents, and she will be faithful to the Constitution.
As Judge Barrett herself has said: “A judge is obligated to apply the law as it is and not as she wishes it would be. She is obliged to follow the law even when her personal preferences cut the other way or when she will experience great public criticism for doing so.”
It is important for Americans to understand Judge Barrett’s qualifications for the Supreme Court and her fidelity to the Constitution. But they should also know a bit about her life away from the bench.
When I met her, it was quite obvious that Judge Barrett was less interested in cataloguing her professional accomplishments and more inclined to discuss her family and the accomplishments of her children, whom she clearly loves very much.
Judge Barrett and her husband, Jesse, have been married for over 20 years now. Their family is a large one and a loving one: They are parents to seven children. Their youngest son has special needs, and they have twice adopted, both times from Haiti.
This is why it is absurd to see her described as anti-health care.
As the head of a large household, Judge Barrett knows full well, and better than most of her detractors, how important medical coverage is to every American’s health. This includes coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, which Republicans have consistently committed to protect while working to make health care more affordable and more accessible.
But we must remember, Judge Barrett has not been nominated to the Supreme Court to make policy. President Donald Trump selected her not only because of her sharp mind, and impressive qualifications, but also because she won’t legislate from the bench.
If past is prologue, though, there will be some who focus not on Judge Barrett’s judicial philosophy, but rather her religious beliefs. This will be done not out of any deep conviction, but rather out of desperation.
They will argue that it is impossible to live a life of faith and uphold the law. They may create a caricature of Judge Barrett that has no relation to reality, and one that reflects their own intolerance, not hers.
It is regrettable that in 2020 we must still repeat this refrain: We do not have a religious test for public service in the United States of America.
Yes, Judge Barrett is a faithful Catholic. So too are five current Supreme Court justices. So too are millions of Americans. To argue that this prohibits her from sitting on the Supreme Court is nothing short of religious bigotry.
We must not let this intolerance hold the day during this week’s hearings. The American people are tired of the personal attacks levied against past nominees and would rather the Senate focus on the professional qualifications and judicial temperament of Judge Barrett.
The Senate is constitutionally obligated to provide our advice and our consent to the president on his judicial nominees. We should fulfill that responsibility by holding hearings that are informative rather than destructive.
If the Senate does this, and we objectively consider Judge Barrett’s qualifications, I have no doubt she will be confirmed and subsequently serve with great honor and distinction. Both the high court and our country will be better for it.”
Todd Young is a Republican U.S. senator from Indiana
(This story was originally published on October 11, 2020)
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