Senate confirms controversial Trump nominee to appeals court

Senate confirms controversial Trump nominee to appeals court
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The Senate confirmed a Notre Dame law professor to a Chicago-based federal appeals court Tuesday despite widespread criticism from advocacy groups.

Democratic Sens. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyHatch warns Senate 'in crisis' in farewell speech Dem senators Heitkamp, Donnelly urge bipartisanship in farewell speeches Schumer gets ready to go on the offensive MORE (Ind.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineTim Kaine: Trump was 'fact-checked to his face' by Pelosi, Schumer While G-20 Summit was promising for US- China trade relations, Congress must still push for an exclusion process Overnight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — Border deployment 'peaked' at 5,800 troops | Trump sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | Senators offer bill to press Trump on Saudis | Paul effort to block Bahrain arms sale fails MORE (Va.) and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Defense: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen war vote, resolution calling crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi killing | House briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to move needle | Inhofe casts doubt on Space Force Hillicon Valley — Presented by AT&T — New momentum for privacy legislation | YouTube purges spam videos | Apple plans B Austin campus | Iranian hackers targeted Treasury officials | FEC to let lawmakers use campaign funds for cyber Manchin puts hold on FCC nomination over wireless internet fund delay MORE (W.Va.) joined Republicans in the 55-43 vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Barrett has claimed that ObamaCare’s birth control mandate is “a grave violation of religious freedom” and questioned the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade.

Civil rights groups were quick to slam the Senate for approving the Trump pick's nomination.

“Today’s vote continues the Senate Republicans’ record of rubber stamping all of President Trump’s judicial nominees,” Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said in a statement.

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“Our federal courts should be comprised of fair and independent judges who will safeguard the rights of all people in America, but Professor Barrett’s record shows that she will not be such a judge,” she said.

Gupta claimed Barrett’s past statements and writings show a strong, personal bias against reproductive freedom and LGBTQ rights, as well as a dangerous lack of deference to long-standing precedent and judicial restraint.

At her confirmation hearing, Barrett denied that she would put her religious beliefs above the law.

The liberal Alliance for Justice pointed to an article she co-wrote which said “Catholic judges (if they are faithful to the teaching of their church) are morally precluded from enforcing the death penalty. This means that they can neither themselves sentence criminals to death nor enforce jury recommendations of death.”

Barrett said she has always rejected the proposition “that a judge should decide cases based on a desire to reach a certain outcome.”

The Catholic Association came to Barrett’s defense, calling the criticisms against her an “attack” on her Catholic faith.

"Amy Coney Barrett's qualifications for the federal judiciary are undisputed, but abortion industry advocates continue their smear campaign by attacking Barrett's Catholic faith,” the group’s legal adviser, Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, said in a statement.

“The full Senate rejected their attempt to hang a ‘Catholics need not apply’ sign outside the Senate chamber when it considers candidates to the judiciary,” she said.