Amy Coney Barrett deserves fair confirmation for Supreme Court

Amy Coney Barrett deserves fair confirmation for Supreme Court
© Greg Nash

Even before President Trump announced that Judge Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettThe Jan. 6 case for ending the Senate filibuster Laurence Tribe: Justice Thomas is out of order on 2020 election McConnell backs Garland for attorney general MORE would be his latest Supreme Court nominee, the heated attacks started. Many on the left have threatened riots, impeachment, and packing the Supreme Court if the Senate confirmed his choice instead of waiting to hand a potential President Biden the chance to fill the vacant seat next year. Our system of democracy is at risk from such attacks.

Yet all Americans who care about their freedom and the freedom of their children can now applaud the nomination of Barrett. Rather than being a Republican or a Democrat, she is an originalist, as originalist justices are one of the great safeguards of our rights in this country.

The Constitution protects our most fundamental rights from the powerful government. Originalists abide by those limits rather than rewrite them to give the government even greater control over our lives. Those on the left eschew originalism and instead believe in a living Constitution, one where the words can be reinterpreted and meanings can be changed merely by the wants and the whims to meet a political or social goal.


Despite the fact that Trump joins many other presidents in a nomination in an election year, Democrats have suggested the unconscionable move of one more impeachment, taking from their playbook of obstruction to stop the Senate from having confirmation hearings for Barrett.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has hinted to reporters that the House has certain rules available to halt the confirmation by the Senate. She declared, “All these options should be entertained and on the table.” Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked about impeachment. She claimed, “We have arrows in our quiver that I am not about to discuss.”

Still others with the left have threatened riots if this confirmation process starts. We pray these are hollow threats and that all communities and law enforcement officers remain safe. The attacks against Barrett and against those who support her must end. They are anathemas to our democracy. Our citizens and our elected leaders have to do better.

Some in our society must learn that we can disagree without destroying and that we can debate without hate. Senators need to have a backbone. They must not give in to these attacks, or they risk giving up our process. The decision to confirm a justice should be based on precedent and the suitability of the nominee to sit on the Supreme Court.

Barrett is an outstanding choice. She is a brilliant legal mind with sterling credentials. She clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, served in private practice, worked as a law professor for the University of Notre Dame, and serves as a federal judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. When she was nominated by Trump in 2017 for that role, she was indeed confirmed by a bipartisan majority in the Senate.


She confirmed her originalist understanding of the judiciary as she said, “A judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policymakers, and they must be resolute on setting aside any policy views they might hold.” All Americans who value freedom and limited government, who believe in our founding principles, and who prefer our justices to uphold the rule of law should be satisfied with the nomination of Barrett.

Yet there is a difficult road ahead for Barrett and the senators who back her. While some senators are working to scuttle the confirmation, others are being threatened into holding their votes. All senators have to know where Americans faithful to the Constitution stand. They elected Trump four years, and they elected a Senate Republican majority two years ago, in part due to their promise to confirm originalist judges.

The Senate has the chance to confirm one to the Supreme Court. Barrett will make decisions based on the law rather than on politics. It is time for the Senate to seize the moment because this opportunity for the freedom of all Americans might not come once more for a while.

Kay James is president of Heritage Foundation. Dave McIntosh is president of Club for Growth. Carrie Severino is president for Judicial Crisis Network.