President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that Amy Coney Barrett, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, is his nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Sept. 18.
If confirmed by the Senate, Barrett, 48, would bring youth and a conservative philosophy that could impact the nation’s highest court for decades. She would also give Republican appointees a 6-3 advantage on the Supreme Court.
“This is a very proud moment, indeed,” Trump said. “I know that you will make our country very, very proud.” The news of Trump’s choice of Barrett was leaked Friday evening, but the President made it official at the White House on Saturday afternoon. “Today it is my honor to nominate one of our nation’s most brilliant and gifted legal minds to the Supreme Court,” Trump said. “She is a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution.”
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 26, 2020
“She is the perfect combination of brilliant jurist and a woman who brings the argument to the court that is potentially the contrary to the views of the sitting women justices,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion political group, told The New York Times.
Barrett would become the youngest justice on the Supreme Court if she is confirmed. Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch is 52. She also would become the first Louisiana native to sit on the nation’s highest court since 1921, according to NOLA.com. Edward Douglass White was appointed as an associate justice by President Grover Cleveland in 1894 and was Chief Justice from 1910 until his death in 1921.
“I love the United States and I love the United States Constitution,” said Barrett, who also paid tribute to Ginsburg. “I am truly humbled by the prospect of serving on the Supreme Court.”
Barrett also paid tribute to her mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, and referenced his friendship with Ginsburg despite their differences, saying that “disagreements need not destroy affection.”
“Should I be confirmed, I will be mindful who came before me,” Barrett said. “The flag of the United States is still flying at half-staff in memory of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to mark the end of a great American life.
“Justice Ginsburg began her career at a time when women were not welcome in the legal profession, but she not only broke glass ceilings, she smashed them.”
Trump was effusive in his praise for Barrett.
“I looked and I studied, and you are very eminently qualified for this job,” Trump said during the Rose Garden ceremony. “You are going to be fantastic.”
“Judge Amy Coney Barrett is an exceptionally impressive jurist and an exceedingly well-qualified nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement.
Trump urged Democrats to give Barrett a “respectful and dignified” confirmation hearing.
“I urge all members of the other side of the aisle to provide Judge Barrett with the respectful and dignified hearing that she deserves, and frankly that our country deserves,” Trump said. “I urge lawmakers and members of the media to refrain from personal or partisan attacks. The stakes for our country are incredibly high.”
Barrett said she looked forward to her confirmation hearings before the Senate.
“I will do my very best to show you that I am deserving of your support,” Barrett said.
Amy Coney Barrett, Pres. Trump’s pick to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat: “If the Senate does me the honor of confirming me, I pledge to discharge the responsibilities of this job to the very best of my ability.” https://t.co/zfF4AfgHmv pic.twitter.com/Ry9rCnga6y
— ABC News (@ABC) September 26, 2020