Tag: Amy

‘It’s not the law of Amy’: SCOTUS nominee Barrett faces Dem skepticism on Day 2 of hearings

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett batted away Democrats’ skeptical questions Tuesday on abortion, health care and a possible disputed-election fight over transferring presidential power, insisting in a long and lively confirmation hearing she would bring no personal agenda to the court but decide cases “as they come.”

The 48-year-old appellate court judge declared her conservative views with often colloquial language, but refused many specifics. She declined to say whether she would recuse herself from any election-related cases involving President Donald Trump, who nominated her to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and is pressing to have her confirmed before the the Nov. 3 election.

“Judges can’t just wake up one day and say I have an agenda — I like guns, I hate guns, I like abortion, I hate abortion — and walk in like a royal queen and impose their will on the world,” Barrett told the Senate Judiciary Committee during its second day of hearings.

“It’s not the law of Amy,” she said. “It’s the law of the American people.”

Barrett returned to a Capitol Hill mostly locked down with COVID-19 protocols, the mood quickly shifting to a more confrontational tone from opening day. She was grilled by Democrats strongly opposed to Trump’s nominee yet unable to stop her. Excited by the prospect of a judge aligned with the late Antonin Scalia, Trump’s Republican allies are rushing ahead to install a 6-3 conservative court majority for years to come.

The president seemed pleased with her performance. “I think Amy’s doing incredibly well,” he said at the White House departing for a campaign rally.

Trump has said he wants a justice seated for any disputes arising from his heated election with Democrat Joe Biden, but Barret testified she has not spoken to Trump or his team about election cases. Pressed by panel Democrats, she skipped past questions about ensuring the date of the election or preventing voter intimidation, both set in federal law, and the peaceful transfer of presidential power. She declined to commit to recusing herself from any post-election cases without first consulting the other justices.

“I can’t offer an opinion on recusal without short-circuiting that entire process,” she said.

A frustrated Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the panel, all but implored the nominee to be more specific about how she would handle landmark abortion cases, including Roe v. Wade and the follow-up Pennsylvania case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which confirmed it in large part.

“It’s distressing not to get a good answer,” Feinstein told the judge.

Barrett was unmoved. “I don’t have an agenda to try to overrule Casey,” she said. “I have an agenda to stick to the rule of law and decide cases as they come.”

She later declined to characterize the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion as a “super-precedent” that must not be overturned.

Democrats had no such reticence.

Let’s not make any mistake about it,” said California Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic

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Amy Coney Barrett dodges abortion, healthcare and election law questions

On the second day of hearings before the Senate judiciary committee, Democrats pressed supreme court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on healthcare, election law and abortion rights – and met with little success.



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Related: ‘Slayer Pete’: Buttigieg emerges as Biden’s unlikely Fox News fighter

Donald Trump’s third nominee for the highest court dodged questions on how she might rule on a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA); if she would recuse herself from any lawsuit about the presidential election; and whether she would vote to overturn the landmark 1973 ruling Roe v Wade, which made abortion legal.



a man standing in front of a counter: Supreme court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifies during the Senate judiciary committee hearing on Tuesday.


© Photograph: Demetrius Freeman/EPA
Supreme court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifies during the Senate judiciary committee hearing on Tuesday.

Barrett argued that she was not a pundit, citing remarks by Justice Elena Kagan and the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg in saying that outside of reviewing a specific case, it was not her place to offer a position.

“No hints, no previews, no forecasts,” Barrett quoted Ginsburg as saying, after the California senator Dianne Feinstein questioned her about how she might rule in any case challenging the legality of abortion.

Barrett is a devout Catholic whose previous statements and affiliations have been closely examined by Democrats and the media. Trump has said overturning Roe v Wade would be “possible” with Barrett on the court.

At another point in Tuesday’s hearing, Barrett cited Kagan in saying she would not give “a thumbs up or thumbs down” on any hypothetical ruling.

Most of the questioning from Democrats centered on the ACA, known popularly as Obamacare, and how a ruling by the high court overturning the law would take away healthcare from millions of Americans. A hearing is due a week after election day. Democrats see protecting the ACA as a productive electoral tactic, having focused on it in the 2018 midterms, when they took back the House.

Barrett said she was not hostile to the ACA, or indeed abortion or gay rights, another area worrying progressives as the court seems set to tilt to a 6-3 conservative majority. Barrett said she was simply focused on upholding the law.

“I am not hostile to the ACA,” Barrett said. “I apply the law, I follow the law. You make the policy.”

Video: Barrett refuses to address whether Roe v. Wade should be overturned, despite prodding from Sen. Feinstein (CNBC)

Barrett refuses to address whether Roe v. Wade should be overturned, despite prodding from Sen. Feinstein

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Asked about gay rights, Barrett said: “I would not discriminate on the basis of sexual preference.”

Her choice of words conspicuously suggested that to her, sexuality is a choice. Amid scrutiny of Barrett’s past, meanwhile, it has been reported that she was a trustee at a school whose handbook included stated opposition to same-sex marriage

Republican senators also questioned Barrett on healthcare, the Iowa senator Chuck Grassley asking if she had been asked during the nomination process if

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Amy Coney Barrett Hearing: Why She Accepted on the Nomination

During his questioning at this morning’s round of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham asked the judge how it feels to be nominated for the Supreme Court.

Barrett’s reply was thoughtful and very humanizing. Here’s what she said:

I’ve tried to be on a media blackout for the sake of my mental health but you can’t keep yourself walled off from everything. I’m aware of a lot of caricatures that are floating around. I think what I would like to say in response to that question is, look, I’ve made distinct choices. I’ve decided to pursue a career and have a large family. I have a multiracial family. Our faith is important to us. All of those things are true, but they are my choices. In my personal interactions with people, I mean, I have a life brimming with people who’ve made different choices, and I’ve never tried in my personal life to impose my choices on them. The same is true professionally. I apply the law.

Senator, I think I should say why I’m sitting in this seat in response to that question, too, and why I’ve agreed to be here. I don’t think it’s any secret to any of you or the American people that this is a really difficult, some might say excruciating process. Jesse and I had a very brief amount of time to make a decision with momentous consequences for our family. We knew that our lives would be combed over for any negative detail. We knew that our faith would be caricatured. We knew that our family would be attacked. We had to decide whether those difficulties would be worth it, because what sane person would go through that if there wasn’t a benefit on the other side?

The benefit, I think, is that I’m committed to the rule of law and the role of the Supreme Court and dispensing equal justice for all. I’m not the only person who could do this job, but I was asked, and it would be difficult for anyone. Why should I say someone else should do the difficulty? If the difficulty is the only reason to say no, I should serve my country. My family is all in on that because they share my belief in the rule of law.

Not much questioning has taken place yet, but so far, Barrett has done an excellent job of demonstrating that commitment.

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Keith Olbermann: Amy Coney Barrett, Trump supporters must be ‘removed from our society’

Keith Olbermann is having no trouble finding his voice after leaving ESPN for the third time last week, declaring during his new political commentary show on YouTube that President Trump’s supporters and his “enablers” like Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett should be prosecuted and “removed from society.”

Mr. Olbermann announced last week that he was exiting his contract with ESPN early in order to “serve my country” with daily anti-Trump commentary on YouTube ahead of the Nov. 3 election. During the second episode of his show, “The Worst Person in the World,” he hypothesized that Mr. Trump would reject the results of the upcoming election and would not willingly leave the White House if he loses. And even if this “demonic president” did by chance concede defeat, he would immediately announce afterward that he is seeking reelection in 2024, Mr. Olbermann claimed.

Thus, Mr. Olbermann argued, Mr. Trump “must be expunged.”

“The hate he has triggered, the Pandora’s box he has opened, they will not be so easily destroyed,” he said. “So, let us brace ourselves. The task is twofold: the terrorist Trump must be defeated, must be destroyed, must be devoured at the ballot box, and then he, and his enablers, and his supporters, and his collaborators, and the Mike Lees and the William Barrs, and the Sean Hannitys, and the Mike Pences, and the Rudy Gullianis and the Kyle Rittenhouses and the Amy Coney Barretts must be prosecuted and convicted and removed from our society while we try to rebuild it and to rebuild the world Trump has nearly destroyed by turning it over to a virus.

“Remember it, even as we dream of a return to reality and safety and the country for which our forefathers died, that the fight is not just to win an election, but to win it by enough to chase — at least for a moment — Trump and the maggots off the stage and then try to clean up what they left,” he continued. “Remember it, even though to remember it, means remembering that the fight does not end November 3, but in many ways, will only begin that day.”

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Law scholar Jonathan Turley takes on Chris Wallace regarding Amy Coney Barrett and the Affordable Care Act

Law scholar Jonathan Turley took on Fox News’s Chris Wallace regarding Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court and the Affordable Care Act.





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“You need, truly, waders to get through the rising hypocrisy from both parties. That’s nothing new. Both parties are adopting the opposite views that they had in 2016. Although I’m not too sure the Democrats would be doing anything different if they were given this vacancy and this opportunity. But I want … Chris Wallace raises some good points. The lower court did strike down the ACA, but there … does not appear to be a majority of votes from our count of overturning the entire Act. In fact, the betting money is that conservatives might join liberals,” Turley said on Monday on Fox News.

Wallace interjected, “Jonathan, if I may, you know, the point I’m simply making is this: That’s what the court did. You are predicting how judges, including one who is not even on the court yet, are going to vote. I’m just saying.”

“No,” Turley said.

“Let me finish. You don’t know what’s going to happen, and I don’t know what’s going to happen. But the fact is for Democrats to talk about the cases of these individual people, and to say that their lives might be at stake is not an irrational leap. That’s the case that’s being heard by the court,” Wallace continued.

The segment broke for a commercial break but allowed Turley to respond when it returned.

“Well, what concerns me is that this is becoming a sort of milk carton hearing with all of these pictures surrounding the nominee. And the members making arguments of policy, saying how important the ACA is. At the same time, they are accusing her of being overtly political. Those are not consistent positions. They are arguing for the policy and benefits of the ACA to a future justice who is not supposed to consider her decision on policy. She just looks at whether law is constitutional or legal in every respect,” he said.

“Where Chris and I disagreed is that yes, the ACA was struck down by the lower court judge. But the betting of most legal experts is that at least two conservative justices will support sending it back to sever the one provision found to be unconstitutional. So my point is only that the assumption being made, being brought here with all of these pictures, is that this future justice is going to end healthcare for all these individuals. That’s just not likely, and more importantly, the arguments on the merits of the ACA, in my view, are really inappropriate for a confirmation hearing,” he added.

Barrett’s first day of hearings began Monday morning. Barrett is expected to be grilled by senators on issues such as healthcare and abortion beginning Tuesday.

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Over 50 Law Professors Pen Letter to Senate Judiciary in Support of Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation

A group of more than 50 law professors sent a letter Friday to the Senate Judiciary Committee expressing their support for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court and calling her qualifications “stellar.”

In a letter to Chairman Lindsey Graham and ranking Democratic member Dianne Feinstein, obtained by National Review, the 53 law signatories identified themselves as a “diverse” group representing many fields and perspectives and holding “widely differing views about the President and the timing of this nomination.”

“We share the belief, however, that Judge Barrett is exceptionally well qualified to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States, and we urge the Senate to confirm her as an Associate Justice,” the group wrote.

President Trump nominated Barrett last month to fill the Supreme Court seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, kicking off what is expected to be a tempestuous Senate confirmation battle less than six weeks before the November presidential election.

Barrett has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit since she was appointed by Trump in 2017. The 48-year-old Notre Dame law professor clerked for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and is a conservative Catholic mother of seven.

“Although we have differing perspectives on the methods and conclusions in her scholarship, we all agree that her contributions are rigorous, fair-minded, respectful, and constructive,” the professors said in their letter. “Her work demonstrates a thorough understanding of the issues and challenges that federal courts confront.”

The group includes several professors from Ivy League schools including Harvard University, Columbia Law School, and Yale Law School, as well as professors from the University of San Diego, Notre Dame Law School, George Washington University Law School, Stanford Law School, and others.

“Judge Barrett has outstanding credentials for this position,” the law professors said in their letter to Graham and Feinstein, adding that, “as a legal scholar, Judge Barrett has distinguished herself as an expert in procedure, interpretation, federal courts, and constitutional law.”

“She enjoys wide respect for her careful work, fair-minded disposition, and personal integrity. We strongly urge her confirmation by the Senate,” the professors wrote.

The Judiciary Committee on Monday began its first day of hearings on Barrett’s nomination, which are expected to go through Thursday. Republicans are hoping to confirm her to the Court before the election on November 3.

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Amy Coney Barrett: Senate opens hearing into Trump Supreme Court pick

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Media captionWatch live coverage as Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing begins

Amy Coney Barrett, US President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, is going before the Senate Judiciary Committee for what could be a fiery confirmation hearing over the next four days.

The 48-year-old conservative jurist has vowed to judge legal cases impartially.

Judge Barrett’s nomination so close to the 3 November presidential election has sparked a political row between the Republicans and rival Democrats.

Judge Barrett’s approval would cement a conservative majority on the top court.

Conservative-leaning justices would then hold a 6-3 majority, shifting its ideological balance for potentially decades to come.

President Trump picked Judge Barrett to replace liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last month aged 87.

The Republicans – who currently hold a slim majority in the US Senate, the body that appoints Supreme Court judges – are now trying to complete the process before Mr Trump takes on Democratic rival Joe Biden in the election.

Who is Amy Coney Barrett?

  • favoured by social conservatives due to record on issues like abortion and gay marriage
  • a devout Catholic but says her faith does not influence her legal opinion
  • is an originalist, which means interpreting US Constitution as authors intended, not moving with the times
  • lives in Indiana, has seven children including two adopted from Haiti

Read more: Who is Trump’s Supreme Court pick?

The court’s nine justices serve lifetime appointments, and their rulings can shape public policy on everything from gun and voting rights to abortion and campaign finance.

Democrats fear Judge Barrett’s successful nomination would favour Republicans in politically sensitive cases that reach the Supreme Court.

In his opening statement as the hearing began, committee Chairman Lindsey Graham described Ms Barrett as being “in a category of excellence, something the country should be proud of”.

What will Judge Barrett say in her opening remarks?

In what is effectively an interview for the job, the confirmation hearing will give Judge Barrett a chance to explain her legal philosophy and qualifications for the lifetime post.

In prepared remarks released ahead of Monday’s meeting, Judge Barrett thanks President Trump for “entrusting me with this profound responsibility”, which she calls the “honour of a lifetime”.

In the speech, Judge Barrett will speak of the importance of her family and how her parents prepared her for a “life of service, principle, faith, and love”.

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Media captionAmy Coney Barrett: “I will meet the challenge with both humility and courage”

Judge Barrett will pay tribute to judges she has worked with, including former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Justice Scalia’s reasoning “shaped me”, Judge Barrett will say. “His judicial philosophy was straightforward: A judge must apply the law as written, not as the judge wishes it were.”

Judge Barrett will say she has “resolved to maintain that same perspective” in her legal career.

It is up to elected politicians to make “policy decisions and value

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Amy Coney Barrett scrutinized over religion vs. law

Second of two parts.

Professor Amy Coney Barrett, addressing law school graduates at Notre Dame University in 2006, delivered a stark admonition to the future lawyers: She told them a law career was “but a means to an end.”

“That end is building the kingdom of God,” she said. “If you can keep in mind that your fundamental purpose in life is not to be a lawyer, but to know, love and serve God, you truly will be a different kind of lawyer.”

As confirmation hearings begin Monday for Judge Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court, she will have to answer just how different a lawyer — and judge — her faith has made her.

To her detractors, she is a “Catholic judge.” To her supporters, she is a judge who is Catholic.

The difference between those views dominated her confirmation hearing three years ago, when she won a seat on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The hearings this week are shaping up like a rerun, with Judge Barrett’s faith the chief question before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“If you’re asking whether I take my faith seriously and am a faithful Catholic, I am, although I would stress that my personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear in my discharge of duties as a judge,” Judge Barrett told senators in her October 2017 hearings.

That answer was unsatisfactory to Democrats, and they peppered Judge Barrett with pointed questions.

Republicans said the questioning was so unseemly that it began to look as if they were applying a religious test for seeking a federal office, which the Constitution specifically prohibits.

Democrats countered that the matter wasn’t about Judge Barrett’s faith, but rather how much it affects her public life.

“The dogma lives loudly within you,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the committee.

The judge opened the door to the issue herself in 1998 with a law review article titled “Catholic judges in capital cases.”

She suggested that an “orthodox Catholic” who adhered to the church’s teaching against capital punishment should recuse from signing an execution order.

Her critics said she was putting faith above the law. Her backers said she was doing just the opposite: saying faith must give way when the law calls for an outcome.

In fact, she was charting a middle ground, where a judge could be faithful to her own beliefs while allowing someone else to carry out the law’s obligation.

“Judges cannot — nor should they try to — align our legal system with the Church’s moral teaching whenever the two diverge,” she concluded. “They should, however, conform their own behavior to the Church’s standard.”

In a speech last year to Hillsdale in D.C., the Washington campus of Hillsdale College, Judge Barrett delved deeper into the matter by saying it was folly to think only Catholic jurists grapple with their moral codes and their duties to the law.

“That’s not a challenge just for religious people. That’s

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Amy Coney Barrett: Supreme Court nominee vows to ‘apply law as written’

Amy Coney BarrettImage copyright
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Judge Barrett said policy decisions were for elected politicians, not Supreme Court justices

US President Donald Trump’s pick for a Supreme Court vacancy will tell senators that she will judge legal cases impartially “whatever my own preferences might be”.

Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative jurist, faces a four-day confirmation hearing in the Senate next week.

If approved, Judge Barrett will replace liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died recently at 87.

Judge Barrett’s nomination for the role has proved politically controversial.

It was announced by Mr Trump at the end of September, just weeks before he takes on Democratic rival Joe Biden in November’s presidential election.

Should Judge Barrett’s nomination be confirmed, conservative-leaning justices will hold a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court, shifting its ideological balance for potentially decades to come.

  • Trump nominates conservative favourite for Supreme Court
  • The big issues Trump’s Supreme Court handled

The court’s nine justices serve lifetime appointments, and their rulings can shape public policy on everything from gun and voting rights to abortion and campaign finance.

Democrats fear Judge Barrett’s successful nomination would favour Republicans in politically sensitive cases that reach the Supreme Court.

Given this, Democrats have urged Judge Barrett to not take part in any cases involving the outcome of November’s presidential election and an upcoming challenge to a health law known as Obamacare.

They argue that, because she was nominated by President Trump during an election campaign, it would not be ethical for her to make a judgement on such cases.

Judge Barrett is the third justice to be nominated by the current Republican president, after Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.

What will Judge Barrett tell senators in her opening remarks?

In what is effectively an interview for the job, the confirmation hearing will give Judge Barrett a chance to explain her legal philosophy and qualifications for the lifetime post.

In prepared remarks released ahead of the hearing, Judge Barrett thanked President Trump for “entrusting me with this profound responsibility”, which she called the “honour of a lifetime”.

In the speech, Judge Barrett, a 48-year-old mother of seven, will speak of the importance of her family and how her parents prepared her for a “life of service, principle, faith, and love”.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionAmy Coney Barrett: “I will meet the challenge with both humility and courage”

Judge Barrett will pay tribute to judges she has worked with, including former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Justice Scalia’s reasoning “shaped me”, Judge Barrett will say. “His judicial philosophy was straightforward: A judge must apply the law as written, not as the judge wishes it were.”

Judge Barrett will say it is for elected politicians to make “policy decisions and value judgments”, not Supreme Court justices.

“In every case, I have carefully considered the arguments presented by the parties, discussed the issues with my colleagues on the court, and done my utmost to reach the result required by

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Amy Coney Barrett to say she will judge cases on law not personal views | US news

Amy Coney Barrett, Donald Trump’s latest controversial nominee for the US supreme court, will tell senators in her high-stakes confirmation hearing this week that she will approach cases based on the law, not her personal views, as Democrats urged her to step aside on upcoming contentious cases.

Barrett, a fervent Catholic with a record of opposing abortion rights, will say that courts “should not try” to create policy, during Monday’s opening remarks, which were obtained by multiple media outlets on Sunday.

Barrett, a Trump-appointed judge now serving on the US seventh circuit court of appeals, will also say that she’s “done my utmost to reach the result required by the law, whatever my own preferences might be” in her present position. Senate Democrats are expected to grill Barrett on this.

Trump nominated Barrett to replace liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in September at the age of 87. If the Republican-controlled Senate confirms her, which is considered likely, it will create a 6-3 conservative majority in the country’s highest court.

Many conservatives hope such a majority will overturn Roe v Wade, a 1973 supreme court ruling that legalized abortion across the US.

The Senate has never confirmed a supreme court justice so close to a presidential election. Democrats have tried unsuccessfully to delay the confirmation proceedings, because of the close-looming election and coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 214,000 people in the US and infected more than 7.7 million.

Multiple attendees at the Rose Garden ceremony where Trump announced Barrett’s nomination two weeks ago have been diagnosed with Covid-19, including the president himself.

Republicans are rushing to confirm Barrett in advance of the 3 November election, in time to weigh a high-profile case that can undermine the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. And if they confirm Barrett before the election, she would hear any challenges involving the election and voting.

Republicans are also working quickly because they might not be able to confirm her after the election. If Democrat Joe Biden wins the presidency, and Democrats amass senate seats, Barrett’s nomination is likely to hit roadblocks.

In her remarks, Barrett will say that she has decided to uphold the same approach as her mentor, the late supreme court justice Antonin Scalia, whom she described as devoted to his family, “resolute in his beliefs, and fearless of criticism”. The mother-of-seven will also extensively discuss her family. She will say that she won’t let the law define her identity or overshadow other parts of her life.

She will remark that courts are “not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life”.

“The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the People … the public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try.”

Barrett will also say that serving as a justice would be the “honor of a lifetime”.

“I have been nominated to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat,

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