Trump introduced Barrett in a ceremony at the Rose Garden that was attended by Republicans and conservative activists, as a reminder that the move of the Supreme Court to the ideological right has been a ten-year goal for Republicans.
“Amy Coney Barrett will decide cases based on the text of the Constitution as written,” Trump said, as the candidate stood beside him. “As Amy said, being a judge takes courage. You are not there to decide cases however you like. You are there to do your duty and to follow the law, wherever it may take you. “
Neither Trump nor Barrett wore face masks as recommended by public health officials to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, and few in the crowd did. Guests sat close together, rather than the recommended six feet apart, and hugged and kissed each other.
Trump and Barrett praised Ginsburg as a forerunner, and Barrett said he would do the work of a “who came before me”
Their views and backgrounds couldn’t be more different, however, as the deeply conservative Barrett made clear in a tribute to the late Antonin Scalia, the conservative jurist for whom she was a legal clerk and who defined her legal model.
“I am under no illusion that the road ahead of me will be easy, both in the short and long term. I never imagined I would be in this position, but now that I am, I assure you that I will face the challenge with humility and courage, ”Barrett said, adding that he was looking forward to meeting the senators.
The United States Court of Appeals judge for the 7th Circuit is expected to be confirmed quickly by the Republican-majority Senate and could be inaugurated before the November 3 election, whose resolution Trump predicted could end up in the Supreme Court.
Democrats, with little chance of derailing the nomination, say they’ve been crushed. Some in the party refuse to meet Coney Barrett, while liberal activists push Democratic lawmakers to take more drastic moves like boycott confirmation hearings.
Senate Republicans were preparing to speed up the confirmation process as soon as the announcement was made, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Planning to meet with Barrett on Tuesday, according to an aide.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey O. Graham (RS.C.) confirmed in an interview with Fox News on Saturday night that hearings for Barrett will begin on Oct.12 with opening statements, with questions to be held on 13 and on October 14. There will be testimony from outside witnesses at some point, he said, and the committee’s trial will begin on October 15, meaning that a group vote on Barrett’s nomination could come as early as October 22 under judicial rules.
“I expect they’ll throw the kitchen sink at us,” Senator John Barrasso (Wyo.), The No. 3 Senate GOP leadership, said in an interview Saturday. But he said he was confident Barrett would be confirmed ahead of the election “if all goes well”.
The prospect of conservative judges and a move to the high court helped Trump, with few ideological polar stars, win over skeptical Republicans in 2016, and he was unrepentant in using this surprise vacancy to increase his chances of re-election.
“Fill That Seat” was a featured chant at Trump’s political rallies last week, and his campaign is raising money with messages to supporters urging the president’s choice of the Supreme Court. Republicans also began selling a T-shirt on Saturday that appropriates Ginsburg’s pop culture-inspired nickname, “Notorious RBG.” The shirts say “Notorious ACB”.
Ginsburg was in the state of the United States Capitol last week – the first woman to be so honored – and is expected to be buried along with her husband, Marty, in Arlington National Cemetery next week.
The election was not mentioned during the White House announcement, nor was abortion, a topic on which many senators from both parties are likely to base their vote on Barrett.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden released a statement on the nomination focusing on the coronavirus and the future of the Affordable Care Act, which returned to the High Court in the deadline that begins on October 5.
“He has a written history of disagreeing with the US Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act” in 2012, Biden said, noting that Barrett had also criticized Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. for his vote. decisive in that case.
The 16 days from Barrett’s appointment to the start of confirmation hearings would have been the shortest in recent memory. Since 1990, an average of 50 days have passed since the appointment of a Supreme Court choice to the start of its confirmatory hearings, significantly reducing the time available to senators to review Barrett’s record, read his writings, and prepare applications for the hearings. .
GOP leaders aim for a final confirmation vote just days before election day, a goal they say is feasible in part because Barrett’s record and background were already scrutinized during his bitter 2017 confirmation to the federal bench.
Democrats cited McConnell’s 2016 refusal to hold hearings for President Barack Obama’s latest Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, on the theory that voters in that year’s presidential election should have their say first.
McConnell and Graham reversed to say Trump’s confirmation pick should go ahead before the election.
In a statement on Saturday, Graham pledged to seek “a stimulating, fair and respectful hearing” but did not specify a timeline.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows declined to predict on Saturday whether pre-election confirmation is likely.
“It would be a discussion for the senators. I believe they will try to go through the process and review your credentials quickly, ”Meadows told reporters in the White House.
“The president’s authority to rush this process in a way he is determined to do is such a mockery and farce,” Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), A member of the judicial committee, said in an interview. .
Blumenthal said he has no plans to meet Barrett, a deviation from past confirmations.
Barrett is already well known to Republican senators, many of whom hoped Trump would pick her for the next vacancy. When Trump said he would only consider women to fill Ginsburg’s place, Barrett became the automatic favorite.
Trump said he considers five women, but Barrett is the only one known to have interviewed in person.
McConnell let Trump know about her preference for Barrett, as her ranks were most familiar with her. Although her writings on personal antiabortion background and views could be a significant obstacle to sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) – who support access to abortion – both said they did not support the confirmatory vote before the election anyway. This paved the way for Trump and McConnell to push through the most conservative candidate possible.
As he left the White House for a Saturday night rally in Pennsylvania, Trump told reporters that he did not discuss abortion with Barrett during their interview. “I’ve never discussed it with Amy,” and the court itself “will have to make that decision,” he said.
At the rally, she said that “most important of all she will defend the rights and freedoms given by God.” The people behind Trump wore MAGA hats and MAGA masks and displayed signs saying “Fill That Seat” and “Peaceful Protester”.
Senators such as Todd C. Young (R-Ind.) Spoke personally with the president to lobby for Barrett, and Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) Had eight conversations with Trump to push her to become an eventual Supreme Court candidate.
“In the Scalia tradition of originalism and textualism, he has only one giant brain,” Sasse, one of Barrett’s most ardent supporters, said in an interview. “So, first of all, there’s that half of the equation, or more than half of the equation. But then you combine a giant brain with a three-dimensional humanity.”
Sasse noted that a large cross-section of Notre Dame’s faculty – from traditional conservatives to liberal Catholics – admired Barrett, even if they disagree with his jurisprudence.
Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) Said it would be a “big disappointment” if Senate Republicans didn’t confirm Barrett before election day. He anticipated that it would only be delayed after November 3 if there were “some of the antics that were pulled during Kavanaugh’s hearing”.
Trump told allies that Barrett would be a judge in the Scalia mold, and Scalia’s son, Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, attended Saturday’s ceremony and Friday’s fundraising reception at Trump International Hotel, where Trump has interviewed supporters about what they thought of his choice.
Although the group expressed strong support for her, it was not unanimous, according to people familiar with the event behind closed doors, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the confidential discussion.
When Brian Ballard, a major Florida donor and lobbyist, suggested he liked Federal Appeals Judge Barbara Lagoa, Trump said Ballard should tell Lagoa he would eventually have his time, two people said that are familiar with the comments.
Lagoa was considered the other front runner. Although Trump said he would likely meet Lagoa when he visited Florida on Thursday and Friday, he told reporters Friday that he hadn’t.
Trump has asked political agents Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie to help work on confirmation outside the White House apparatus, officials said, and both men have begun meetings with allies.
Less influential in this year’s discussions was Leonard A. Leo, the powerful Republican activist who originally helped put Barrett on a list of conservative candidates that Trump said he would use to make his choices in court, even though Leo said to support the choice.
“In appointing Amy Barrett to the Supreme Court, President Trump has again fulfilled his promise to appoint judges who are not only exceptionally qualified, but willing to courageously defend the Constitution as it is written and not bow to political pressure or personal preference,” Leo said. “Judge Barrett will be a great role model for future generations seeking to ensure that the rule of law promotes the dignity of all people.”
Barrett will join Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh, both in their fifties, as Trump’s choices for the Supreme Court. It could all serve for decades, ensuring that Trump’s stamp in court lasts well beyond his presidency, whether he is re-elected this year or not.
Young activists representing the March for Our Lives and Demand Justice advocacy groups drew a huge plaster mural on the street in front of McConnell’s home in Washington.
“Hey Mitch. We call BS. Let the people decide “, it reads.
Demand Justice, a liberal group that advocates conservative buildup of federal courts, also unveiled a new domain name on Friday night: www.amyconeybarrett.com. The URL opens to a page on the group’s website dedicated to blocking its confirmation.
“Amy Coney Barrett would threaten your health care and your reproductive freedom. We have to stop it, “he says.