Focus on the Family President Jim Daly interviewed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about Judge Amy Coney Barrett – President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The interview airs Monday, October 12, the same day that Barrett’s confirmation hearings begin in the U.S. Senate Judiciary committee. The hearings will likely run several days, then the committee will vote. If Judge Barrett receives support, as is expected, her nomination moves on to the full Senate for a final vote, sometime in the next few weeks.
Daly began the interview by asking about Judge Barrett’s qualifications for our nation’s highest court. Senator McConnell replied, “Well, you know, her former dean at Notre Dame Law School said she was the best student he ever had.”
He then went on to describe other qualifications and her family: “Then she went on to clerk for Justice Scalia. And she’s been on the 7th Circuit for the last three years. She’s got an all-star family, seven children, two adopted, one special needs child. She and her husband, who’s also a lawyer, I’m sure are extraordinarily well organized in order to deal with two high-profile careers and take care of seven kids at the same time.”
McConnell said he’s put confirming judges at the top of the Senate’s priority list, and that the Senate has already confirmed two Supreme Court Justices and 53 circuit court judges. He said, “You’d be interested to know, this is the first time in 40 years that there are no vacancies on the circuit courts anywhere in America.”
Some Democrats and some in the media have criticized President Trump and McConnell for moving forward with a Supreme Court nomination in an election year. When Daly asked him about this, the senator said that “if the shoe were on the other foot,” the opposition party would “be doing the same thing.”
He also stated, “The amount of time from nomination to confirmation is not unusual. We aren’t shortening the process beyond what’s been the average for most confirmations. But we are moving ahead with it because the Supreme Court is currently with a vacancy. We’re moving ahead with it because we’re of the same party as the President and we like the nominee.”
McConnell did note that Democrats were “doing everything they can to slow it down” and complaining about hearings with some of the members remote. He said, “We’ve been doing that all year since COVID hit us back in the spring.”
Daly and McConnell also discussed the opposition to Judge Barrett – some of it based on her faith. The senator explained that questions about her Christian beliefs would be inappropriate during the hearings, “We don’t have a religious test in this country, none whatsoever. You don’t have to pass some kind of neutrality pledge with regard to your – your religion in order to serve in public office in America.”
The two also discussed the rancor that has marred many recent confirmation hearings – beginning with Judge Robert Bork, back in the 80s. And they talked about various justices’ judicial philosophy – whether they are “activist,” creating policy, or “originalist,” simply interpreting what the law says.
Daly asked how Christians can pray for McConnell as he leads the Senate through this confirmation process. The Senate Leader responded, “So, if you’re praying for us, pray for us that we keep a steady hand, that we judge this nominee on the merits, and that we finish up the job in the very near future, which is what I entirely intend to see happen.”
There’s more, of course, and you can hear the full interview here.
The Daily Citizen has more articles about Judge Amy Coney Barrett and the confirmation process, as well as information about the hearings and how you can get involved, here.
Photo from POOL/REUTERS
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