Amy Coney Barrett was a top contender to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court just weeks ago. Now, however, she’s more than an option; Trump has nominated her to take the open court seat.
Barrett’s confirmation hearing begins today. During this period, each member of the Senate Judiciary Committee is given the chance to ask the Supreme Court nominee any question about her political or personal record they deem important to know to make an informed vote on her appointment. Before the question portion begins, however, each of the 22 members of the Judiciary Committee, along with Barrett herself, will be allowed to make an opening statement.
Barrett’s opening statement has already been released online by the Associated Press. In it, she recalls the ultraconservative late Justice Antonin Scalia, whom she clerked under, as having “reasoning that shaped me.”
“There is a tendency in our profession to treat the practice of law as all-consuming, while losing sight of everything else. But that makes for a shallow and unfulfilling life,” Barrett notes in the remarks. “I worked hard as a lawyer and a professor; I owed that to my clients, my students, and myself. But I never let the law define my identity or crowd out the rest of my life.”
Support for Amy Coney Barrett leans heavily on the Republican party, who pushed for a new Supreme Court Justice appointment beginning just hours after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Many consider Barrett’s potential appointment a blow for many marginalized communities, including LGBTQ+ people. Just weeks ago, the Human Rights Campaign called her an “absolute threat to LGBTQ rights,” something her track record supports. In 2017, she signed a letter stating that marriage was strictly between a man and a woman. She’s also been connected to a number of anti-LGBTQ+ groups, including the American Family Association and the American Principles Project.
Barrett’s confirmation hearings are expected to stretch over the course of this week.