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Confirm Amy Coney Barrett

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Background information

On September 26, 2020, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. If confirmed by the Senate, Barrett would be the sixth sitting Justice on the Court nominated by a Republican president and would give the Court a reliable 5-4 conservative tilt. Barrett would be another justice committed to upholding our laws and Constitution instead of legislating personal views from the bench.

About Amy Coney Barrett

Amy Coney Barrett currently serves as a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, a position she assumed after being appointed by President Trump and confirmed by the Senate in 2017.

It was during this confirmation process that Barrett and her Catholic faith were infamously attacked by California Senator Diane Feinstein, who disdainfully declared, “The dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s a concern...”

The values that “live loudly” in Judge Barrett are a strong worth ethic, a love for her country, and a deep commitment to her family and her faith. Like the late Justice Ginsburg, Barrett is a mother, and can relate to the lives and challenges of millions of working mothers in America. If confirmed, she will be the only sitting Justice on the Court who is a mother.

Barrett will add further diversity to the court by being the only Justice who did not attend Harvard or Yale law school. After completing her undergrad at Rhodes College, Barrett attended law school at Notre Dame where she served as the executive director of the school’s law review and graduated summa cum laude in 1997.

After law school, Barrett held two prestigious clerkships. From 1997 to 1998, she clerked for Judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. And from 1998 to 1999, she clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a lion of the Court and a staunch advocate for an originalist interpretation of the Constitution. It is no coincidence that many compare Barrett’s judicial philosophy to Scalia’s.

After her clerkship with Justice Scalia, Barrett spent a year at Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin, a prestigious Washington, D.C. law firm, where she litigated constitutional, criminal, and commercial cases in both trial and appellate courts. Then, in 2001, Miller Cassidy merged with Baker Botts, a Texas-based firm where she spent another year.

Following her time in the private sector, Barrett returned to the academy and served as the John M. Olin Fellow in Law at the George Washington University Law School. In 2002, Barrett returned to Notre Dame to become a full-time law professor and taught classes related to the federal courts, constitutional law, and statutory interpretation. During her 15 year tenure at Notre Dame, Barrett was named Distinguished Professor of the Year three times, served as the Diane and M.O. Research Chair of Law, and published scholarship in leading journals, including the Columbia, Virginia, and Texas Law Reviews.

In addition to her career at Notre Dame, Barrett is a member of the American Law Institute, has served as a visiting professor of law at the University of Virginia, and was appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to the Advisory Committee for the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure from 2010 to 2016.

At 48 years old, if confirmed, Barrett could be a powerful conservative voice on the Court for decades to come.

Framing the Current Debate

On Friday, September 18th, 2020, the Supreme Court announced the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Shortly after, President Trump announced his intention to fill the vacancy before the election and a week later nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Despite the Left’s rhetoric, the President has the Constitutional authority to nominate a replacement.

Article II Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states, “[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court…”

In fact, President Trump is following solid historical precedent by selecting a nominee. Twenty-nine times a vacancy has occurred on the Supreme Court in a presidential election year. Every time, the President has nominated someone.

Regardless of it being an election year, President Trump does not stop being the president—his obligation and duty to nominate a Supreme Court justice for the Senate to consider does not stop until the end of his term.

However, the radical Left and Senate Democrats have come out against President Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to be the new Supreme Court justice with three primary arguments:

1. Liberal ArgumentIn 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to confirm Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to fill late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat, because it was an election year. We are simply working off that same precedent.

Conservative AnswerThe context surrounding the nominations are drastically different. Voters put Republicans in control of the Senate in 2014, partly because they did not want any more of President Obama’s liberal activist judges placed on our nation’s highest court.

And so, in 2016, we had divided a divided government—a lame-duck Democratic President and Republican-controlled Senate. It was right and consistent with the history of divided government to wait and let the voters decide.

In 2020, we find ourselves in a wholly different position than in 2016. We have a first-term President and Senate-majority of the same party.

And importantly, in 2018, that Republican majority picked up seats in the Senate—a strong endorsement by the American people of their work to confirm President Trump’s judicial nominees, including two Supreme Court Justices.

Today, President Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate have the mandate from the people to place another Constitutionalist Justice on the Supreme Court.

2. Liberal Argument—Confirming a new justice in an election year is inconsistent with what the framers of the Constitution intended.

Conservative Answer—This is a weak argument and is completely false. Twenty-nine times a vacancy has opened on the Supreme Court during a presidential election year. The President made a nomination in all 29 cases; in fact, George Washington did it three times. Jefferson did it. So did Lincoln. Our Founders clearly intended the President to be the President and have all the powers of the presidency for the full four-year term.

3. Liberal Argument—Judge Barrett will attack the Affordable Care Act and cause Americans to lose access to their Obamacare healthcare plans.

Conservative Answer—Judge Barrett will not attack any law; she will defend the Constitution which is the highest law in our land. She has forcefully argued that politics should be left to the politicians in Congress, and the American people want a Supreme Court that follows the law instead of playing politics. Obamacare has been a failure for millions of Americans, raising their premium costs while reducing their choice and access to healthcare providers. Whether or not Obamacare is eventually found unconstitutional, our elected representatives in Congress should be the ones to return to the issue and pass healthcare reform that reduces costs and gives Americans the flexibility and choice they need.

Confirming Amy Coney Barrett

In the coming days and weeks, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings to review Barrett’s qualifications and record as a judge to ensure that a strict Constitutionalist’s name is sent to the Senate floor for a vote.

Either one of two scenarios will be required to confirm Judge Barrett’s nomination: A simple majority vote of 51 senators or, if the Senate vote is tied, a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Pence (as President of the Senate).

The Senate and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should move swiftly before the upcoming election to confirm Amy Coney Barrett as the new Justice to the Supreme Court.

Additional Resources

Heritage Action: Frequently Asked Questions: Supreme Court Nominations & Confirmations
Fox News: Kay Coles James: Confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee – don't give in to threats, senators
The Daily Signal: 4 Things to Know About Supreme Court Vacancies in Election Years
Heritage Foundation: Democrats’ Arguments for Confirming Merrick Garland in 2016 Support Confirming Trump’s Nominee Now
Heritage Foundation: Supreme Court Resources

BONUS! Download these colorful "Confirm Amy" posters to put in your home, yard, or business. You can download the posters here.

Talking Points

  • The president is fully within his constitutional authority to nominate a Supreme Court justice. The president’s duty to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court is clearly spelled out in Article II of the U.S. Constitution, and it’s happened more than 100 times.

  • There is no “norm” or constitutional prohibition against an election-year nomination. Twenty-nine times a vacancy has opened on the Supreme Court during a presidential election year. The President made a nomination in all twenty-nine cases (George Washington did it three times).

  • Senators should fairly review the qualifications of whomever the president nominates. The Senate’s job is to provide “advice and consent” on the nominee, as the Constitution requires—the Senate has every right to move forward with consideration of a nominee.

  • Judge Amy Coney Barrett has a proven track record and would be a sound Supreme Court Justice. The most critical question for any Supreme Court confirmation is whether the nominee will faithfully interpret the Constitution as it was written and uphold the rule of law if confirmed.

  • Senators must reject the Left’s tactics of violence, civil unrest and threats to pack the court. We must return to a time when qualified U.S. Supreme Court nominees receive fair treatment from the Senate.

  • The Democrats' threat to “pack the court”—an action that even Justice Ginsburg opposed—would undermine the integrity and validity of the judiciary. By expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court to achieve a “liberal majority”, the Democrats would set a dangerous precedent that could potentially erode America’s democratic processes.

Call Notes

My name is [NAME] from [CITY AND ZIP CODE] and I am calling [SENATOR] to request that they support the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Barrett would be an excellent and impartial Justice, dedicated to upholding our laws and the Constitution as written. I believe legislating is best done by legislators, not judges, and Barrett is the type of judge that won’t legislate from the bench.

Barrett previously clerked on the Supreme Court, and has experience in private practice, in the classroom, and on the bench. She’s an upstanding citizen and is respected in both her professional and personal life. And in 2017, she received bipartisan Senate support for her confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

I think Amy Coney Barrett is just the woman we need on the Supreme Court. Please support her confirmation.

Thank you for passing along my message to [SENATOR]. Have a good day.

Social Posts (remember to insert the social handle of your member)

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#ConfirmAmyConeyBarrett She is: ✅ Qualified ✅ Fair ✅ Respected ✅ A Constitutionalist

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Senator, you have the Constitutional duty to consider President Trump’s appointment to the Supreme Court. Fulfill your oath of office and promise to uphold the Constitution by considering #AmyConeyBarrett.

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FALSE: The President has to wait to appoint a new justice because it's an election year. FACT: The president’s duty to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court is clearly spelled out in Article II of the US Constitution, and it’s happened more than 29 times in election years.

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Since 1969, there have been 6 justices confirmed in less than 45 days: Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 42 days Sandra Day O’Connor: 33 days John Paul Stevens: 19 days Lewis Powell: 45 days Harry Blackmun: 27 days Warren Burger: 17 days

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