Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett paid tribute to late Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during her speech accepting the nomination to fill the vacancy on the nation’s top court.
“Justice Ginsburg began her career at a time when women were not welcome in the legal profession. But she not only broke glass ceilings, she smashed them. For that she has won the admiration of women across the country and indeed, all over the world,” Barrett said during an event at the White House on Saturday, where President Donald Trump announced his nomination.
Barrett, 48, who is currently serving as a federal judge on the 7th Circuit Court, reflected on Ginsburg’s life and how the jurist had impacted her life.
“She was a woman of enormous talent and consequence, and her life of public service serves as an example to us all,” Barrett said.
“Particularly poignant to me [is] her long and deep friendship with Justice Antonin Scalia, my own mentor. Justices Scalia and Ginsburg disagreed fiercely in print, without rancor in person. Their ability to maintain a warm and rich, friendship, despite their differences, even inspired an opera.
“These two great Americans demonstrated that arguments, even about matters of great consequence, need not destroy affection. In both my personal and professional relationships, I strive to meet that standard,” she added.
Barrett clerked at the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016, between 1998 and 1999. She said that although she had clerked for Scalia more than 20 years ago, the lessons she learned during that time still resonate with her.
“His judicial philosophy is mine too. A judge must apply the law as written, judges are not policymakers, and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they might hold,” she said.
Barrett was one of Trump’s top contenders for the vacancy after he whittled down his list of 45 to five women. During his speech, the president praised Barrett as being “a woman of remarkable intellect and character” and “eminently qualified for the job.”
After earning her law degree, she clerked for Judge Laurence Silberman of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and later Scalia. She then went on to work in law firms in Washington and Texas and became a law professor at Notre Dame Law School.
Trump appointed her to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and she was confirmed by the Senate 55-43 in 2017.
Her nomination is expected to spark a fierce confirmation battle on Capitol Hill. With just over a month before the election, Senate Republicans are likely to fast track the process in order to get a vote on the chamber’s floor.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have opposed any nomination and have said they would try to block the nomination.
Carrie Severino, president of Judicial Crisis Network, suggested it possible to confirm Barrett in a short period of time given that Ginsburg and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor also had short confirmation proceedings.
“Justice Ginsburg was confirmed in 42 days, Justice O’Connor in 33, and both confirmations were nearly unanimous. But Democrats won’t be able to bring themselves to support Judge Barrett because they are beholden to leftwing extremists who want to pack the Supreme Court and defund the police while our cities burn,” Severino said in a statement.