Amy Coney Barrett to Senators: Supreme Court Shouldn’t Try to Make Policy

October 11, 2020 Updated: October 11, 2020

President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, will tell the Senate Judiciary Committee on Oct. 12 that the Supreme Court shouldn’t try to make policy.

“I have been nominated to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat, but no one will ever take her place,” Barrett writes in her remarks, which she is expected to present to the committee.

Her remarks will present her legal philosophy and will stress that she is a proponent of the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s legal theories. Barrett previously was a legal clerk for Scalia, who died in 2016.

“It was the content of Justice Scalia’s reasoning that shaped me. His judicial philosophy was straightforward: A judge must apply the law as written, not as the judge wishes it were. Sometimes that approach meant reaching results that he did not like,” Barrett writes.

“Courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life. The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the People. The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try.”

Barrett, a mother of seven, will also touch on her personal story.

“I am used to being in a group of nine—my family. Nothing is more important to me, and I am so proud to have them behind me,” she writes.

Barrett will deliver her statement to the Judiciary Committee on Oct. 12 in a session that will last four days. The GOP’s leadership said they are trying to get her confirmed before Election Day on Nov. 3.

trump with barrett's family
President Donald Trump poses with U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett and her family at an event to announce her as his nominee to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, at the White House on Sept. 26, 2020. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

“When I write an opinion resolving a case, I read every word from the perspective of the losing party. I ask myself how would I view the decision if one of my children was the party I was ruling against: Even though I would not like the result, would I understand that the decision was fairly reasoned and grounded in the law?” she writes.

“I believe Americans of all backgrounds deserve an independent Supreme Court that interprets our Constitution and laws as they are written. And I believe I can serve my country by playing that role.”

Barrett was nominated last month by Trump after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death. Democratic critics have said Republicans should hold off on trying to confirm Barrett before the election. They have alleged that they are engaging in hypocrisy for doing so because GOP senators blocked confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland, who was tapped to replace Scalia in 2016.

Following Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis, Senate Democrats attempted to delay the confirmation hearing by saying it’s risky for the Senate to hold hearings due to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said they will hold the hearings as scheduled, while saying there is little risk.

“I do think there have been risky behaviors in other areas, but not in the Senate,” McConnell told Fox News last week. “And this nomination is now in the Senate. We know how to handle this. We’ve been dealing with this since May, and we’ll handle it successfully.”

Trump has already successfully nominated two judges to the Supreme Court: Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.