Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) led her Republican female colleagues in the Senate in a press conference Wednesday to acknowledge their support for Supreme court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, saying all Americans should celebrate that another powerful woman is succeeding late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and put aside their bias.
“We are so pleased to have a woman who is so accomplished, who is widely applauded by her colleagues, whether they’re coming from the left or the right. As someone who is disciplined in the law, has a curious mind a strong intellect, that has an appreciation for the Constitution, and an appreciation for the rule of law,” Blackburn said.
If confirmed to the Supreme Court, Barrett will become the fifth woman out of the 113 Justices to serve on the Supreme Court. Besides Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the women include Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Justice Elena Kagan, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
“All of us, especially women. All of us should celebrate that and we should be looking for women to serve as role models,” said Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.).
Senator Shelley Capito (R-W.Va.) said she will be meeting with Judge Barrett later Wednesday and looks forward to speaking with her both about the judiciary and her experience as a mother.
Senator Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), the first female Air Force fighter pilot in the Senate, said Ginsburg had a brilliant mind and served as a role model for all women, and regardless of party affiliation, Democrats should support Barrett the same way.
“She really was a role model for so many. And I think it is fitting that we have judge Barrett being nominated to continue to push forward in breaking those barriers, she’ll be just the fifth woman if confirmed on the court. And she will be the first with school-aged children serving on the Supreme Court,” said McSally.
Barrett has 7 children, ranging in ages from 5 to 16, including 2 adopted children from Haiti and 1 with down syndrome.
Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) told the press that she was troubled when she heard of Ginsburg’s passing and was reminded of how Ginsburg broke barriers for women and served as a role model for her. She believes Barrett will also inspire the next generation.
Barrett has her own list of accomplishments, which include being appointed by President Trump and confirmed by the Senate 55-43 to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017.
“That’s exactly what I see emulated in judge, Amy Coney Barrett. She has been lauded by conservatives and liberals about being just a wonderful judicial mind. But bottom line they always come back to the fact that not only is she fair. But she is truly a decent human being,” said Ernst.
At the time of her 2017 confirmation, every full-time member of Notre Dame Law School’s faculty signed a strong letter of support (pdf) for her nomination, as did every law clerk who served as a U.S. Supreme Court justice during the term that Barrett clerked for Scalia (pdf).
Barrett, 48, earned her J.D. at Notre Dame Law School in 1997. She served as a clerk in 1997-1998 for Judge Laurence Silberman of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and later as a clerk in 1998-1999 for the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016.
After her clerkship, she was an associate at law firm Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin in Washington, D.C. for a year, and later moved to Texas-based firm Baker Botts in 2000 before leaving for academia.
In 2002, she became a professor at Notre Dame Law School, where she taught constitutional law, the federal courts, and statutory interpretation. She was named “distinguished professor of the year” three times, according to SCOTUSblog
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called the judge “highly qualified in all the areas that matter—character, integrity, intellect, and judicial disposition,” and said that the Senate has enough votes to confirm her to the highest court in the nation.
Mimi Nguyen Ly contributed to this report