Barrett Pays Tribute to Ginsburg: She ‘Smashed’ Glass Ceilings’

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    President Donald Trump said he’ll nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court, adding his third justice to the bench and a fresh jolt to his faltering campaign just weeks before Americans vote on whether to give him a second term. If confirmed by the Senate, Barrett, known to be a devout Catholic who considers abortion “always immoral,” would fill the seat vacated by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The loss of liberal icon Ginsburg and the confirmation of the conservative Barrett, 48, could cement the court’s rightward shift for a generation. “Today it is my honor to nominate one of our nation’s most brilliant and gifted legal minds to the Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett,” Trump said during a White House ceremony on Saturday. “Barrett is a woman of remarkable intellect and character. She is eminently qualified for the job.” Barrett, speaking at the ceremony, paid respect to Ginsburg, saying the late justice “not only broke glass ceilings, she smashed them.” “I fully understand that this is a momentous decision for a president and if the Senate does me the honor of confirming me, I pledge to discharge the responsibilities of this job to the very best of my ability,” Barrett said. “Should I be confirmed, I will be mindful of who came before me.” The nomination sets up a bitter clash in the Senate, where Republicans have vowed to use their majority to rapidly push through a confirmation vote before the Nov. 3 election. The plan has angered Democrats, who point to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal to consider Barack Obama’s nomination to fill a vacant seat during the 2016 election year. But there’s little Democrats can do to delay a vote on Barrett, an acolyte and former clerk for the late Justice Antonin Scalia, the high court’s former conservative standard-bearer. And her appointment will undoubtedly play a dominant role in the final weeks of the presidential election. Democratic candidate Joe Biden has said the winner of the presidential contest should fill Ginsburg’s seat. The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to start Barrett’s confirmation on Oct. 12, beginning with an opening statement from the judge, according to two people familiar with the matter. Barrett would face questioning for the next two days, then senators would hear from outside witnesses on Oct. 15. A full Senate vote is tentatively planned for the week of Oct. 26. McConnell plans to meet with Barrett on Tuesday, a person familiar with the matter said. Barrett, a graduate of Notre Dame Law School, would join Trump’s other two Supreme Court appointees, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, both of whom are in their 50s. Together, they will potentially form a third of the high court for decades to come. “One reason I’m excited about Amy is the fact that I don’t see her as being a drifter, that she’ll get in there and start moving to the center and left,” Senator Mike Braun, an Indiana Republican, said in an interview. “She’s a constitutionalist and has a good conservative heritage.” “Pro-life is going to have a defender in Amy,” Braun added. As a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Barrett wrote a decision that makes it easier for students accused of sexual assault to sue universities for how they handled their cases. She joined an opinion that suggested support for two Indiana abortion laws: a requirement that clinics bury or cremate fetal remains, and a separate ban on abortions based on the fetus’s race, gender or risk of a genetic disorder such as Down syndrome. Barrett said the full Seventh Circuit should have reconsidered part of a three-judge panel’s decision to strike down the two measures.

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