President Donald Trump appointed Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Saturday, completing a dramatic federal judicial transformation that will resonate with a generation that he hopes will fuel its re-election efforts.
Barrett, a judge on the US 7th Court of Appeals in Chicago and a devout Roman Catholic judge, has been hailed by religious conservatives and other right-wingers as the ideological heir to the conservative, staunch Antonin Scalia, the late Supreme Court that she serves .
Barrett said she was "really humiliated" by the nomination and was quick to join Scalia's conservative handling of the law. His "legal philosophy also belongs to me".
Barrett had been a leading candidate for the nomination after being considered for the seat of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who was confirmed in 2018 and the 7th appellate judge to meet Trump this week.
"Today it is my honor to nominate one of the most brilliant and gifted legal figures in our nation to the Supreme Court," said Trump, making his nomination official when Barrett stood by his side. "She is a woman of unparalleled achievement, superior intellect, excellent credentials, and unrelenting loyalty to the Constitution: Judge Amy Coney Barrett."
Barrett called the ceremony "a pretty daunting occasion" and a "momentous decision" for a president.
"If the Senate gives me the honor of sustaining myself, I undertake to exercise my responsibility: I love the United States and I love the United States Constitution."
"I am really humble at the prospect of serving on the Supreme Court," she added.
Barrett once spoke directly to the American people: "The President has appointed me to the Supreme Court of the United States, and this institution belongs to all of us."
"I would take this role to serve you," she promised.
She entered the rose garden in lockstep with the President, with her seven children and her husband and first lady Melania Trump not far behind.
& # 39; This should be direct and immediate confirmation. It should be very simple, "Trump said with a laugh, and added," Good luck. It's going to be very quick … We said that last time, didn't we? & # 39; a reference to the 2018 Kavanaugh Fight.
"I also urge everyone across the aisle to give Judge Barrett the respectful and dignified hearing they deserve and frankly our county deserves," Trump said.
President Donald Trump (left) officially nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett (right) at the White House on Saturday
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump pose for pictures with Amy Coney Barrett, her husband Jesse and their seven children
Judge Amy Coney Barrett (right) walks through the colonnade with President Donald Trump (left) and First Lady Melania Trump (center).
President Donald Trump (left) and First Lady Melania Trump (center) walk down the colonnade before appointing Judge Amy Coney Barrett (right) to the Supreme Court on Saturday
Judge Amy Coney Barrett stands in the Rose Garden of the White House when President Donald Trump officially appoints her to the Supreme Court
The President was accompanied to the ceremony by First Lady Melania Trump, while Amy Coney Barrett brought her children
President Donald Trump (left) walked in lockstep with Judge Amy Coney Barrett (right) to the Rose Garden ceremony, where she was officially nominated for the Supreme Court on Saturday
Amy Coney Barrett's children followed her to the rose garden when she was officially appointed to the Supreme Court by President Donald Trump
Judge Amy Coney Barrett speaks to a crowd in the White House Rose Garden Saturday after she was nominated for the Supreme Court
Judge Amy Coney Barrett made brief remarks after she was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Donald Trump
Amy Coney Barrett's children sat in the front row next to First Lady Melania Trump (left) at the ceremony
A number of U.S. senators and administrative officials were in the White House audience who did not practice social distancing and where many attendees chose not to wear masks amid the coronavirus pandemic
Judge Amy Coney Barrett smiles as she is nominated for the Supreme Court on Saturday in Washington, D.C.
Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on September 18, giving President Donald Trump the opportunity to occupy a third seat on the Supreme Court during his first term
Judge Amy Coney Barrett is captured leaving her home in South Bend, Indiana on Saturday ahead of the Supreme Court announcement of President Donald Trump
Judge Amy Coney Barrett (second from right) is photographed leaving her Indiana home on Saturday, followed by husband Jesse Barrett (right) and sons (from left) Benjamin, John Peter and Liam
Judge Amy Coney Barrett holds her daughter Juliet's hand as son John runs after Peter. Barrett is a mother of seven
Amy Coney Barrett brought three of her daughters to her September 2017 confirmation hearings in September 2017
He urged the Democrats and the media not to engage in "personal or partisan attacks" by his new candidate.
"The stakes for our country are incredibly high," said Trump. "Decisions that the Supreme Court will make in the coming years will determine the survival of our second amendment, our freedom of religion, our public safety and much more."
In his short speech he addressed the issue of law and order in his own campaign.
"Law and order are the foundation of the American judicial system," said Trump. "I am extremely confident that Judge Barrett will make decisions based solely on fair reading of the law."
The president played Barrett's testimonials as a working mother.
"If this is confirmed, Justice Barrett will make history as the first mother of school-age children to ever serve on the Supreme Court," Trump said to cheers and applause.
Speaking to her seven children, the president added, "Thank you for sharing your incredible mother with our country."
"The president asked me to be the ninth justice and it just so happens that I am used to being in a group of nine – my family," remarked Barrett in the rose garden.
She is a 48-year-old native New Orleans who attended Rhodes College and graduated from Notre Dame Law School, where she later taught. She lives in South Bend, Indiana.
Conservatives have announced the election of Barrett as heir to Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away in February 2016.
Speaking of the Scalia connection in his speech in the Rose Garden, Trump noted how a Notre Dame professor recommended Barrett to the late judiciary as a clerk: "Amy Coney is the best student I've ever had."
Maureen Scalia, Scalia's widow, was in the audience on Saturday, as was Trump's Labor Minister Eugene Scalia, the son of the late Justice. "Very good genes in the family, I'll say," commented Trump.
Barrett, who worked for Scalia, shares his belief in an originalist take on the US Constitution.
"Amy Coney Barrett will rule cases based on the drafted constitutional text," Trump told the non-social distancing crowd, and many chose not to wear masks.
Of her former boss Barrett, he said: "His legal philosophy is mine too."
& # 39; A judge must apply the law as it is written. Judges are not policy makers and they must be determined to overturn their political views, ”Barrett said.
Attorney General Bill Barr (right) attended Saturday's rose garden ceremony, as did former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (left).
Former White House official Kellyanne Conway (right) speaks to Attorney General Bill Barr (left) after President Donald Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court
Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia (right), the son of the late Attorney General Antonin Scalia, for whom Amy Comey Barrett worked, is faced with fist blows at the nomination ceremony at the White House on Saturday, followed by Alex Azar (center), Secretary for Health and Human Services.
White House staff are preparing the rose garden for President Donald Trump's 5:00 p.m. Saturday. Announcement of a new Supreme Court
If her nomination is successful, it will give the Supreme Court a hard jolt to the right as she will replace the court's most liberal member, the late Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away on September 18.
Both Barrett and Trump paid homage to Ginsburg during their remarks.
Trump called the liberal Ginsburg a "true American legend", a "legal giant" and a "pioneer for women".
Barrett promised to be aware of who came before me.
"The flag of the United States still flies with half the workforce in memory of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to mark the end of a great American life," Barrett said. & # 39; Justice Ginsburg began her career when women were not welcome in the legal profession. But she not only broke glass ceilings, she also smashed them. For this she has won admiration all over the country and indeed all over the world. & # 39;
Scalia's name reappeared when Barrett spoke of his warm friendship with Ginsburg over the years – despite their conflicting political beliefs.
Judges Scalia and Ginsburg disagreed in print without getting angry personally. Their ability to maintain a warm and rich friendship despite their differences has even inspired an opera, ”Barrett said.
She said her friendships demonstrated that "arguments, even on matters of great importance, need not destroy affection". Barrett said she tried to meet that standard too.
Liberals fear Barrett could deprive women of legal abortions as the landmark Roe v. Wade in 1973 revolved around a right to privacy that is not expressly stated in the US Constitution.
Barrett would also replace a Jewish member of the court with a devout Catholic and increase the number of Catholics on the bank to six.
There are a total of nine judges on the Supreme Court.
Barrett's beliefs will likely play a role in their upcoming judicial committee hearings.
She is a member of the People of Praise, a small Catholic group that teaches that husbands are the heads of families.
It has been falsely reported that the group was the inspiration for Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid & # 39; s Tale," which is a popular television show today, as the term "Handmaid" was used to describe a member's personal advisor when this advisor was female.
Members of the group also swear an oath of allegiance, which some legal scholars have found problematic because it raises questions about the impartiality and independence of a judge.
During her 2017 confirmation hearings for a seat on the 7th Circuit in Chicago, Barrett testified that while she was a devout Catholic, those views would not be used in her bench decisions.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Justice Committee, told Barrett, "The dogma lives out loud within you."
Conservatives, including Senator Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican who has since left the Senate, beat the Democrats on a "religious test".
The New York Times did not report their membership of the People of Praise until after the hearings were over, but before the vote.
Democrats are likely to bring it up during the upcoming hearings.
Barrett was seen leaving her home in South Bend, Indiana with her children the previous Saturday.
Among Barrett's children, she has five biological and two adopted from Haiti. She brought her eldest three daughters Emma, Vivian, and Tess with her when she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2017.
Vivian and Tess the same age as Vivian is one of the children adopted from Haiti.
Barrett also spoke about how their youngest son Benjamin has special needs.
Republicans have the Senate vote to confirm Barrett in the Supreme Court ahead of the November 3rd presidential election.
While Republican Senator Susan Collins, facing a tough re-election campaign, and Senator Lisa Murkowski both said they didn't think the Senate should vote on Trump's candidates before the election, several other swing votes said they – the Presidents would give the numbers he needs.
Democrats have called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a hypocrite for refusing to hold a Senate vote on President Barack Obama's final Supreme Court candidate, Merrick Garland, who was chosen to be Scalia’s seat in March 2016 to occupy.
McConnell said it was too close to the 2016 presidential election and the American people should be given an opportunity to complain.
This was confirmed by Justice Committee Chairman Senator Lindsey Graham, who said he would not push a candidate in the months leading up to the 2020 presidential election, suggesting a new precedent has been set.
However, Graham reversed course, pointing out the 2018 brutal fight to get Kavanaugh onto the pitch.
Kavanaugh was accused by Christine Blasey Ford of sexually assaulting her as a teenager.
Graham fiercely defended Kavanaugh during the hearings.
Kavanaugh still made it to the Supreme Court by 50-48 votes.
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