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Indiana politicians react to news of Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination

Donald Trump
Posted at 5:44 PM, Sep 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-26 18:46:15-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Politicians in Indiana are reacting to President Donald Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

She is a professor of law at the University of Notre Dame.

Barrett was confirmed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017. In 1998 and 1999, she clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

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You can read their statements below:

Indiana GOP Chairman Kyle Hupfer:

Once again, President Trump has selected a Hoosier to serve in a position of national importance. I congratulate Notre Dame’s Amy Coney Barrett for her nomination to the Supreme Court and applaud the president for his choice. A brilliant legal mind, Judge Barrett is an inspired choice to serve on our nation’s highest court and I know she will serve honorably.

President Trump has fulfilled his constitutional obligation to fill a Supreme Court vacancy and Hoosiers can rest assured that their senators, Todd Young and Mike Braun, will do their duty as well. I encourage the other 98 senators to honor their constitutional commitment by conducting a robust and fair confirmation process that ends with the approval of Amy Coney Barrett as the next Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court.

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind.:

Naming Amy Coney Barrett to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg represents the culmination of President Trump’s four-year record of delivering on the promises he made to conservatives during the 2016 campaign. She will be a staunch defender of the Constitution and apply the law as it is written.

Barrett is well-qualified to serve on the Supreme Court, with sterling personal credentials and an impressive professional record. Even in these polarized times, the Senate confirmed her to the Seventh Court of Appeals in 2017 with bipartisan support. I look forward to the Senate confirming her once again and, when that happens, will be proud of Indiana being so well represented on our nation’s highest court.

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody:

This pick makes their playbook even clearer. Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are burning down the process so they can pack the high court with hardliners to strike down the Affordable Care Act. For the 2.7 million Hoosiers with asthma, high blood pressure or another pre-existing condition this is life or death. It could mean going back to a time when insurers could charge more or even cancel their coverage all together. One thing is perfectly clear, this November health care is on the ballot.

U.S. Senator Todd Young, R-Ind.:

I am thrilled with President Trump’s nomination of fellow Hoosier, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, to serve on the Supreme Court. I've come to know Amy as an incredibly sharp legal mind, a woman of great integrity, and a dedicated mother of seven. When Americans elected President Trump to office in 2016 and expanded the Republican Senate majority in 2018, she was exactly the type of jurist they had in mind.

Judge Barrett's previous confirmation to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals turned into a shameful attack on her faith, not an evaluation of her legal credentials. But anyone who fairly evaluates her superb qualifications and temperament will agree that Judge Amy Coney Barrett is the right person for the job.

I ardently support her nomination to the Supreme Court and, as the Senate follows historical precedent by initiating a confirmation hearing, I will work diligently with all of my Senate colleagues with an eye towards voting on her confirmation as the next Associate Justice without delay.

You can watch his video message here.

U.S. Senator Mike Braun, R-Ind., wrote his statement on Fox News.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a consummately qualified jurist who has proven on and off the bench that she has the decency, the intellectual rigor, and the fundamental respect for our country and its Constitution to serve honorably on the Supreme Court.

Though Democrats are sure to continue their misguided campaign to paint Judge Barrett as an extremist, it’s clear when reviewing her record as a jurist and teacher the only thing extreme about her commitment to moral character and generosity.

When Barrett was elevated to the appellate court by President Trump in 2017, every one of her fellow full-time faculty members at Notre Dame Law School supported her appointment. Though they came from a wide spectrum of political beliefs and approaches to jurisprudence, her colleagues made clear in their letter that they are in total agreement that Barrett is the “model of a fair, impartial, and sympathetic judge.”

Barrett has shown through her nearly one hundred written opinions on the appellate court that she is a strong Constitutional originalist who will not cut the American people out of their own government by treating the Supreme Court as a third chamber of Congress.

As a teacher, Barrett is known among her students as a thoughtful, tireless educator who encourages a variety of opinions among her students and frequently draw long lines to her office hours, both to discuss the course and to seek her advice as a mentor.

In her personal life, Barrett has shown an uncommon generosity by adopting a boy and girl from Haiti following the 2010 earthquake while already raising four children, including a son with Down syndrome.

But at Barrett’s 2017 confirmation hearings, Democrats on the Judiciary Committee seemed to have her mistaken for someone else.

Foreshadowing Senator Kamala Harris’ silly attack on the Catholic philanthropic group the Knights of Columbus a year later, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois asked Judge Barrett ominously if she was an “orthodox Catholic.” Senator Dianne Feinstein followed up with her now-famous concern that “the dogma lives loudly within” Judge Barrett.

The message was clear: anyone who disagrees with the modern liberal orthodoxy regarding abortion and activist jurisprudence must be animated by an extreme religious cult.

“From beginning to end, in every case, my obligation as a judge would be to apply the rule of law,” Barrett responded to Durbin, echoing sentiments she has been abundantly clear on throughout her public life. As Barrett unambiguously concluded in a 1998 essay that will surely be cherry-picked for misleading quotes in her Supreme Court confirmation hearings, “judges cannot — nor should they try to — align our legal system with the Church’s moral teaching whenever the two diverge.”

The fact that Democrats do not share the same reservations about if Joe Biden, a Catholic, could do the job of president makes it clear that their anti-religious rhetoric is a clumsy last-ditch attempt to keep jurists who will respect the limits of the Constitution off the bench.

I agree that faith should be the key word in Judge Barrett’s confirmation hearings, but I believe the relevant question of faith is if she will faithfully interpret the Constitution. Her record unmistakably indicates that she will.

Amy Coney Barrett’s sterling record as a Constitutional originalist demonstrates that she will be a phenomenal Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and I believe her reputation as an educator and a model for decency and citizenship will make Americans proud to have her on the highest court for many years to come.

I fully support Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination and will vote to confirm her without hesitation.

U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind.:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been described as a diminutive giant, and there is no doubt that loss has opened a void in the hearts and minds of millions of Americans. We owe it to her lifetime and her legacy, to take the time to honor and celebrate her life, but also, to take the time we need to fully mourn her loss.

Without even speaking of the rank hypocrisy displayed by Republican Senators in their haste to replace Justice Ginsburg, there are even more compelling reasons not to consider any nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court until after the next president is sworn in.

Traditionally, and over many decades of precedent, there is an average of at least 65 days that elapse between a vacancy opening up on the U.S. Supreme Court and an announcement of a nominee to fill that vacancy. It has only been 8 days since Justice Ginsburg died, and sadly, she has not even been laid to rest. And yet, we’re suffering today through this indecent rush to pack ideologues onto the highest court in the land. Traditionally, it takes an average of 141 days from the opening of a vacancy to the confirmation of a replacement -- not the 30 days that the Senate Majority Leader has announced. This unprecedented rush to pack the Court prevents the thorough investigation required before the confirmation of a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land.

Traditionally, consideration of a Supreme Court nominee would never occur so close to a presidential election, and certainly never during a presidential election – which is in fact already underway. Americans have already begun to vote for the next president, and their voices MUST be heard. Ramming through a Supreme Court nominee now, in the middle of the election, is in fact, ignoring the voices of American voters.

Let me be clear: The voices of the American people must be heard before there is any consideration of a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Decent Americans want to honor her dying wish, which is that her replacement be made by the next president.

There is so much at stake right now on the rights that matter to every American. The Supreme Court is already scheduled to hear arguments the week after the election on the Trump Administration’s reckless push to destroy the Affordable Care Act (ACA). That means, in the middle of this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans, the President and his allies are trying to pack the Supreme Court to take away the health care of millions of Americans. This president has promised that his Supreme Court nominee will dismantle the ACA, so we must take him at his word. Reproductive health and reproductive rights are also at stake. The president has promised that his nominee will overturn Roe v. Wade, and we must take him at his word. Our health care is on the line, and too many lives hang in the balance.

Voting Rights are also at stake. Even before Justice Ginsburg’s passing, this Supreme Court had grown more and more anti-voter, and it has repeatedly made it harder for Americans to exercise their voting rights without discrimination. Since 2013, when they struck down key components of the Voting Rights Act, including Section 5, they opened the door for an onslaught of voting restrictions passed by state legislatures to disenfranchise Black and Brown people. More recently, the Supreme Court allowed a blatantly discriminatory poll tax on formerly incarcerated persons, disenfranchising up to a million people in Florida alone.

Workers’ rights, disability rights, LGBTQ equality and immigration rights are also on the line. The issue of immigration unfairness is especially important in the face of this administration’s Muslim Ban. Justice Ginsburg strongly opposed Trump’s Muslim Ban in one of her most eloquent dissents. She clearly pointed out the other Justices “turning a blind eye” to the “anti-Muslim animus” articulated by “the phrases of the President and his advisors” that created an “impermissible and discriminatory animus toward Islam and its followers.” Without her voice on the high court to speak up for the rights of the least of these, the voices of every American voter must be heard.

President Trump and Senate Republicans are ignoring the dying wishes of Justice Ginsburg, the opinion of most Americans, and years of precedent in a desperate bid to pack the courts to rubberstamp their reckless agenda. This is an insult to our Democracy and a threat to every American. There should be no consideration of a replacement for Justice Ginsburg before the next president is sworn in.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb:

Judge Barrett’s compelling combination of experience and intellect would serve our country well on the Supreme Court bench, adding another healthy dose of Hoosier hospitality to our nation’s capital.