Judge Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday night, one week before the U.S. election, giving conservatives a solid 6-3 majority for what could be years to come.
Said Barrett at the swearing in: “The confirmation process has made ever clearer to me one of the fundamental differences between the federal judiciary and the United States Senate. And perhaps the most acute is the role of policy preferences. It is the job of a Senator to pursue her policy preferences. In fact, it would be a dereliction of duty for her to put policy goals aside. By contrast, it is the job of a judge to resist her policy preferences. It would be a dereliction of duty for her to give into them. Federal judges don’t stand for election, thus they have no basis for claiming that their preferences reflect those of the people.”
“This separation of duty from political preference is what makes the judiciary distinct among the three branches of government,” Coney Barrett added. “A judge declares independence, not only from Congress and the President, but also from the private beliefs that might otherwise move her. The Judicial Oath captures the essence of the judicial duty. The rule of law must always control.”
Barrett added: “My fellow Americans, even though we judges don’t face elections, we still work for you. It is your Constitution that establishes the rule of law and the judicial independence that is so central to it. The oath that I have solemnly taken tonight means at its core that I will do my job without any fear or favor and that I will do so independently of both the political branches and of my own preferences. I love the Constitution and the Democratic Republic that it establishes, and I will devote myself to preserving it.”
Trump took Barrett for a campaign rally victory lap moments later.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden blasted the confirmation in a statement Monday:
“The rushed and unprecedented confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as Associate Justice to the Supreme Court, in the middle of an ongoing election, should be a stark reminder to every American that your vote matters.
“Just a few days after Election Day next week, the Supreme Court will hear the case on the Affordable Care Act. While panicked and erratic in mishandling the pandemic, Donald Trump has been crystal clear on one thing — for the past four years, and again just last night on 60 Minutes — he wants to tear down the Affordable Care Act in its entirety and take away your health care and protections for pre-existing conditions.
“This goal — the goal of the Republican Party for ten years — was a litmus test in selecting this nominee, regardless of the damage done to the U.S. Senate, to Americans’ faith in the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, and to our democracy, and regardless of how the Affordable Care Act has protected hundreds of millions of people before and during the pandemic.
“But we will not give up. If you want to protect your health care, if you want your voice to be heard in Washington, if you want to say no, this abuse of power doesn’t represent you — then turn out and vote.
“Vote for a president, for Members of Congress, and candidates up and down the ticket who actually have a plan for health care, and who will build on the Affordable Care Act to expand coverage, bring down costs, and give you more choices.
“Vote to protect the fundamental idea that health care is a right, not a privilege.
“And vote for the legacy of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was proof that courage, conviction, and moral clarity can change not just the law, but also the world. Let us continue to be voices for justice in her name.
Said Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris: “Today Republicans denied the will of the American people by confirming a Supreme Court justice through an illegitimate process — all in their effort to gut the Affordable Care Act and strip health care from millions with pre-existing conditions. We won’t forget this.”
Hillary Clinton had this to say: