by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
When Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett spoke in the White House Rose Garden following her formal nomination on Saturday evening, she was everything she’s been made out to be: poised, smart, and kind-hearted.
She began by honoring the life of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. …
… Then she delivered the most important part of her speech:
“I clerked for Justice Scalia more than 20 years ago, but the lessons I learned still resonate. His judicial philosophy is mine, too. A judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policymakers, and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they might hold.”
“His judicial philosophy is mine, too.”
Barrett could have described her judicial philosophy without tying herself so closely to Scalia. She has practically written Democratic attack ads for them: It would not be fair in many cases, but it would be easy to dredge up every unpopular Scalia opinion and slap that Barrett quotation on the screen.
But the statement was refreshingly straightforward and honest for a Supreme Court nominee, and it also will obliterate any argument from Senate Democrats about how they need more time to discover what Amy Coney Barrett truly believes about the Constitution.
They already know what she thinks, of course. They’ve been preparing for a Barrett Supreme Court nomination fight for three years. Her 2017 appeals-court nomination hearing was a dry-run for a Supreme Court confirmation battle, and it won’t take much time to go through her opinions over the last three years.
With her candor, Barrett helped make the argument in favor of a speedy confirmation vote. Yet, she has still left those Democratic campaign consultants with a dilemma: Do they really want to run ads attacking someone as impressive as Barrett and shift the focus away from Trump?