VIDEO: Young Outlines Support for Supreme Court Nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett
Click here or the image above to view Senator Young’s remarks.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) spoke on the Senate floor in support of Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
“In the coming days, Americans will hear a great deal about Judge Barrett, much of it from people who have never met her, who have never worked with her. As a fellow Hoosier, I’ve had the privilege of actually getting to know Judge Barrett and her family and to understand the breadth of her intellect and the thoughtful reasoning of her work.
“My own opinions have been informed by my personal interactions with her and supported by the countless students, clerks, and former colleagues, who despite their varied political beliefs, are united in their admiration for Judge Barrett. They will second what I tell you here: AmyConey Barrett’s qualifications to fill this seat are beyond question. The character she will demonstrate once in it will be exceptional. Her career is beyond distinguished.”
Click here to view Senator Young’s full remarks.
Full remarks as prepared for delivery:
I rise today in support of President Trump’s nomination of Indiana’s Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States.
In the coming days, Americans will hear a great deal about Judge Barrett, much of it from people who have never met her, who have never worked with her.
As a fellow Hoosier, I’ve had the privilege of actually getting to know Judge Barrett and her family and to understand the breadth of her intellect and the thoughtful reasoning of her work.
My own opinions have been informed by my personal interactions with her and supported by the countless students, clerks, and former colleagues, who despite their varied political beliefs, are united in their admiration for Judge Barrett.
They will second what I tell you here: Amy Coney Barrett’s qualifications to fill this seat are beyond question.
The character she will demonstrate once in it will be exceptional. Her career is beyond distinguished.
She graduated magna cum laude from Rhodes College; summa cum laude from Notre Dame Law School in South Bend, Indiana.
She was highly decorated while doing both, including dean’s award recognition and best exam in numerous courses.
She held prestigious clerkships for Judge Laurence Silberman on the U.S. Court of Appeals forthe D.C. Circuit and for the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court.
She is a respected educator, teaching for nearly two decades at Notre Dame’s Law School where she was named Distinguished Professor of the Year three times.
In 2017, she was nominated to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.
And I have to say, I was incredibly pleased by her nomination to the federal bench and was proud to vote for her confirmation and I wasn’t alone in my esteem for Judge Barrett.
During her confirmation process, those students and colleagues – former and current – came forward with words of support and praise by the score.
They described her as fair and decent, brilliant and generous. They were struck by her integrity, her impartiality and her temperament.
They spoke of her dedication to teaching students not how to think, but how to think forthemselves.
They recalled the long lines extending outside of her office of those students who sought and were always given advice and mentoring.
And though they came from different backgrounds and held differing views, they came together as a chorus to say this: Amy Coney Barrett possesses exactly the type of mind and the strength of character America’s constitutional system relies on. I agreed then. And I still do.
Just three years ago, I did not hear a single credible criticism of Judge Barrett based on her legal qualifications, and I do not anticipate hearing one now.
She will be guided by the law and precedents; she will be faithful to the Constitution.
As compelling as the testimonies of those who admire her are it is through her own words that we can see the type of Supreme Court Justice Amy Barrett will be:
“A judge is obligated to apply the law as it is and not as she wishes it would be,” Judge Barretthas said.
“She is obliged to follow the law even when her personal preferences cut the other way or when she will experience great public criticism for doing so.”
Now, It is important for Americans to understand her qualifications for the Supreme Court and her fidelity to the Constitution.
But they should also know a bit about her life away from the bench.
When I met her, it was quite obvious that Amy Coney Barrett was less interested in cataloguing her professional accomplishments and more inclined to discuss family and the accomplishments of her children, who she clearly loves so very much.
Judge Barrett and her husband Jesse have been married for over 20 years now. Their family is a large one and a loving one: They are parents to seven children. Their youngest son has special needs; they have twice adopted, both times from Haiti.
Judge Barrett has asked, “What greater thing can you do than raise children? That’s where you have your greatest impact on the world.”
And it is clear not just from those words, but from simply spending a few moments with this beautiful family, that this is her life’s joy and her greatest point of pride.
How absurd then to see her described, as some here and in the media have, to see her described as anti-health care. It is the opposite actually.
As the head of a large household she Amy Coney Barrett knows full well, and better than most of her detractors, how important medical coverage is to every American’s health – and to their peace of mind too.
And this includes insurance for those with pre-existing conditions, which Republicans have time and time again committed to protect while working to make health care more affordable and more accessible.
Now with all of this, this is actually not why Judge Barrett was nominated or why she belongs on the Supreme Court.
And let us be truthful: It is also not the real reason why those who oppose her do so – and do so with such rage.
In the absence of actual objections to Amy Coney Barrett’s resume they have rummaged through and purposely warped Judge Barrett’s record. They’ve warped her legal writings to position her as the mortal enemy of Obamacare.
This is a lie. Her scholarship, if properly read rather than quickly mined for propaganda, reveals no such thing.
For 30 years Democrats have consistently, they have continually, cried wolf, painting every Republican Supreme Court nominee as the end of the Republic, hoping always to scare the American people to their side.
And just as we witnessed two years ago, when their lies run out of believers, the lies grow more reckless.
This is a dangerous game to play right now – doubly so for the party that is blocking healthcare legislation during a pandemic.
Judge Barrett has not been nominated to the Supreme Court to make policy. Some seem to have forgotten, but that is our job.
President Trump selected her not only because of her sharp mind, and impressive qualifications, but because she won’t legislate from the bench. That’s the whole point.
Of course there are others who may take a different, even darker tack. To them, none of this matters. Not the impeccable credentials, not the ringing endorsements, not that she’s the role model of an accomplished professional and a loving mother. Not that she has been described as “mind-blowingly intelligent” and “one of the most humble people you will ever meet.”
None of it.
We’ll hear from them in coming days, likely in this chamber. We’ll hear a lot from them. And if past is prologue, they may choose to focus instead on Judge Barrett’s religious beliefs, not out of any deep conviction, but out of desperation.
They may argue that it’s impossible to live a life of faith and uphold the law. They may create a caricature of Judge Barrett that has no relation to reality, and one that reflects their own intolerance, not hers.
It is regrettable that in 2020 we must still repeat this refrain: We do not have a religious test forpublic service in the United States of America.
And we never have.
It’s true, Judge Barrett is a faithful Catholic. It’s true. So too are five current Supreme CourtJustices. So too are millions of Americans. To argue that this prohibits her from sitting on the Supreme Court, is nothing short of religious bigotry.
In 1793, George Washington penned a letter to the members of New Jerusalem Church of Baltimore, Maryland. In it Washington outlined one of the principles that makes America so unique.
“A man’s religious tenets,” he wrote “will not deprive him of the right of attaining and holding the highest offices that are known in the United States.”
Now happily, 200 years later, we now apply Washington’s equation regarding the holding of high offices to both men and women.
It’s unfortunate though that two centuries later we must still be reminded that every American can worship and pray as they please and no doors of opportunity shall be closed because of it.
And there’s this: Since our founding, 114 Americans have sat on the Supreme Court.
Only four of them have been women.
Are those who oppose this president and this pick really willing to use religious prejudice as an excuse to oppose confirming the fifth? Come on.
If so, the faith my colleagues should be worried about isn’t Judge Barrett’s, but the American people’s in this institution.
In the coming weeks, I hope we don’t regress into religious bigotry and I hope that the Senate can move past the personal attacks of some past nominees and instead focus on the professional qualifications and judicial comportment of Judge Barrett.
We’re constitutionally obligated to provide our advice and our consent to the president on his judicial nominees.
My hope, and perhaps it is a naïve one, is that we will fulfill that responsibility by holding hearings that are informative rather than destructive, not unlike those that led to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s bipartisan confirmation in 1993.
And if the Senate does this, and we consider Judge Barrett’s qualifications, she will be confirmed and subsequently serve with great honor, distinction, and she’ll do the American people proud.
Both the high court and our country will be better for it.
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