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When Senator Lisa Murkowski voted to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 2017, she made the right choice. Now, Judge Barrett has been nominated to fill the recent Supreme Court vacancy.
She is well qualified to serve as an associate justice on the Court. Her record shows that she understands the proper role of a judge and has deep respect for our Constitution. Here’s why Senator Murkowski should vote to confirm Judge Barrett again.
Barrett knows a judge’s role
The difference between acting on one’s personal ideological beliefs and restraining those beliefs in service to the law is the difference between the roles of lawmaker and judge. Judge Barrett knows what role she would serve on our nation’s highest court.
“It’s never appropriate for a judge to impose that judge’s personal convictions, whether they arise from faith or anywhere else, on the law,” she said during her 2017 confirmation hearing.
Not everyone sees it that way.
Already, before her confirmation hearing, senators are suggesting that unless Judge Barrett supports Policy X or Legislation Y, they will not vote to confirm her. That’s a blatant misunderstanding of the different roles played by legislators and judges. The role of writing and passing bills can be found in senators’ own job description.
Barrett protects the Constitution
But legislators are not the only ones who make that mistake.
Too often, judges sitting on our federal courts view the Constitution as an elastic document they can twist and bend to produce their preferred policy outcomes. This damages the integrity of our courts, our expectations of fairly dispensed justice, and the rule of law.
The job of a Supreme Court justice is not to advance any particular cause, but to ensure that government adheres to the Constitution as written and does not violate our rights.
That is exactly how Judge Barrett sees the role of a Supreme Court judge.
Explaining her judicial philosophy to Senator Dianne Feinstein in a written question and answer during her 2017 confirmation to the Seventh Circuit, Judge Barrett wrote, “The basic insight of originalism is that the Constitution is a law and should be interpreted like one. Thus, where the meaning of text is ascertainable, a judge must apply it.”
To Judge Barrett, the plain text of the Constitution and the law is the ultimate decider of what is legal and what is not. That is why she will protect it, not distort its meaning.
Barrett will safeguard our rights
Judges who believe they are empowered to legislate from the bench are judges who can trample the rights we are guaranteed by our Constitution. Without devoted constitutionalists on our courts, we risk losing the protection of those rights.
“I totally reject and I have rejected throughout my entire career the proposition that, as you say, the end justifies the means or that a judge should decide cases based on a desire to reach a certain outcome,” said Judge Barrett in her Seventh Circuit confirmation hearing.
While Senator Murkowski has expressed reservations about confirming a judge to the Supreme Court so close to the election, she should confirm Judge Barrett. Alaskans deserve a judge on the bench who will work to protect their rights.
Tell Senator Murkowski: Vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court!
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