With the passing of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a third Supreme Court vacancy arose for President Trump and the United States Senate to fill. There’s been a seemingly endless stream of commentary about the process and about Amy Coney Barrett’s qualifications. It’s important to understand the constitutional duties of the President and Senate, as that can answer any and all procedural objections that have been raised since the discussion around filling this vacancy began. Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 is known as the Appointments Clause. It empowers the president to nominate and, with the confirmation of the Senate, to appoint public officials, including judges, of the Supreme Court. The president has the power to nominate, and the Senate has the power to reject or confirm his or her nominee, serving as a check on the executive’s power. It’s critical to understand that this is the lone constitutional language that directs this process. So, as you hear analysis about the process considerations, all one needs to cite is Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 as the sole authority directing the process.
When it comes to Americans for Prosperity’s engagement in the confirmation process, we enumerated principals that would guide our decision on whether or not we would support a nominee. They are the following: that the judge be fair, independent-minded, understand the proper role of a judge and decides cases based on the law rather than any personal agenda.
Upon President Trump’s announcement last month that his nominee would be Amy Coney Barrett, AFP acted to endorse and engage in the process because first and foremost, Judge Barrett will put the Constitution first, defend our freedoms and not legislate from the bench. Her opinions and writings reveal a judicial philosophy that is rooted in the constitution and understanding of the role of a judge. When interpreting the constitution or statutes, Judge Barrett looks to the plain text, focusing on the “ordinary public meaning” when it was written, rather than legislating from the bench or injecting her own views. In Judge Barrett’s own words, “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, the judge must apply it.”
Judge Barrett’s education, high-profile clerkships, work as a professor and recent confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is a deep bench of accomplishments. Indeed, during her nomination to the 7th Circuit, Judge Barrett received endorsements from all 49 full-time Notre Dame Law School faculty, 500 Notre Dame Law School alumni, every SCOTUS law clerk in the October Term 1998 and an ideologically diverse group of legal scholars.
The Senate hearings begin October 12th. Senators, regardless of party, who desire to fill the current vacancy with a jurist who respects the constitution and respects their distinct role as lawmakers should support Judge Barrett. What we’re asking of each of you is your federal grassroots lobbying of both PA Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey. To date, AFP activists across all 50 states have sent over 200,000 letters to their United States Senators. The action each of your listening can take now is to visit www.uniteforbarrett.com and sign the letter. From there, you can also share this action to your Facebook and Twitter pages. Additionally, we’d ask that you join our Facebook Group, “Confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.” Now more than ever, continuing the drumbeat of contacts into both PA Senators offices is critical, and we need your partnership and engagement to ensure that flurry of activity.
You can find us on Facebook by searching @PAAFP and on Twitter by searching @AFPPennsylvania.