The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee advanced on Thursday the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the full Senate, placing her one step away from becoming the newest member of the Supreme Court and filling the seat of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The Judiciary Committee voted 12-0 to recommend her nomination, with Republicans supporting Barrett and Democrats boycotting the hearing and not voting.
Barrett, 48, currently is a member of the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. She would become the fifth woman to serve on the Supreme Court and the first mother of school-age children to do so. She would become the third nominee of President Trump to be confirmed – the most of any president in one term since President Nixon.
She also could help re-shape the court’s ideology. Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said Barrett would become the first woman appointed to the court who is personally pro-life.
“It's OK to be a complete person and be on the Supreme Court. It's OK to be pro-life. She embraces the pro-life cause in her personal life, but she understands that judging is not a cause – it's a process. She embraces her faith, like millions of other Americans,” Graham said.
It’s a turning point, he said, for conservative women.
“This is why we all run,” he said. “It's moments like this that make everything you go through matter. It's moments like this, where you can tell young conservative women: There's a place at the table for you. This is a groundbreaking historic moment for [the] American legal community.”
But Graham insisted Barrett will not apply her personal beliefs to her rulings.
“It will be the law as written in the Constitution or by statute,” he said. “... She will take her job on without agenda.”
Democrats have argued Barrett’s confirmation would endanger the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in a November case. Republicans rejected such an argument.
“We all know that’s bunk,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa), a committee member. “... Voters aren’t buying it.”
Grassley noted that “a majority of Americans” in a new poll “want the Senate to confirm Judge Barrett.” A Gallup survey this week showed Americans supporting Barrett’s confirmation by a margin of 51-46 percent.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.