It’s day two of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings for the U.S. Supreme Court. As expected, Judge Barrett is proving that she understands our Constitution and the importance of separation of powers far better than Senate Democrats do.
Since fewer than one-third of Americans want the Senate to reject Barrett’s nomination, Democrats have made their strategy clear: distraction. Rather than question Judge Barrett’s credentials—which are outstanding and have received bipartisan praise—they are trying to disrupt the process with yet another fight about Obamacare.
Of course, it’s not a judge’s job to make policy. Amy Coney Barrett knows that.
“Courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life,” she said yesterday. “The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches, elected by and accountable to the people.”
Keeping politics out of the courtroom is at the heart of our Constitution’s separation of powers. If Senate Democrats don’t want to believe Judge Barrett or their Republican colleagues, they should at least heed the words of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“A judge sworn to decide impartially can offer no forecasts, no hints, for that would show not only disregard for the specifics of the particular case—it would display disdain for the entire judicial process,” Ginsburg said during her 1993 confirmation hearings.
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Elena Kagan, Samuel Alito, and Stephen Breyer all respected this standard and declined to comment on issues that might come before the court. So why are Democrats pressing Judge Barrett to do the opposite?
Simple: “It was all cover for the gripe Democrats don’t dare make publicly: that Barrett won’t be an activist justice seeking to read liberals’ wish lists into the Constitution,” the New York Post editorial board writes. “And that’s not good enough for Democrats who know how unpopular so many of their political dreams are.”
Judge Barrett has made it clear that her personal opinions would have zero impact on her rulings. Her track record as a federal judge backs that up. Senate Democrats may have no idea how our Constitution works, but, fortunately, Amy Coney Barrett does.
“A judge must apply the law as it is written, not as she wishes it were,” she said.