Heading into the final stretch of the 2020 election, President Donald Trump announced a list of twenty strong legal minds he would consider for the Supreme Court – expanding on a list of potential nominees that he had presented to Americans over the last four years. From this growing list, he nominated two great constitutionalists to the Supreme Court in Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Now he is following that up with a third nomination to the Supreme Court with Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
President Trump recognizes that nominating Supreme Court justices is one of the most critical decisions that the president can make, and he is once again fulfilling that duty with an exceptional and well-qualified pick in Judge Barrett. In 2016, then-candidate Trump promised the American people that if they elected him as president of the United States, he would nominate constitutionalists in the mold of the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia to the Supreme Court.
And who’s better than a woman who actually clerked for him not long ago? Judge Barrett’s credentials more than speak for themselves.
She was the first of her class and graduated summa cum laude from Notre Dame Law School before later clerking for Justice Scalia. For the past 18 years, she has taught law at her alma mater and was confirmed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals by a bipartisan vote in the Senate in 2017. Even the American Bar Association rated her as “well qualified” during the process.
Throughout Judge Barrett’s 2017 confirmation proceedings, more than 70 prominent legal scholars signed a letter to support her. She was backed by every living clerk who worked with her in the Supreme Court, and that includes three who clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Judge Barrett is so beloved by her students that 470 of her former students signed a letter to support her confirmation in 2017.
This is a woman of high character who we are talking about here. The Senate has no reason to not confirm her in quick fashion – they already did it once.
Unfortunately, the process may not be as easy as it should be. Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media are already arguing that Judge Barrett should not be confirmed because this is an election year. Senate Republicans never confirmed Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in 2016, and Democrats are arguing that the favor should now be returned. However, they are ignoring one very important detail. The situation we find ourselves in now is completely different than the situation the Senate found themselves in four years ago.
After the passing of Justice Scalia in 2016, then-President Barack Obama nominated Judge Garland to the Supreme Court. The Senate never confirmed Judge Garland and for good reason. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell explained it best: “Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year.”
Republicans were given the Senate Majority by voters in 2014 in a referendum to keep a check on President Obama for his last two years in office. In 2016, President Obama was in the last year of his second term, making him a lame-duck president until either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton succeeded him. It didn’t matter what choice Americans made – there would be a new president in a matter of months. And that president deserved the right to name the next justice of the Supreme Court. President Obama was a lame-duck president facing a Congress controlled by the opposing party.
Now in 2020, the Senate and the White House are both controlled by the Republican Party. There is no division. In fact, President Trump was elected on the promise in 2016 that he would nominate constitutionalists to the federal bench, and Republicans in the Senate saw their majority grow in the 2018 midterm elections after the disgusting showing from Democrats in Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process.
In two elections, Republicans were elected on the issue of the Supreme Court. If anything, President Trump and the Senate have a mandate to confirm Judge Barrett to the bench. Not to mention, President Trump is only in his first term. He’s far from a lame-duck president.
Regardless of what Democrats may say, Senate Republicans have a responsibility to the people who elected them to office to confirm Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court. And if Americans want President Trump to continue nominating great constitutionalists to the federal bench who will continue to defend their individual rights and freedoms, they need to turn out on Election Day and re-elect President Trump for another four years.
Kimberly Guilfoyle (@KimGuilfoyle) is a Senior Advisor to Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. and National Chair of the Trump Victory Finance Committee.