The American Bar Association on Sunday announced that it has given Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett its highest rating. Monday is the start of Barrett’s Senate confirmation hearings.
In a Sunday letter addressed to Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the American Bar Association advised that Barrett is “well qualified” for a position on the Supreme Court.
On Sunday, DC Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy shared the letter on Twitter, writing, “The American Bar Association released its determination that Judge Amy Coney Barrett is ‘Well Qualified’ on the eve of the start of her Supreme Court confirmation hearings.”
A portion of the letter reads, “The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the federal judiciary has completed its evaluation of the professional qualifications of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who has been nominated by the President to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.”
“As you know, the Standing Committee confines its evaluation to the qualities of integrity, professional competence, and judicial temperament,” the letter continues. “A substantial majority of the standing committee determined that Judge Barrett is ‘Well Qualified,’ and a minority is of the opinion that she is ‘Qualified’ to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States.”
The letter concludes, “The majority rating represents the Standing Committee’s official rating.”
As noted by the Daily Wire, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in 2001 referred to the American Bar Association’s judicial ratings as the “gold standard by which judicial candidates are judged.”
On Sunday night, Barrett released the opening statement she plans to issue on Monday morning.
A portion of her remarks read:
Courts have a vital responsibility to enforce the rule of law, which is critical to a free society. But courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life. The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the People. The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try.
That is the approach I have strived to follow as a judge on the Seventh Circuit. In every case, I have carefully considered the arguments presented by the parties, discussed the issues with my colleagues on the court, and done my utmost to reach the result required by the law, whatever my own preferences might be. I try to remain mindful that, while my court decides thousands of cases a year, each case is the most important one to the parties involved. After all, cases are not like statutes, which are often named for their authors. Cases are named for the parties who stand to gain or lose in the real world, often through their liberty or livelihood.
You can read the remarks in their entirety here and below.
‘In a category of excellence’: Graham praises Barrett and warns Democrats against Kavanaugh repeat
Graham, a South Carolina Republican, described Barrett as “in a category of excellence” that should make the nation proud but warned that the confirmation will take place in an election year.
“My Democratic colleagues will say, ‘This has never been done,’” he said, countering, “The Senate is doing its duty, constitutionally,” even though no justice has been confirmed so close to an election.
Monday’s hearing will be composed of opening statements by senators and Barrett, who is now a court of appeals judge for the 7th Circuit, having been confirmed to that bench by the Senate in 2017. Senators will question Barrett on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Graham said the hearing is not about “persuading each other, unless something really dramatic happens,” but said it would give Democrats a chance to “dig deep into her philosophy” and serve the same purpose for the GOP.
“Most importantly, it gives you, the American people, the chance to find out about Judge Barrett,” Graham said. “Find out for yourself.”
Graham warned Democrats that Barrett “doesn’t deserve” the treatment of Kavanaugh, who was scrutinized in an additional hearing to air accusations by a former high school acquaintance who said he sexually assaulted her.
“Let’s remember — the world is watching,” Graham said.