Grassley Votes in Senate Judiciary Committee Executive Session for Judge Amy Coney Barrett to Serve as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
Oct 22, 2020
Prepared Remarks by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Senate Judiciary Committee
Executive Session on the Nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to Serve as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Mr. Chairman, I’m pleased to support Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination. She has the temperament and humility we expect of a judge. She approaches cases without bias or agenda. Most important, she understands that a judge should interpret – not make – the law.
She was thorough, candid and forthright at the hearing. But when pressed on how she might rule in a case, Judge Barrett properly applied the Ginsburg Rule. She demonstrated her independence by not showing hints, previews or forecasts.
Judge Barrett clearly respects precedent, and she practices judicial restraint. Her judicial method is rigorous and exacting, but fair and open minded.
I specifically asked Judge Barrett if she’d made any promises to anyone about how she might rule on a case. She responded, “The answer is no… It would be inconsistent with judicial independence.”
Judge Barrett is even-handed, and has ruled for both plaintiffs and defendants in all kinds of cases. When asked if she will follow the law wherever it leads, she said “Yes.”
Let me talk about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Throughout the hearing, Democrats spun a bunch of nonsense about Judge Barrett and the ACA. They claimed her critique of Chief Justice Roberts’ reasoning in the 2012 ACA case dictates how she’d vote in upcoming cases. This is bunk.
Judge Barrett made clear that she doesn’t have an agenda. She testified, “I have no hostility to the ACA.”
Academics critique court decisions all the time. Her critique of Roberts’ reasoning was shared by many legal commentators across the political spectrum.
Moreover, the questions before the Supreme Court this fall are entirely separate. So it’s pointless to speculate.
Senate Democrats want to portray Judge Barrett as a threat to health care. They want to distract from the fact that they recently filibustered a COVID relief bill that would’ve protected pre-existing conditions.
This all is just a Democrat election year scare tactic. But voters aren’t buying it. A Politico poll released yesterday shows a majority of Americans want the Senate to confirm Judge Barrett. That’s what we’re going to do.
Judge Barrett’s record shows that she practices judicial restraint. In her words, “a judge who approaches a case as an opportunity for an exercise of will has… betrayed her judicial duty.”
Mr. Chairman, Judge Barrett won’t be a politician on the bench. She’ll make decisions as they should be decided, in an impartial manner and in accordance with the law and the Constitution. I take Judge Barrett at her word: “in my time as a judge, my job, my boss is the rule of law, not imposing my policy preferences.”
I’m pleased to support Judge Barrett to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. I urge my colleagues to as well.