Amy Coney Barrett Says Courts “Should Not Try” to Make Policy Decisions in Opening Statement

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett plans to focus on her view of the role of the judiciary and late Justice Antonin Scalia’s influence in her opening statement on Monday.

Barrett released her opening statement ahead of her confirmation hearing kicking off in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week.

Barrett, who has been accused by Democrats of seeking to push through long-standing Republican wishlist items like undercutting abortion rights and Obamacare, wrote that it is not her view that the court should make policy decisions.

"The policy decisions and value judgements of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the people," the statement says. "The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts could not try."

Barrett touts Scalia:

Barrett, who clerked for Scalia, wrote that his “reasoning” shaped her views.

Barrett wrote that Scalia’s "judicial philosophy was straightforward: A judge must apply the law as written, not as the judge wishes it were.”

She also wrote that the late justice was "devoted to his family, resolute in his beliefs, and fearless of criticism."

"There is a tendency in our profession to treat the practice of law as all-consuming, while losing sight of everything else. But that makes for a shallow and unfulfilling life," Barrett wrote. "I worked hard as a lawyer and a professor; I owed that to my clients, my students, and myself. But I never let the law define my identity or crowd out the rest of my life."

Barrett focuses on her family:

"I am used to being in a group of nine—my family. Nothing is more important to me, and I am so proud to have them behind me," Barrett said in the opening statement.

The statement says her parents "modeled for me and my six siblings a life of service, principle, faith, and love” and her husband is "a selfless and wonderful partner at every step along the way."

"I have been nominated to fill Justice Ginsburg's seat, but no one will ever take her place," the statement goes on to say. "I will be forever grateful for the path she marked and the life she led."


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