US President Donald Trump’s candidate for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court intends to inform senators later that she will adjudicate court cases fairly “no matter what my own preferences.”
Conservative Judge Amy Connie Barrett faces four-day Senate confirmation hearings beginning Monday.
If her appointment is approved, Judge Barrett, 48, will replace Liberal Judge Ruth Bader Jensberg, who recently passed away at the age of 87.
Judge Barrett’s nomination for the post sparked political controversy.
President Trump announced it at the end of last September. Republicans are trying to finish the process before Trump faces Democratic opponent Joe Biden in the presidential election on November 3.
If Barrett’s appointment is approved, the conservative judges would have a majority of 6-3 in the Supreme Court, which would alter her ideological balance perhaps for decades to come.
The nine appointed Supreme Court justices shall serve for life. Their decisions can shape public policy on everything from gun ownership and voting rights issues to abortion and campaign financing.
Democrats fear that Barrett’s appointment will give Republicans an edge in politically sensitive cases that reach the Supreme Court.
Barrett is the third judge to be appointed by President Trump, after Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.
What will Judge Barrett say to the senators in her opening remarks?
In what is considered an actual interview for the position, the confirmation hearing will give Barrett an opportunity to explain her judicial philosophy and qualifications for the life-long position.
In her prepared speech, published ahead of the hearing, Barrett thanked President Trump for “entrusting me with this profound responsibility,” which she describes as “honoring life.”
In her speech, Barrett, who has seven children, will talk about the importance of her family and how her parents prepared her for “a life of public service, principle, faith and love.”
She will pay tribute to the justices she has worked with, including former Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia.
Barrett will say that Judge Scalias reasoning “shaped me”. She will also say: “His judicial philosophy was simple: The judge should apply the law as it was written, not as the judge wanted.”
She will also say that she has “decided to preserve the same perception” in her judicial work.
And she speaks of her belief that making “political decisions and assessing judgments” is a matter for the elected politicians and not the justices of the Supreme Court.
On the way she conducts her work, Barrett will say: “In each case, I carefully studied the arguments presented by the parties, discussed issues with my colleagues in court, and did my best to arrive at the conclusion required by law, whatever my own preferences.”
She points out that “when I write an opinion on resolving a case, I read every word from the perspective of the losing party. I ask myself how would I view the decision if one of my children were the party against whom I adjudicate.”
What is the mapping installation process?
After the appointment hearings are over, the Senate – the upper house of the US Congress – will vote to confirm or deny Judge Barrett’s appointment.
Republicans have a slim majority in the Senate, but they seem to have the 51 votes needed to confirm the appointment of Justice Barrett.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has pledged to hold the confirmation vote before the presidential election.
Unless surprising, it appears that the Democrats have few procedural options to prevent the Senate from passing her appointment to the Supreme Court.
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Since Judge Jensberg died of cancer on September 18, Republican senators have been accused of hypocrisy for going ahead with appointing a Supreme Court candidate during a presidential election year.
In 2016, Mitch McConnell refused to hear Democratic President Barack Obamas Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.
The Republicans succeeded in blocking the nomination process, which came 237 days before the date of the elections, because they held a session of the Council and went on to say that the decision should be made at a time outside the year in which the elections are held.
This time, McConnell praised Judge Barrett’s appointment, saying the president “could not have made a better decision.”
Democrats say Republicans must hold their ground and let the voters decide. But Republicans respond by saying that the Democrats have also changed their minds since 2016.
Biden described Trump’s efforts to appoint a Supreme Court judge as an “abuse of power.”
He has so far declined to comment on whether the Democrats would try to add seats to the Supreme Court if he wins the presidential election.
Democrats urged Judge Barrett not to participate in any cases involving the outcome of the presidential election and the upcoming challenge to the health care law known as “ObamaCare.”
Their argument is that, because she was appointed by President Trump during a campaign, it would not be ethical for her to rule on such issues.
Democrats also raised concerns about the spread of the Corona virus among senior politicians, including Republicans, who participated in the hearings to confirm Judge Barrett’s appointment.
Republican leaders, keen to press ahead with the appointment, rejected pleas for the hearings to be delayed.
Who is Amy Connie Barrett?
* The candidate preferred by social conservatives because of her record of attitudes on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.
* A committed Catholic, but she insists that her faith will not affect her legal opinion.
Fundamentalism, which means its interpretation of the American Constitution as intended by its drafters, and not as a constitution compatible with changing times.
* She lives in Indiana and has seven children, including two who were adopted from Haiti.
Analysis: Anthony Zurcher: BBC North America correspondent
The change in the court’s ideological balance will have an impact on all aspects of American life and throughout the United States. Perhaps this change will be more in Texas than anywhere else.
While the political row over Trump’s appointment rages in Washington, DC, some of the biggest court battles to reach the Supreme Court in recent years have come from Texas.
The state, which is accustomed to broadening and pushing the boundaries of conservative law and its issues to the limit, has not always won those high-profile cases.
In cases relating to anti-sodomy law, voting rights, the death penalty and, more recently, abortion, it often came close to approval, often with a slim majority in decisions with a 5 to 4 vote.
However, with the death of Judge Jensberg and Judge Barrett’s willingness to take a seat on the court, Texas conservatives are optimistic about turning the Supreme Court in their favor.