WASHINGTON, D.C., -- On Tuesday, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett met with Repbulican lawmakers on Capitol Hill ahead of her confirmation hearing scheduled for Oct. 12. Judge Barrett was accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.
During her time on Capitol Hill Judge Barrett met with Republican Senate leaders such as, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as well as Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsay Graham, who offered her high praise at the conclusion of the meetings.
Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, who has spearheaded the campaign to push the Trump Administration’s Supreme Court nominee through before the election, told reporters, “I left our discussion even more convinced that President Trump has nominated exactly the kind of outstanding person whom the American people deserve to have on their highest court.” McConnell asserted that “this nominee could not be more fully qualified to serve on the Supreme Court.”
Judge Barrett’s nomination has been met with scrutiny from Senate Democrats who claim that her confirmation to the Supreme Court could lead to the reversal of Roe v. Wade and overturning of the Affordable Care Act. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Shumer promised that Senate Democrats would “use all the tools we have in the tool box.” to delay Barrett’s confirmation. Shumer also acknowledged that Senate Democrats are at a disadvantage, asserting, “After McConnell's defiling the Senate, there are fewer tools and they're not as sharp. But we will use every tool we can.”
Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, echoed Democrat leaders, stating that Judge Barrett’s confirmation would result in the “loss of legitimacy” in the highest court in the United States. He said, “My Republican colleagues must remember that the legitimacy of the Senate and our judiciary are on the line.”
Additionally, Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed also announced his opposition to Judge Barrett’s nomination in a statement last Saturday, stating, “I oppose this unprecedented process to drag the Court down an extremist, polarized path and therefore I oppose this nomination.” Reed claimed, “This is a not-so-subtle effort to terminate the Affordable Care Act and end protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Republicans like to rail against activist judges who legislate from the bench, but this is the ultimate attempt to substitute the judiciary for the legislative branch and override the will of the American people.”
Senator Whitehouse and Senator Reed’s announcements of opposition follow days of demonstrations in front of their homes from Rhode Island Democrats and activist groups urging the senators to vote against the confirmation of Judge Barrett. Former state representative Aaron Regenburg asserted, “Democrats need to literally shut the Senate down -- and we want Senator Reed and Senator Whitehouse to know that Rhode Islanders will be with them 100% when they do.”
Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings will begin on Oct. 12. and last four days in which she will answer questions from Senators, listen to testimonials and provide opening statements.