Oct. 12 (UPI) — U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett said Monday she would be fair and impartial if confirmed and thanked her family and those who have prayed for her in remarks to the Senate’s judiciary committee.
Barrett, who has served for three years on U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, praised Justice Anthony Scalia, for whom she clerked after graduating from law school, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, whom she would replace on the high court.
Of Scalia, a conservative who died in 2016, Barrett said she admired how “he was devoted to his family, resolute in his beliefs and fearless of criticism.”
Of Ginsberg, Barrett said, “I have been nominated to take Justice Ginsberg’s seat, but no one can take her place. I will be forever grateful for the path she marked and the life she led.”
Barrett, who would be the only Supreme Court justice with school-age children, spoke of her husband and gave a short introduction of all seven of her children and her multiple siblings.
Barrett appeared to address Democratic concerns that she would be a conservative activist on the high court by saying that on the 7th Circuit, she has striven “to reach the result required by the law, whatever my own preferences might be.”
She also said courts are “not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life,” adding that the elected legislative and executive branches should be accountable for public policy. “The public should not expect the court to do so, and the court should not try.”
The University of Notre Dame Law School graduate pointed out she would be the only justice on the Supreme Court who did not graduate from Harvard or Yale university law schools.
“If I am fortunate enough to be confirmed, I pledge to faithfully and impartially discharge my duties to the American people as an associate justice of the Supreme Court,” she said.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is running for president, said Monday he feared Barrett could be the pivotal vote in an upcoming Supreme Court case to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which could remove insurance coverage for millions during a pandemic.
Biden, who like Barrett belongs to the Roman Catholic Church, said her religion should be off-limits during questioning by the judiciary committee.
“I don’t think there should be any questions about her faith,” he said.
Capitol police said 22 people were arrested while protesting outside the confirmation hearings Monday morning for “crowding, obstructing or incommoding” entrance to a building and unlawful conduct.