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Mitch McConnell
  U.S. Senate Sen. Mc Connell on Supreme Court Vacancy  CSPAN  September 30, 2020 4:25am-4:40am EDT

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i yield the floor. mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the married is recognized. mr. mcconnell: on saturday evening, president trump announced his nominee for the supreme court, judge amy coney barrett of the u.s. court of appeals for the seventh circuit. i had the opportunity to meet with judge barrett earlier
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today. 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. americans deserve brilliant judges with first-rate legal minds. judge barrett is that and then some. she attended notre dame law school on full scholarship, graduated number one in her class, and was executive editor of the law review. she secured top-flight clerkships on the d.c. circuit and the supreme court, and after a few years in private practice, she returned to academia and built a national reputation as an award-winning professor and legal scholar. judge barrett is brilliant. americans also deserve judges who are committed to fairness and impartiality to following
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the facts in every case. they deserve judges who understand that their job is to interpret the text of our laws and constitution as they are written, not as the judge might personally wish they had been written differently. again, judge barrett passes with flying colors. her three years of rulings on the seventh circuit are the record of a judge who sets out to do impartial justice under law. nothing more and nothing less. this nominee could not be more fully qualified to serve on the supreme court. harvard law professor nora feldman is a fierce critic of president trump. he was one of house democrats' star witnesses in their impeachment. he has known judge barrett professionally for more than 20 years. despite some philosophical
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differences, he went out of his way, out of his way this past weekend to write that she is, quote, highly qualified to serve on the supreme court. here is what professor feldman wrote. i know her to be a brilliant and conscientious lawyer who will analyze and decide cases in good faith, applying the juris prudential principles to she is committed. those are the basic criteria for being a good justice. barrett meets and exceeds them. and if you believe in an ideal judicial temperament, professor feldman went on, then rest assured barrett has it. it's the same story from everyone, everyone who knows judge barrett well. the dean of the notre dame law school says she is, quote, an absolutely brilliant legal scholar and jurist and one of the most popular teachers we have ever had here.
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one of her faculty colleagues said, quote, she is a principled, careful judge, admired legal scholar, and amazing teacher. six young women who studied under now-judge barrett say she drilled into them the necessity of setting personal beliefs aside when evaluating the answer to a legal question. these objective qskses and credentials are what matter most. judge barrett deserves to be judged by her record. but a few more things barrett noticed. as our nation continues to honor the trail-blazing life of the late justice ginsburg, it seems fitting that president trump has nominated another brilliant woman who has climbed to the very top of the legal field. young women who know judge barrett well describe her as not just an excellent teacher but a
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gracious mentor and an inspiring example of female leadership. and as the only congressional leader not from new york or california, i applaud the president's decision to look to the heartland. if confirmed, judge barrett would be the only current supreme court justice with a law degree from anywhere besides harvard or yale. from anywhere besides harvard or yale. i'd say this nominee would bring welcome diversity on multiple fronts. as i predicted last week, the far left is rushing to make this nomination about anything but, anything but judge barrett's qualifications. the instant, the instant she was announced, they started with the same unhinged attacks they have recycled for every supreme court nomination by every republican
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president since the 1970's. remember the far left said justice stevens opposed women's rights, that justice kennedy would be a disaster for women, that justice souter would put the health and lives of americans at risk. well, saturday went like clock work. the political left took one more look at judge barrett's qualifications, gave up on debating the merits, and headed right, right at the same old scare tactics. our colleague, the democratic leader, informed americans that this 48-year-old working mother was going to turn back the clock on women's rights. this 48-year-old working mother is going to turn back the clock on women's rights, so said the democratic leader. the junior senator from california said the nominee would harm millions of
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americans. the junior senator from connecticut said, quote, amy coney barrett would create a humanitarian catastrophe. well, here we go again. here we go again. one of the preselected scare tactics is that judge barrett is out to steal americans' health care coverage. that's the claim. this mother of seven, including multiple children who were born or adopted facing preexisting condition medical challenges, is just itching to block families like hers from accessing medical care. what a joke. what a joke. when senate democrats are trying to attack chief justice john roberts long before obamacare even existed, they claimed he had sought to put millions of american consumers and families
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at risk of losing coverage. they have been recycling these same attacks since before they even passed a law they now say they are worried about. on this occasion, their entire argument seems to come down to a technical analysis judge barrett put forward in a 4-year-old academic paper about one part, one part of obamacare which congress has already zeroed out in the meantime. let me just say that again. the entire argument seems to come down to a technical analysis that judge barrett put forward in a 4-year-old academic paper about one part, just one part of obamacare, which congress has already zeroed out in the meantime. these hysterical claims collapse
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under the slightest examination, but sadly they are just beginning. 3 years ago, senate democrats' bizarre attacks on judge barrett's religious faith became a national embarrassment for their side of the aisle. the senior senator from illinois asked now-judge barrett do you consider yourself an orthodox catholic? this was actually during a united states senate hearing? the senior senator from california told her that, quote, the dogma lives loudly within you, and that's of concern? this was not, mr. president, regretfully an isolated incident. over the past few years, multiple, multiple senate democrats on multiple different occasions have openly suggested
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that certain kinds of religious beliefs might disqualify citizens from public service. in 2017, the junior senator from vermont, senator sanders, told an executive branch nominee that he had made an indefensible, hateful, islamaphobic statement because he had articulated a personal belief that christianity gets things right which islam gets wrong. in 2018, the junior senator from california, who is now asking for america's votes to be vice president, attacked a different nominee for participating in the knights of columbus. the knights of columbus? this is a massive, massive noncontroversial catholic men's association that is known for things like shoveling snow off
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church sidewalks and hosting pancake breakfasts. were you aware that the knights of columbus opposed a woman's right to choose, senator harris asked, as though it were remotely controversial that a famous catholic organization would subscribe to catholic teaching on the right to life? the junior senator for hawaii suggested this nominee would need to quit the organization, quit the knights of columbus to serve as a judge. you'd think the national backlash to all of this would have taught the political left a lesson, but here's what happened in just the past few days. the associated press, reuters, "politico," "newsweek," and "the washington post" have all
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already run major stories on the barrett family's private faith practices, each strongly implied there might be something worrisome or disqualifying if a federal judge were a faithful christian with strong ties to spiritual groups. "politico's" contributing editor literally went and period -- and peered around the physical grounds of a religious facility in south bend so he could report what the youth group had written on their white board. less than 72 hours in. this is where we are. the elite class is already treating americans of faith like exotic animals on display in a
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menagerie. look, i understand the far left had committed to opposing this nominee before she was even named. i understand some politicians had decided to oppose judge barrett before they had even considered her record. but every time, every time they choose to use the nominee's personal faith as a political weapon, they will only be reminding millions of americans why it is so essential to have judges just like judge barrett on the bench. mr. president, in this country, our country, citizens have religious liberty. in this country, our country,
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there is no religious test for public office. in this country, our country, we have the right to seek the protection of the courts when our free exercise of religion is threatened. that is why we need judges like judge barrett who understand our laws and constitution and will uphold our freedoms accordingly. if the reflexive opponents of judge barrett's nomination want to argue otherwise, they will only be proving how much better she understands our constitution than they did.d with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: well, thank you, mr. president. now, after senate republicans established the principle that the senate shouldn't