The American Bar Association (ABA) awarded Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett its highest rating ahead of her confirmation hearings beginning this week.
The ABA announced its rating of Barrett, a Notre Dame law professor and judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, on Sunday evening in a letter to the Senate Judiciary chairman, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and ranking member, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to hold its first of four days of hearings over Barrett’s nomination on Monday.
“The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the federal judiciary has completed its evaluation of the professional qualifications of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who has been nominated by the President to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States,” wrote Randall Noel, chairman of the ABA’s standing committee. “As you know, the Standing Committee confines its evaluation to the qualities of integrity, professional competence, and judicial temperament. A substantial majority of the standing committee determined that Judge Barrett is ‘Well Qualified,’ and a minority is of the opinion that she is ‘Qualified’ to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. The majority rating represents the Standing Committee’s official rating.”
The American Bar Association released its determination that Judge Amy Coney Barrett is “Well Qualified” on the eve of the start of her Supreme Court confirmation hearings. pic.twitter.com/FSQLfz715i
— JERRY DUNLEAVY (@JerryDunleavy) October 12, 2020
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has previously referred to the ABA’s judicial ratings as “the gold standard by which judicial candidates are judged.”
Barrett, 48, would be the youngest member of the Supreme Court if confirmed. Democrats angered by her nomination to fill the seat left by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last month, are attempting to derail Barrett’s confirmation by falsely accusing President Donald Trump of “court-packing” and calling for Barrett’s hearing to be delayed over coronavirus concerns. None of the tactics are likely to stop Senate Republicans, as several Democratic lawmakers have admitted.
Major media outlets have also published critical stories of Barrett and her family, scrutinizing her affiliation with a Christian fellowship group People of Praise. The Washington Post ran a particularly ill-received story connecting Barrett’s children with three positive coronavirus tests at the school they attend, though the authors admit that no evidence links Barrett’s children to the outbreak.
The piece begins:
A private school in South Bend, Ind., attended by some children of President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett, notified parents late Thursday that two students and a teacher had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The emails from the Trinity School principal came less than two weeks after the Barrett family was honored at a White House event attended by several people who subsequently tested positive for the virus, including President Trump. The principal’s announcement alarmed some school families, though there is no evidence linking the school infections to the White House event.
Barrett’s opening statement was released on Sunday ahead of her Monday hearing, giving a glimpse into how the Supreme Court nominee intends to present herself to the committee and to the public. As The Daily Wire reports:
The four-page statement, issued to most major media outlets on Sunday, has Barrett focusing intently on her judicial qualifications and her theory of interpreting the law, rather than her background, family, or religion — something left-leaning and progressive activists have focused intently on over the past several weeks.
Instead, Barrett will address Democrats’ concerns that she will issue proclamations from the bench and “make law” with judicial rulings.
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