Who is Judge Amy Coney Barrett and what are state leaders’ reactions to her SCOTUS nomination?

Washington DC

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTRF) — President Trump announced Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday in a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House.

If confirmed by the Senate, Coney Barrett, at age 48, would be the youngest Justice on the current court. Born in 1972 in Louisiana, she is married and the mother of seven children, two of whom she and her husband, Jesse Barrett, adopted from Haiti. One child has special needs. She is a devout Catholic.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett listens as President Donald Trump announces Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School, where she later taught law, and Rhodes College. She worked for a Washington law firm. Notably, she clerked for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

She is a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, a position President Trump nominated her to in 2017.

During her confirmation hearing for the appellate seat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California questioned how her Catholic faith would influence her rulings:

“I think in your case, professor, when you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein said. “And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for, for years in this country.”

Coney Barrett was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit by a bipartisan vote of 55-43 on October 31, 2017. Every Republican senator, along with three Democrats—Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) voted to confirm Judge Barrett. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) also voted to confirm Judge Barrett and spoke on the Senate floor in support of her nomination according to a statement from Capito.

If confirmed, Coney Barrett would be the third Supreme Court appointee of President Trump’s first term in office.

There are nine justices on the Supreme Court, and Coney Barrett would be the sixth justice appointed by a Republican president.

Coney Barret would fill a seat left vacant on the high court due to the death on Sept. 18 of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who became a liberal icon.

In contrast, Coney Barrett is a conservative and her confirmation would mean a conservative majority on the high court. Democrats worry that this could impact issues such as abortion and gun laws, giving them a conservative slant.

Ohio and West Virginia state leaders weighed in with their thoughts on President Trump’s latest U.S. Supreme Court nominee in separate statements released Saturday.

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito is very pleased with the president’s choice:

“President Trump has selected another outstanding Supreme Court candidate by nominating Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Judge Barrett has had a distinguished career as a law professor, law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia, and federal appellate judge.

She has demonstrated a strong commitment to the rule of law and to carefully considering the text and history of the Constitution. I look forward to meeting with Judge Barrett soon as the Senate moves forward with the confirmation process and will consider her based on her merits as West Virginians would expect me to do.”

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (W.Va.-R) stated he will not vote for Coney Barrett or any Supreme Court nominee before election day on Nov. 3 and urges Republicans to “slow down:”

“As West Virginia’s Senator, I have always taken my Constitutional obligation to advise and consent on a nominee for a Supreme Court vacancy extremely seriously. I will review Judge Coney Barrett’s legal qualifications and judicial philosophy just as I have done with every Supreme Court nominee that has come before the Senate during my time as a Senator.

Rushing to confirm a Supreme Court nominee weeks before a presidential election has never been done before in the history of our nation and it will only fan the flames of division at a time when our country is deeply divided.

I cannot support a process that risks further division of the American people at a time when we desperately need to come together. I will not vote to confirm Judge Coney Barrett or any Supreme Court nominee before Election Day on November 3rd.

I urge my Republican friends to slow down, put people before politics, and give their constituents a chance to vote.”

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va)

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine applauds President Trump’s nomination of Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court:

“As President of the United States, President Trump has the constitutional obligation to put forward a U.S. Supreme Court nominee, and I applaud his selection of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who is both highly qualified and highly respected. 

In addition to her distinguished judicial career, Judge Coney Barrett is a mother of seven, a constitutional scholar, and an esteemed law professor.

Judge Coney Barrett’s prior writings and judicial opinions show that she will interpret the law fairly and impartially, and I urge the U.S. Senate to act quickly to confirm her nomination.”

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R)

President Trump and Republicans hope to seal Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation by the election on November 3.

Stay with 7News for updates.

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