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Deactivating Judicial Activism: Barrett Confirmed Exactly One Month After Her Supreme Court Nomination

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America has a new Supreme Court justice, confirmed by the Senate 52-to-48 and sworn into office an hour later. It was a month to the day after President Donald Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett that Clarence Thomas swore her in Monday night in a White House ceremony.

Still, her opponents fought to the end, insisting her confirmation was rushed and wrong. As Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) argued on the Senate floor earlier in the day, “This Republican majority is ramming this nomination through only because they can.” 

‘The Legacy of Our Ancestors Falls to You’

Barrett backers maintain the process followed the Constitution and at the White House ceremony, the president spoke of Barrett’s sacred place in history.

He said to her, “Justice Barrett, as you take your oath tonight, the legacy of our ancestors falls to you.  The American people put their trust in you and their faith in you as you take up the task of defending our laws, our Constitution, and this country that we all love.”

In her comments after her swearing-in, Barrett stated, “I love the Constitution and the democratic republic that it establishes and I will devote myself to preserving it.”

Will the Democrats Follow Through on Their Threats to Pack the Court?

After this party-line confirmation vote (with the exception of Republican defector Maine Sen. Susan Collins), all eyes will be on the election to see if Democrats take back the Senate and then follow through on threats of consequences, like expanding the Supreme Court with enough liberal justices to undo the new conservative majority that was solidified by Barrett’s ascendancy.

Joe Biden told “60 Minutes” this past Sunday one of his first acts as president would be appointing a bipartisan commission on the subject.

“I will ask them to, over 180 days, come back to me with recommendations as to how to reform the court system. Because it’s getting out of whack,” he told CBS’ Norah O’Donnell.

Asked after Barrett’s confirmation vote about Democrats’ threats to pack the Court, Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso stated, “I absolutely believe that the Democrats will, if they take the House, the White House and the Senate, change the rules dramatically and change the country dramatically by expanding the size of the Supreme Court. Going from nine to 11 or 13. And this is one of the list of horribles that I think they would put into place.”   

Angered at Hints This Mother of Two Black Children Is Racist

Though Barrett didn’t face a full-on assault like Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation, Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford blasted the tactics used against this mother of two adopted black children.

“Even this candidate is being challenged as a racist, quiet segregationist. It is the firebomb thrown into the middle of a dialogue,” Lankford said.

He continued that if he asked those Barrett opponents if they really believe she’s a racist, they’d admit the truth. Lankford said, “I have every confidence that the members on the other side would say ‘no. But it plays well to the base.’”

President Donald Trump applauds Amy Coney Barrett after she took her Constitutional Oath for the Supreme Court at the White House, Oct. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

There’s Room at the Top for People of Faith

Meanwhile, Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz celebrated Barrett’s confirmation. 

Hawley stated on the Senate floor, “Tonight we will set a precedent: that people of faith, people of the convictions that Judge Barrett has and shares are welcome in this country in every office. They are welcome in the highest court in the land.”

And Cruz said minutes after Barrett’s confirmation, “To everyone who cherishes religious liberty – the first liberty protected in the first clause of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights – that the right to live according to your faith and conscience without government getting in the way, today was an important victory.”

The Not-So-Happy People

But there were plenty of critics letting out a collective yelp at Barrett’s confirmation.

Among them was socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, commenting, “Tonight’s vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett as a Supreme Court justice is a disgrace, not only because of what she will do when she gets on the bench, but because of the entire process which was pushed through with extraordinary hypocrisy by Senate Republicans in the last days of a president’s term."

Nicole Melaku at the National Partnership for New Americans blasted Barrett on all sorts of fronts, claiming, “Justice Barrett’s confirmation threatens the fundamental rights and livelihood of millions of Americans. The rushed confirmation hearing represents a crude political move to stack the Supreme Court as it may hear cases related to the 2020 election, political apportionment via the census, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and Temporary Protected Status (TPS), in addition to the cases the court has already agreed to hear regarding the Affordable Care Act, discrimination based on sexual orientation, the border wall, and the legality of the Trump administration’s attacks on asylum.”

Muslim Advocates Executive Director Farhana Khera warned, “This sham confirmation vote threatens the basic rights and dignity of American Muslims and all people who care about civil rights.”

Vanita Gupta at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights added to that, “Barrett’s confirmation is shameful. This entire process — from selection to confirmation — is rushed and illegitimate and threatens core civil rights. Judge Barrett’s anemic testimony coupled with her judicial record confirms that she will be a decisive vote to take away access to critical health care, reproductive freedom, LGBTQ equality, and many more of our hard-fought rights.”

First lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, Amy Coney Barrett and Jesse Barrett, stand together after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administered the Constitutional Oath to Barrett, Oct. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Hispanics for and Against Amy

Sindy Benavides at the left-leaning League of United Latin American Citizens revealed, “We are deeply troubled by Judge Barrett’s stance on issues such as voting rights, immigration, climate change, and reproductive rights. These are issues that impact Latinos and people of color every day... Now we are faced with the very real prospect of losing precious civil rights for decades as a result of capricious partisan politics that have no place in our legal system, much less the Supreme Court.” 

Compare those words of worry and woe to comments about Barrett from Casey Mattox of Americans for Prosperity: “She is a highly-qualified and independent-minded judge who will help ensure the Supreme Court upholds the Constitution and preserves our fundamental civil liberties for years to come.”

Mattox was joined by Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, who said of Barrett, “She will protect the constitutional rights of everyone without prejudice and has pledged to fairly apply the law and interpret the Constitution as it was written.”

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Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, head of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, said of Barrett, “She is a woman of great faith who has proven time and time again her commitment to advancing righteousness and justice in our nation. I pray God will guide her decisions during her tenure on the court and that she will judge with fairness and wisdom."

 ‘Glimmer of Light at the End of a Dark Tunnel’

Joining Rodriguez, Mattox and Mancini throughout Thursday evening, conservative, pro-life and evangelical leaders heaped praise on Barrett’s rise to the Supreme Court.

Marjorie Dannenfelser of the pro-life activist group Susan B. Anthony List stated, “Today our nation gained a brilliant woman jurist on our highest court. Justice Barrett’s confirmation marks a turning point in the fight to protect unborn children and mothers. The American people can now see a glimmer of light at the end of a dark tunnel, when the Supreme Court may finally return to the people the ability to enact laws that reflect their values and save lives.”

Lila Rose of the pro-life activist group Live Action declared, “I am hopeful that Justice Amy Coney Barrett, when given the opportunity, will acknowledge the obvious: there is absolutely no right to kill children found in the Constitution. The science is crystal clear: a human life in the womb is just as human as a life outside of the womb. The Constitution states that each of us must be given equal treatment under the law, and this includes children in the womb."

At Heritage Action for America, Jessica Anderson said, “For decades, the Left has been filling the bench with activist judges. Now, thanks to President Trump and grassroots conservatives, we are reforming the bench with judges and justices like Amy Coney Barrett who will respect the Constitution and the plain meaning of the law. Justice Barrett will help steer the Court to uphold the law and the constitutional balance of powers — a much-needed change from the activist drift of the Court.”

40 Days From Start to Finish: ‘An Incredible Achievement’

Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund President Jenny Beth Martin stated, “Despite the fierce resistance of the Democrat Party and the mainstream media, President Trump and Senate Republicans were able to fill a Supreme Court vacancy in less than 40 days in the heart of a presidential campaign. That’s an incredible achievement.”

Free Chapel’s Senior Pastor Jentezen Franklin said, “Amy Coney Barrett is a spectacular role model for my own daughters - and for young girls across the country - who aspire to live with a deep commitment to faith in God, a profound love for this blessed nation of ours, and who desire to guarantee liberty and justice for all.  My family and I are praying for her. As she has with every responsibility given to her thus far, we are confident she will approach her new position with wisdom and humility.”

She Loves the Law & Fears the Lord

Prestonwood Baptist Church Pastor Jack Graham stated, “I believe Judge Barrett will prove to be an excellent justice, as she has demonstrated not only an extensive knowledge of constitutional law but also that she fears the Lord, which as the Bible says is the beginning of wisdom. I pray she remains steadfast in her commitment to Scripture and to the U.S. Constitution, as her decisions will impact Americans for generations to come.”   

My Faith Votes’ Jason Yates explained, “For years we have seen our freedoms slowly erode under activist judges and politicians who have no regard for our deeply held beliefs or for America’s founding Judeo-Christian principles. With Justice Barrett, the Supreme Court is now returning to its intended role as the highest judicial body in the land whose purpose is to protect our freedoms as they were originally designed in our Constitution. This appointment ensures a fully independent judiciary. It is a generational victory for our freedoms and America.”

Dr. James Dobson intoned, “This is a significant moment in history. The judicial branch is at a crossroads, as our judges face ever-increasing pressure to make law rather than interpret law. Too often they have succumbed to that pressure, functioning as super-legislators rather than neutral arbiters.  We need judges who will understand and embrace their constitutionally-prescribed role.”

Deactivating Judicial Activism

Mike Huckabee, honorary national chair of My Faith Votes, explained, “Our Founders intended for the Supreme Court to have a simple job: to rule on whether laws passed by the people’s representatives and signed by their elected president were constitutional. Unfortunately, through judicial activism, we have allowed nine unelected judges who serve for life to become the equivalent of a monarchy, dictating laws from the bench, finding things in the Constitution that aren’t there and ignoring things that plainly are, and substituting their personal beliefs for the Constitution and the wishes of the people.”

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council commented, "For the past 50 years, the Supreme Court has almost become an unchallengeable, unreviewable super-legislature. For this reason, it is all the more important to appoint Supreme Court justices holding an originalist philosophy, who can return our judiciary to a proper understanding of the Constitution's powers. Judge Amy Coney Barrett holds such a philosophy.”

Perkins added, "There is no better example of a nominee showing calm, poise, and decency in the face of opposition than Barrett. She never wavered as the Left made a mockery of her faith. Senate Democrats even refused to show up for her committee vote. While these tactics may satisfy some on the radical Left, polls showed the American people rallying to Judge Barrett's side.”

A Court Left at 4-4 ‘Could Make Resolving a Constitutional Crisis Impossible’

Committee for Justice President Curt Levey spoke of the courage it took to get Barrett confirmed before the election despite near-universal condemnation from Democrats and the mainstream media, saying, “Thanks to that courage, the Supreme Court will be able to function without the hobbling effect of 4-4 ties as important cases come before it in the coming months, including possible legal battles over next week's election. If the nation again faces litigation like Bush v. Gore, the last thing it needs is 4-4 ties that could make resolving a constitutional crisis impossible.”

Kelly Shackelford at the religious freedom defense group First Liberty Institute commented, “America knows a good Supreme Court Justice when they see one and today the U.S. Senate confirmed one. As she demonstrated during her confirmation hearing, few people are more qualified to fill a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court or are more deeply committed to the principles of the Constitution than Judge Barrett. She is a stellar choice by the President.”

First Up for Justice Barrett: a Religious Liberty Case

Justice Barrett’s first case will likely be about Catholic Social Services getting tossed out of the foster care business it did with the City of Philadelphia because of its refusal to back away from the biblical teaching of one man/one woman marriage. That case comes before the high court one day after the November 3rd election.

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About The Author


As a freelance reporter for CBN's Jerusalem bureau and during 27 years as senior correspondent in CBN's Washington bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, government, and God’s providential involvement in our world. Strand began his tenure at CBN News in 1985 as an evening assignment editor in Washington, D.C. After a year, he worked with CBN Radio News for three years, returning to the television newsroom to accept a position as a senior editor in 1990. Strand moved back to the nation's capital in 1995 and then to