WHATLEY: Democrat attacks against Judge Amy Coney Barrett will fail

Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)

On Monday, Oct. 12th, America will watch as Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Senate confirmation process begins. Judge Barrett will no doubt be subjected to petty, partisan attacks from Democrats. Once again, they will likely use the same mud-slinging playbook that they tried to use with Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh. If they do, their efforts will fail once again.

Why? Because Americans can see that President Donald Trump made an incredible choice in Judge Barrett, whose qualifications are as impeccable as her character. Moreover, President Trump’s constitutional authority to fill the seat is well-established. He has every right to keep yet another promise to the American people by working with Senators, like North Carolina’s own Senator Thom Tillis, to appoint his third conservative Supreme Court Justice.

Judge Barrett, who clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia and serves as a Circuit Judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, has a brilliant mind and excellent legal reputation. During her tenure as a professor at Notre Dame Law School, she was selected as “Distinguished Professor of the Year” three times. Her intelligence and professionalism has drawn praise from legal colleagues lawyers of all stripes. Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman – a liberal legal figure who has testified against President Trump – referred to her as “one of the two strongest lawyers” he’d ever seen.

Democrats can’t attack that kind of record, so they’re attacking President Trump’s presidential authority. Unfortunately for the left, President Trump’s authority to fill a Supreme Court vacancy at any point in his term is indisputable.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an inspirational legal giant and great American, said so herself. In 2016, she pointed out that “the President is elected for four years not three years, so the power he has in year three continues into year four.” The Washington Post, not known for its friendliness to President Trump’s conservative agenda, has also acknowledged that there is nothing in the Constitution that prevents a Supreme Court vacancy from being filled, “regardless of how close to an election it opens up.” A September 2020 poll on the matter found that 67% of American citizens believe that the Senate should hold confirmation hearings on a Supreme Court nominee when a vacancy occurs in an election year.

Undeterred by this clear consensus, Democrats are also cynically claiming that Judge Barrett’s confirmation timeline – 45 days — is too short. This line of attack is unsupported by historical precedent, and nothing more than yet another leftist attempt to oppose President Trump at every turn. Take a look at the facts. Justice Ginsburg’s confirmation process took 42 days. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s took 33 days. Justice John Paul Stevens’ took just 19. Democrats are ignoring these relevant historical examples because opposing President Trump and Judge Barrett matters more to them than the truth.

With no factual basis to stand on, Democrats are turning to personal attacks. We have already seen leftists attack her adopted children. We will see more of the anti-Catholic bigotry we saw from California Sen. Dianne Feinstein during Judge Barrett’s 2017 Circuit Court confirmation. It’s upsetting, but it’s what we’ve come to expect from the left. I find it particularly upsetting because I spent three years as a classmate of Amy Coney Barrett’s at Notre Dame Law School. I can tell you firsthand that she is a brilliant jurist, a devoted mother to her seven children, and a fundamentally good person.

I trust that the Senate – led by Sen. Thom Tillis, who serves on the Judiciary Committee – will rise above Democrats’ partisan games to confirm Judge Barrett. In 2016, Americans elected President Trump and Republicans like Sen. Tillis for moments like these. Elections have consequences. One of them will be the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the highest court in the land.