- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who is on the president’s short list for the Supreme Court, said Tuesday faith and politics must be separated from the law, stressing judges should put their duty over politics.

“Justice should not turn on what judge you get,” Judge Barrett said during an appearance at Hillsdale College in Washington, D.C.

“If we reduce the courts to mere politics, then why do we need them? We already have politicians.”

Her remarks come a few months after Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. — in a rare move — said there are no “Trump” or “Obama” or “Bush” judges, dismissing President Trump’s attacks on the judiciary and railing on Democratic appointed judges who rule against his administration.

Judge Barrett, who sits on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said a judicial nominee’s religion has no place in the confirmation process, noting faith must be set aside when issuing rulings.

During her confirmation process in 2017, she faced criticism from Democrats for her Catholic faith, questioning her stance on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case that legalized abortion.

Democrats have tried to connect the president’s judicial nominees to strict abortion restriction laws passing in GOP-led states.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Republicans in Washington are distancing themselves from laws such as Alabama, which outlaws abortion except in cases where the life or health of the mother is endangered — yet the judges the GOP is advancing could undercut the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that established a national right to abortion.

“They’re fooling people because at the same time they say they don’t want to eliminate Roe or curtail Roe, they vote for judges who would do just that,” the New York Democrat said.

He even called Judge Barrett out by name from the chamber floor.

“She said that Roe v. Wade had been erroneously decided,” Mr. Schumer said. “A lot of these judges are not just against abortion. They are against contraception. She is on the bench for life.”

Judge Barrett began her remarks Tuesday by discussing John Adams’ defense of British soldiers after the Boston Massacre, saying he “stood up to public pressure and he did his duty.”

“You’re not there to win a popularity contest,” she said of being a judge.

Before sitting on the 7th U.S. Circuit, Judge Barrett taught constitutional law at Notre Dame Law School. She previously worked in private practice and clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Like Scalia, Judge Barrett embraces originalism.

“I do consider myself to be an originalist,” she said.

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