With the disgraceful spectacle of the Kavanaugh hearings still fresh in many people’s memories, America is about to witness another Supreme Court confirmation process, one that may make the last one look dignified by comparison. That would be a shame, because Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a sterling nominee who has shown a reverence for America’s laws and sovereignty.
In her Rose Garden introduction as the nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Judge Barrett threw down the gauntlet. “I love the United States and I love the United States Constitution,” she said. While that may sound admirable to most people, those are fighting words to those on the left. She then doubled down when referring to her mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia. “His judicial philosophy is mine, too,” she added. “A judge must apply the law as written.”
To the Democrat members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and their supporters, this is tantamount to a declaration of war. They revile Scalia’s originalist outlook and abidance to judicial restraint. The idea of a Scalia protégé sitting on the Court for a generation is enough to make them revert to their Kavanaugh hearing levels of cutthroat skulduggery.
What has Judge Barrett done to merit this kind of enmity? A review of her time on the Seventh Circuit shows a rational judge committed to the preservation of America and adherence to its laws.
On one of the most consequential issues that comes before the Supreme Court today, immigration, her interpretation of the law has been solid. In Cook County v. Wolf, she dissented in a ruling that temporarily halted the public charge rule. This is a critical issue in the immigration debate. At stake is whether the United States will require immigrants to be self-sufficient or allow them to become public charges dependent on government assistance. Immigration policy has been steadily drifting towards the latter, and the result will be an America bankrupted by the obligations of being the welfare state for the world.
In Alverange-Flores v. Sessions, Judge Barrett sided with an immigration judge who didn’t find a Salvadoran citizen’s petition for protection in the U.S. to be credible. Anti-borders legal groups are exploiting our asylum laws and using them as a gateway to allow untold foreign nationals into our country based on fraudulent premises. This practice will only continue, and cases on it will continue to land at the Supreme Court. We need justices who will consider the impact of such fraud on the health of our country, not just how it affects those perpetrating the deception.
This is not to say, as critics already have, that Judge Barrett was nominated to serve as a rubber stamp for any and all Trump administration policies. In Mesa Morales v. Barr she ruled against the Trump administration and then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions when they sought to restrict administrative closure, which allows immigration judges to postpone deportation hearings for those who have applied for immigration benefits with another agency.
In other words, Barrett is a judge with a deeply-held judicial philosophy who is also willing to consider the facts of a particular case and make an independent decision based on those facts. Would anyone argue the notion that this is the exact kind of temperament we should seek in a Supreme Court Justice?
As the Barrett hearings approach, the hyper-partisan, leftist propaganda machine is gearing up to frame her as some sort of religious zealot who is unable to rule on cases with a fair and open mind. That caricature is completely at odds with her actual track record as a jurist. That record, combined with her love of country, impressive achievements, and life of integrity make her a worthy successor to Justice Ginsburg.
Dale L. Wilcox is executive director and general counsel at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.