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Amy Coney Barrett's Nomination Just Got Endorsed from an Unlikely Source

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

I mean, I’ve only seen a few totally insane reactions to Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination. They’re bad, yes. But were to be expected from the ‘woke’ Left. For most, it’s your typical run-of-the-mill DNC talking point drama about how her nomination is illegitimate; how Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away at the age of 87 on September 18, and her wish was being ignored; and how this can’t be done during an election year. It’s all nonsense. Yet, some reactions explicitly state it’s not about her qualifications which are excellent. It’s about the nomination itself—it’s wrong. Okay, that’s a tell-tale sign of defeat. It’s over. For all the cries of blocking Barrett, it’s not going to happen. Hearings for Barrett will be held in mid-October. This vacancy left by RBG will be filled before Election Day. All loose ends have been tied. When Mitt Romney says he’s voting for Trump’s nominee, it’s a slam dunk. We have the votes to get her out of committee and to be confirmed by a full vote on the Senate floor. This fight is done. We now have to tolerate the liberal tantrum that’s going to echo throughout Capitol Hill, but that’s a small price for ensuring a solid conservative majority on the Supreme Court. 

Look, the LA Times even had an editorial saying that ACB is qualified but shouldn’t be confirmed. We’re going to enter some silliness here, but ACB got an endorsement from an unlikely source: Noah Feldman. Mr. Feldman is a Harvard Law professor who backed the impeachment of Donald Trump. Feldman spoke highly of Barrett, noting her brilliance as a legal scholar, even though he disagrees with her on almost everything. Even still, she deserves to be on the Court (via Bloomberg):

…here I want to be extremely clear. Regardless of what you or I may think of the circumstances of this nomination, Barrett is highly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court.

 I disagree with much of her judicial philosophy and expect to disagree with many, maybe even most of her future votes and opinions. Yet despite this disagreement, I know her to be a brilliant and conscientious lawyer who will analyze and decide cases in good faith, applying the jurisprudential principles to which she is committed. Those are the basic criteria for being a good justice. Barrett meets and exceeds them.

I got to know Barrett more than 20 years ago when we clerked at the Supreme Court during the 1998-99 term. Of the thirty-some clerks that year, all of whom had graduated at the top of their law school classes and done prestigious appellate clerkships before coming to work at the court, Barrett stood out. Measured subjectively and unscientifically by pure legal acumen, she was one of the two strongest lawyers. The other was Jenny Martinez, now dean of the Stanford Law School.


Barrett, a textualist who was working for a textualist, Justice Antonin Scalia, had the ability to bring logic and order to disorder and complexity. You can’t be a good textualist without that, since textualism insists that the law can be understood without reference to legislative history or the aims and context of the statute.


In a world where merit counts, Barrett and Martinez would both be recognized as worthy of serving on the Supreme Court. If a Democratic president with the support of a Democratic Senate asked me to recommend a current law professor for the bench, Martinez would be on my short list.

But a Republican is president, and the Senate is Republican. Elections have consequences, and so do justices’ decisions about when or whether to retire. Trump is almost certainly going to get his pick confirmed.

Given that reality, it is better for the republic to have a principled, brilliant lawyer on the bench than a weaker candidate. That’s Barrett.


Barrett is also a profoundly conservative thinker and a deeply committed Catholic. What of it? Constitutional interpretation draws on the full resources of the human mind. These beliefs should not be treated as disqualifying.

Other op-eds supporting Barrett’s nomination have been published as well. I think we have a solid candidate, folks. Someone whose credentials are beyond reproach, and someone who is also a role model. Amy Coney Barrett is a brilliant legal scholar, working mom, and has achieved what anyone would conceivably call the ‘American Dream.’ 

I cannot wait until we can call her by her official title: Justice Amy Coney Barrett, but we’re not there…yet. 

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