10.22.20

Lankford Supports Judge Barrett’s Supreme Court Nomination on Senate Floor

Lankford: “Judge Barrett has my unqualified, full support, and I look forward to voting for her nomination in the next few days.”

CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s remarks on the floor.

CLICK HERE to download Lankford’s remarks from Box. 

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today offered his full support on the Senate floor for the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to serve as an Associate Justice on the US Supreme Court. Following Lankford’s meeting with Judge Barrett yesterday, Lankford took to the floor today to thank Judge Barrett and her family and provide information on why he believes Judge Barrett will serve on the Supreme Court with integrity and attention to the law as written.

On September 26, Lankford expressed support for President Trump’s nomination of Judge Barrett previously supporting her nomination to fill a vacancy on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017. After the partisan attacks against Judge Barrett’s devout Catholic faith reignited in the media, Lankford spoke on the Senate floor on September 30 in support of Judge Barrett’s right to practice her faith and serve as a highly qualified member of the Judicial Branch. Judge Barrett faced days of hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and earned a “well-qualified” rating from the American Bar Association. Lankford also joined Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) to publish an op-ed on October 20 in support of Judge Barrett’s nomination. 

Transcript

I spent some one-on-one time yesterday with Amy Coney Barrett. I had an opportunity to ask her about agency deference, about religious liberty, about the responsibility of the three branches of government, and the separation of those. I spent some time talking about antitrust laws and tribal laws. All sorts of things to be able to walk through. Some things that were not covered in the hearing time. And I walked away even more impressed for her as a leader, for her knowledge, her judicial temperament, and her sense of responsibility and the awe in taking on this responsibility that the nation would ask her to do.

It stands in stark contrast to some of the conversations that I’ve had with some of my colleagues on the other side and from the hearings over the last week where most of the time my colleagues spent their time saying that people should be afraid of this mother of seven, that she's a terrifying individual that will take away your health care, that will take away your right to be able to destroy your unborn child if you choose to, that she's a racist and that she's anti-woman, which I thought were the ultimate challenges to her as a woman herself, obviously. And when she was challenged over and over again about being a racist and a segregationist as she's the mother of a multiracial family. It's a bizarre side by side to actually meet the actual person and to go through the law versus hearing descriptions.

Amy Coney Barrett is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. She's the daughter of a lawyer and teacher, oldest of seven children. She's been married to her husband Jesse for 21 years. She herself is the mother much seven children as I mentioned before, Emma, Vivian, Tess, John Peter, Liam, Juliet, and Benjamin. They were able to sit behind her and proudly watching their mom.

She graduated summa cum laude from Notre Dame Law School. She was a clerk for the DC Circuit judge Lawrence Silverman and for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. When she was challenged over and over again with people saying, ‘You're just like Scalia.’ And she kept responding very calmly to people, “I have my own mind.’ She practiced both trial and appellate litigation. Judge Barrett also worked for more than 15 years in academia. She was a distinguished legal scholar at the Notre Dame Law School, University of Virginia School of Law, and the George Washington University law school, published articles in the Colombia, Texas, and Cornel Law Reviews. Three graduating classes at Notre Dame Law have distinguished her as the distinguished Professor of the Year.

In 2017, she was nominated by President Trump to serve on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and was confirmed by this Senate with a bipartisan vote. Judge Barrett’s colleagues at Notre Dame Law School signed a letter supporting her 2017 nomination, calling her a model of the fair and impartial and sympathetic judge.

Since joining the Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017, Judge Barrett has participated in over 600 cases. The ABA Standing Committee issued Judge Barrett a ‘well-qualified’ rating based on the qualities of integrity, professional competence, and judicial temperament. When confirmed, Justice Barrett will be the fifth woman to serve on the Supreme Court in its history. She'll be the first mother of school-aged children to serve on the Court and she'll be the only sitting member of the Court to have graduated from a law school other than Harvard or Yale.

She'll also be the second sitting member of the Court to have been born in the south, and only the second member in the Court history to have been born in Louisiana. She'll be the only sitting member of the Court to have served on the Seventh Circuit, which hears cases arising out of Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

During the Judiciary Committee hearings we heard testimony from Laura Wolk, a former student of Judge Barrett's. It was remarkable testimony. She said in part, “Should you confirm Amy Barrett, the country will receive something far greater than simply an unparalleled legal mind. The Supreme Court and therefore all Americans will gain the service of one of the kindest individuals I have ever known. Her brilliance is matched only by her compassion, and her honesty is beyond reproach. I do not speak in mere abstractions. Rather, I have experienced these characteristics firsthand with life-changing results. Judge Barrett described a mentor who gave her a treasured book of literature to commemorate their relationship. Well, Judge Barrett has now passed on that torch to me, giving me a gift of immeasurable value—the ability to pursue an abundant life with the potential to break down barriers so that I can leave this world a better place than I found it.’

I could not agree more with her or with her colleagues and peers about her superb qualifications and preparedness to serve in this role. As an originalist and a textualist, her commitment to both the role of the court and the rule of law are clear. To read her opinions from the perspective of the losing party demonstrates her fairness, empathy and temperament as a judge. Beyond her resume and accolades, her character, commitment to faith and to her family and her service to her students and the community should not go overlooked. Judge Barrett has my unqualified, full support, and I look forward to voting for her nomination in the next few days.

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