Alabama political leaders react to Barrett confirmation

Alabama political leaders react to Barrett confirmation
(Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama’s political leaders are reacting to the U.S. Senate’s vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Barrett was approved Monday evening in a 52-48 party line vote that saw all Democrats and one Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, vote against her confirmation.

These are the public statements released following the vote.

SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R)

“I am proud to have voted to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to serve as an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Throughout my career in the Senate, I have never seen a more eminently qualified judicial nominee. Not only has she demonstrated a deep commitment to the Constitution and its protections established by our Founding Fathers, but she has also displayed incredible integrity, humility, and impartiality. I am confident she will serve our country with honor on our nation’s highest court.”

SEN. DOUG JONES (D)

"This process has been perhaps one of the most blatantly hypocritical in the history of the Senate and has further eroded trust in the independence of the Supreme Court in the eyes of the American people. By forcing this vote only eight days before an election, Mitch McConnell has prioritized temporary political gain over the long term integrity of both institutions. I also believe his decision to force through this confirmation instead of negotiating a bipartisan COVID relief package is an insult to the millions of Americans who are suffering as a result of this pandemic.

"I voted no today because I refuse to be a party to Mitch McConnell’s power grab, to the hyper-politicization of the Senate and the courts, and to denying the American people a voice in this process while voting for the next President is already underway.

“Now that Justice Barrett has been confirmed, it is my sincere hope that she will rule in a way that protects our institutions, our democracy, and the rule of law.”

GOVERNOR KAY IVEY (R)

"I applaud the swift Senate confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States.

"Amy Coney Barrett’s willingness to serve, despite a hostile political environment, is proof of her strong character and a testament to her commitment to upholding the laws of our country for future generations.

"Previous suggestions from progressives that we need to fundamentally change the court system is a clear attempt at a political power grab to load the bench with judicial activists, not arbiters of the law. In the words of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, ‘Nine seems to be a good number…it would be that – one side saying – when we’re in power, we’re going to enlarge the number of judges, so we would have more people who would vote the way we want them to.’

"I thank the president for this extraordinary selection. It is evident that President Trump has put forward a woman who is arguably one of the most qualified picks during the past century. Alabama looks forward to Justice Barrett serving our country with honor and integrity for decades to come. It is my hope and prayer that despite political differences, we can celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of our newest Supreme Court Justice, come together as a nation and continue achieving great success.

“Today is a great day for our country and a signal to every little girl – and boy – that the most qualified individual will get the job.”

ALABAMA ATTORNEY GENERAL STEVE MARSHALL (R)

“Tonight, America’s highest court has gained another justice committed to faithfully interpreting and applying the law as it was written—to safeguarding, not rewriting, the crown jewel of our republic, the Constitution of the United States.

“It is fitting that Judge Barrett, a former clerk and protégé of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, will be the jurist who fulfills Justice Scalia’s mission: to return to the Supreme Court judicial fidelity to the law.

”This is a truly historic day for our country’s legal system—and, more importantly, for our country itself. At long last, the decades-long advance of judicial activism will soon be in retreat.

”I applaud President Trump for what he has been able to accomplish—in only his first term in office—by fulfilling his promise to fill judicial vacancies with judges committed to judging, not legislating from the bench. The President’s judicial nominations have changed the direction of not only our nation’s highest court, but of courts at all levels across the country, and brought about a renewed national focus on honoring the rule of law and the Constitution.

“Justice Scalia once concluded an opinion with this sobering statement: ‘Day by day, case by case, (the Supreme Court) is busy designing a Constitution for a country I do not recognize.’ How happy he would have been to know that, merely four years after he left us, his Court would have a majority of justices devoted to faithfully interpreting our Constitution, not inventing a new one.”

REP. BRADLEY BYRNE (R-DIST 1)

“The United States is stronger with Justice Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court! Great work by President Donald Trum and the Senate GOP to nominate and confirm such a highly qualified nominee.”

REP. MIKE ROGERS (R-DIST 2)

“Another success for President Donald Trump and for America.”

REP. ROBERT ADERHOLT (R-DIST 4)

"I don’t think there is any doubt that Amy Coney Barrett will make a great addition to the Supreme Court. Her confirmation is a win for all the American people no matter their political views, as I think she will interpret the law as it is written as opposed to what she thinks it should be. She does not see the Supreme Court as a mini legislature, but sees it as it was intended, to strictly interpret the letter of the law.

“I also believe that President Trump’s most lasting legacy as President will be the number of vacancies he has filled throughout the federal judiciary. This legacy of conservative appointments will last for decades to come.”

REP. MO BROOKS (R-DIST 5)

“Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation today marks a huge win for those of us who believe judges must uphold the Constitution and federal law without inserting personal political views into decisions.”

“In her nomination acceptance speech, Amy Coney Barrett simply explained her judicial philosophy by saying, ‘Judges are not policymakers, and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they might hold.’ This perfectly incapsulates the philosophy America needs more of on our federal courts.”

“America’s Founding Fathers brilliantly created three branches of government, with each being a check on the other two, and each having a defined role. Congress makes law, the Executive Branch implements law, and the Judiciary interprets and applies law. In my view, America is burdened with too many liberal, activist federal justices and judges who fail to abide by their role as limited by the Constitution. I am pleased President Trump nominated and the U.S. Senate confirmed a judge who understands the importance of limiting her role to that intended by America’s founding fathers.”

REP. GARY PALMER (R-DIST 6)

“I send my heartiest congratulations to the new Justice Barrett. President Trump could not have chosen a better candidate for the Supreme Court. Her impeccable legal record, faithfulness to the Constitution, and steady demeanor during her Senate hearings all indicate that she will serve our country with distinction and integrity. The confirmation of an eminently qualified, fair, and constitutionalist justice should instill confidence in the American people. I believe that Justice Barrett will refrain from being swayed by the political winds, and that she will enforce the laws as written, reserving the act of legislating to the Congress. I look forward to her service on our nation’s highest court and extend my congratulations to her and her family.”

REP. TERRI SEWELL (D-DIST 7)

"The denial of a voice to the American people is a travesty of justice — one that we know will bear massive consequences on our sacred right to vote and our healthcare during an unprecedented public health crisis.

"This appointment is clearly tainted Senate Republicans' hypocrisy in promising to not fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court so close to a presidential election. Except in 2016, the election was 8 MONTHS away, not 8 DAYS away, and nearly 59 million Americans had not already voted.

“The Senate’s confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court is a decision that undermines the very legitimacy of our democratic process.”

TERRY LATHAN (CHAIRMAN, ALABAMA REPUBLICAN PARTY)

"Once again, the U.S. Senate has confirmed one of President Donald Trump’s eminently qualified nominees to the United States Supreme Court. Amy Coney Barrett is an excellent addition to the high court. A jurist out of the originalist model, Justice Barrett will decide each case on its merits by overlaying it with the Constitution and not legislating from the bench.

"We offer our thanks to Senator Richard Shelby who consistently listens to the majority of his constituents. Senator Shelby wisely considered Justice Barrett’s sterling credentials and voted ‘yes’ on her confirmation.

“In stark contrast, Senator Doug Jones continued to thumb his nose at our state’s majority with his ‘no’ vote. He has once again put the interests of his left wing groups first while ignoring those he is supposed to represent. The ‘third senator from California’ has repeatedly failed to remember the majority of our state. Alabama will relieve him of his duties on November 3rd when Tommy Tuberville is elected as Alabama’s new U. S. Senator. Doug Jones will be a paragraph in a history book as future political pundits study how to be a failure in the arena of public service – ignoring the majority ends your tenure.”

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