Male Democratic Senator Tells Amy Coney Barrett Her Nomination Would Be Harmful for Women

The appointment of the first mother with school-aged children to the Supreme Court would be a setback for women, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont insisted Monday.

Leahy’s comment came during a day of senatorial opening statements on the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the court.

In her opening statement, a copy of which was released Sunday, Barrett noted that she would be the first mother with school-aged children appointed to the court, a point made by President Donald Trump when he nominated her.

But to Leahy, minorities and women have been struck with fear at the prospect of Barrett joining the court.

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“They’re scared that the clock would be turned back to a time when women had no right to control their own bodies. And when it was acceptable to discriminate against women in the workplace,” Leahy said.

“They’re scared that at a time when we’re facing the perilous impacts of climate change, bedrock environmental protections are going to be eviscerated. And they’re scared that your confirmation will result in the rolling back of voting rights, workers’ rights and the rights of the LGBTQ community to equal treatment.”

Many on Twitter pushed back against Leahy.

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In her opening statement, Barrett sought to issue a pre-emptive strike against critics who claim she will make policy on the bench.

“Courts have a vital responsibility to enforce the rule of law, which is critical to a free society. But courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life,” she wrote.

“The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the People. The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try.”

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas elaborated upon that thread Monday.

“The court’s job is to decide cases according to the law and to leave policymaking to the elected legislators. That doesn’t mean policymaking is unimportant. It means to the contrary. Policymaking is very important, and the people need to have a direct check on policymaking,” Cruz said.

Will Barrett be confirmed?

“Much of the argument this morning has concerned Obamacare and policy arguments, policy arguments that are occurring in the Senate, which is the right place for them to occur, a legislative body, but our Democratic colleagues simply want a promise from a judicial nominee that this nominee will work to implement their policy vision of healthcare,” he went on.

“That is not a judge’s job. That is not the responsibility of a judge. In fact, making that promise would be violating the judicial oath.”

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