Following United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, Amy Coney Barrett commented on the legal precedent behind SCOTUS nominations during election year.
Barrett highlighted that “staunch conservative” Scalia being replaced by a left leaning Justice would not be ‘a lateral move.’ She also commented that ‘it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Senate is willing to push a President’s nominee through an election year’ and that she did not think precedent established a rule for either side in the debate.
Barrett In 2016: Justice Scalia, ‘The Staunchest Conservative On The Court,’ Being Replaced By A Left Leaning Justice Is ‘Not A Lateral Move.’ According to CBS News, “Barrett also pointed to the drastic shift in the court's ideological makeup that would result if a Democratic president replaced Scalia with a more liberal justice, noting that Kennedy replaced a justice of the same ideological bent. ‘Moreover, Kennedy is a moderate Republican and he replaced a moderate Republican, Powell. We're talking about Justice Scalia, you know, the staunchest conservative on the court, and we're talking about him being replaced by someone who could dramatically flip the balance of power on the court,’ she said. ‘It's not a lateral move.’” [CBS News, 9/23/20]
2016: Barret Said I Do Not Think Precedent ‘Establishes A Rule For Either Side In The Debate’ Over Replacing SCOTUS During An Election Year. According to CBS News, “Judge Amy Coney Barrett, one of the leading contenders to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, said in 2016 that she did not think precedent ‘establishes a rule for either side in the debate’ over replacing Supreme Court justices during an election year.” [CBS News, 9/23/20]
Barrett: It Should Be A Surprise The Senate Is Willing To Push A President’s Nominee Through An Election Year. According to CBS News, “‘It shouldn't be a surprise that the Senate is willing to push a president's nominee through in an election year when they share the same political affiliation,’ Barrett, a professor at Notre Dame Law School at the time, told CBSN in February 2016. Barrett, now a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, was speaking shortly after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the court's most conservative member for whom she had clerked. After his death, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell quickly vowed not to consider then-President Obama's nominee to fill the seat before the 2016 presidential election.” [CBS News, 9/23/20]
Barrett: I Think, In Sum, The President Has The Power To Nominate, And The Senate Has The Power To Act Or Not. According to CBS News, “‘I think, in sum, the president has the power to nominate, and the Senate has the power to act or not, and I don't think either one of them can claim that there's a rule governing one way or the other,’ she added.” [CBS News, 9/23/20]