EXECUTIVE CALENDAR--Continued; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 176
(Senate - October 31, 2017)

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[Pages S6899-S6908]
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                     EXECUTIVE CALENDAR--Continued

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that I be 
recognized to speak as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator is recognized.

                      Recognizing the Mayo Clinic

  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I rise today to express my deepest 
gratitude to my friends at the Mayo Clinic's Arizona campus, where I 
was recently treated for cancer. This is not my first obligation to the 
Arizona branch of this landmark medical institution, which has been a 
synonym for medical excellence for more than 100 years. I received 
outstanding care for a prior, unrelated tumor in the year 2000.
  In July of this year, I found myself at Mayo once again. It is no 
exaggeration to say that the team of doctors, nurses, and technicians 
who looked after me were my salvation. They located and removed a brain 
tumor--a glioblastoma--that threatened my life. I will always be 
indebted for their timely and skillful intervention and for the 
outstanding support provided to my family by the entire Mayo community. 
Their professionalism is unmatched, as is their compassion. Thanks to 
my physicians, I was able to return to the Senate after only 10 days of 
recuperation. Following my surgery, I received radiation and 
chemotherapy at Mayo in one of the most modern facilities in the world.
  I mention this to draw attention to Mayo's renown as a center of 
excellence not only in the treatment of cancer but in virtually every 
field of medicine. A nonprofit institution, Mayo has large hospitals in 
Rochester, Minnesota, Phoenix, and Jacksonville, FL, which employ 
almost 50,000 people. Mayo also operates a network of more than 70 
affiliated hospitals and clinics, to which more than 1.3 million 
persons turned for treatment this year, patients from all 50 States and 
137 different countries. Moreover, the Mayo system operates several 
premier colleges of medicine and is a world leader in medical research. 
This breadth of activity, outstanding in each facet, is remarkable. It 
is no exaggeration to claim that the Mayo Clinic is central to the 
astonishing success of American medicine.
  I have made my own career in public service, but as I reflect on my 
experience as a cancer patient, I am humbled by the example of service 
to mankind provided by the entire Mayo family. I am and will always 
remain deeply grateful to everyone involved in my care.

               Recognizing the National Cancer Institute

  Mr. President, I come to the floor today to recognize a remarkable 
group of physicians, people to whom I and many others owe a profound 
debt. I refer to the team that has led my treatment at the National 
Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.
  Every year, cancer claims the lives of hundreds of thousands of 
Americans and millions of others across the globe. It is a relentless 
and complex disease. It comes in many forms that demand varied and 
specialized treatments.
  There are many centers of excellence in the struggle against cancer, 
but NCI plays a special role. The physicians assembled there are 
recruited from the most outstanding medical institutions of the world 
to lead the fight. Yes, NCI conducts its own research and treatment 
programs, and I am among its many patients, but more importantly, it 
oversees and funds our national effort against cancer, awarding grants 
and supporting a nationwide network of 69 NCI-designated cancer 
centers. NCI's role in the development of anti-cancer drugs has been 
especially noteworthy: Roughly two-thirds of cancer medications 
approved by the FDA have emerged from NCI-sponsored trials.
  Despite the special tenacity of this disease, we have made enormous 
strides. To the lives of cancer patients, NCI has added decades where 
once there were only years and years where once there were only months. 
They are closing in on the enemy, in all its forms, giving hope to 
millions of families and offering a real prospect of

[[Page S6900]]

someday comprehensively eliminating this dreaded illness.
  NCI is a large and expert team of scientists, doctors, nurses, 
technicians, and administrators, and all of them deserve our thanks. I 
would like to single out for special mention a few who have won my 
particular gratitude and that of my family, but NCI has requested that 
I not do so. Instead, I will say this: All too often in American 
culture, we associate heroism with physical manifestations of courage--
the toughness of the athlete, the daring of the soldier or sailor. My 
friends, we would do well to remind ourselves of and to teach our 
children the more patient forms of bravery exemplified by our doctors 
and nurses and research scientists who wage the war against cancer day 
after day, year after year. Through their tireless effort, the 
physicians and researchers of NCI remind us of the heroes of the 
medical art, showing it to be, as Samuel Johnson called it, ``the 
greatest benefit to mankind.'' It has certainly been a great benefit to 
me, and I am deeply, deeply grateful.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, today the Senate will vote on the 
nomination of Notre Dame Law Professor Amy Barrett to serve on the 
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. She is an eminently qualified and 
exceptionally bright nominee who has received praise and support across 
the legal profession. She clerked for Judge Silberman on the DC Circuit 
Court of Appeals and for Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court. She has 
experience in private practice and many years as a law professor 
teaching classes on constitutional Law, Federal courts, statutory 
interpretation, among others. She was appointed by Chief Justice John 
Roberts to sit on the Advisory Committee on Federal Rules of Appellate 
Procedure, where she served for 6 years.
  Her nomination has also received wide support. For example, in a 
letter to the Judiciary Committee, a bipartisan group of law professors 
encouraged the committee to confirm her nomination, saying that 
Professor Barrett ``enjoys wide respect for her careful work, fair-
minded disposition, and personal integrity.'' Her colleagues at Notre 
Dame described her ``as a model of the fair, impartial, and sympathetic 
  Despite this, all the Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee 
voted against her nomination in committee, and I suspect most of the 
minority will vote against her confirmation later today. This, of 
course, is a shame, and it does not speak well of our institution, the 
U.S. Senate, and I would like to explain why.
  When the Judiciary Committee voted on Professor Barrett's nomination, 
I listened to the reasons my colleagues gave for voting against her. 
Some said that she didn't have enough experience to be a circuit court 
judge. Well, the American Bar Association rated Professor Barrett as 
``well qualified.''
  The Democrats have said that the ABA's ratings are very important to 
them when considering a nominee, once even calling it the ``gold 
standard.'' Their votes certainly don't reflect that. I suspect the 
ratings don't actually matter to them since they have voted against 
most of the ``well qualified'' nominees this Congress. The minority has 
even requested that I not hold hearings on nominees when the committee 
hasn't received the ABA ratings for that nominee, as if the ABA--an 
outside group--can and should dictate the committee's schedule. But 
even when we have ``well qualified'' or ``qualified'' ratings from the 
ABA, the minority still votes against these nominees, so the actual 
significance of the rating to the minority doesn't make a lot of sense.
  Furthermore, lack of appellate experience hasn't mattered before. 
When President Clinton nominated Justice Kagan to the DC Circuit Court 
of Appeals, she had no appellate experience. But I remember my friend 
from Vermont saying that the Senate should vote on her nomination 
because she was an ``outstanding woman.'' Her lack of appellate 
experience didn't appear to be of concern to my friends in the minority 
at the time of Kagan's nomination coming before the committee, so I 
don't understand why the standard is different now.
  Another reason some of my colleagues gave when voting against her is 
that they say she will disregard judicial precedent. Of course, if that 
is true, that would be a very serious consideration, but looking at all 
of Professor Barrett's writings and listening to the testimony she 
gave, not once did she say that circuit or district court judges could 
disregard precedent. In fact, during her hearing, she told the 
committee that she understood ``circuit judges to be absolutely bound 
by the precedent of the Supreme Court'' and that ``circuit courts are 
bound to follow the precedent of their own circuit.'' That doesn't 
sound like a nominee who will not respect precedent. In fact, she 
understands exactly the role of precedent and the limitations and 
restrictions placed on lower court judges.
  Another Senator argued that she has written provocative things like 
``A judge will often entertain an ideological bias that makes him lean 
one way or the other. In fact, we might safely say that every judge has 
such an inclination.'' I am not sure why this statement is provocative. 
I think everyone here knows that every person has their own biases and 
policy preferences, whether or not they are a judge. In writing this, 
Professor Barrett shows the awareness to recognize that every person 
comes to their job with personal biasses and views. This is especially 
important for judges to recognize about themselves. In fact, she is so 
self-aware that this is a potential problem for judges that she cowrote 
an article arguing that if a judge cannot set aside a personal 
preference in a particular matter before that judge, she shouldn't hear 
the case in the first place.
  These comments come from an article about potential issues Catholic 
judges may face that Professor Barrett wrote in law school. The article 
was about Catholic judges but could have been written about the biasses 
of judges of any religion or of no religion at all. My friends in the 
minority have looked at a few of her comments from this article and 
seem to have concluded that she will base her judicial decisions off of 
what her religion teaches.
  During her hearing, one Senator even implied that Professor Barrett 
could not separate her religion from her judicial decision making, but 
Professor Barrett had said and argued quite the opposite and had done 
it several times. She believes that it is highly inappropriate for a 
judge to use his own religious beliefs in legal reasoning. In fact, she 
concludes the very article the Democrats are concerned with this way: 
``Judges cannot--nor should they try to--align our legal system with 
the church's moral teachings whenever the two diverge.''
  I think opposition to her nomination ultimately comes down to the 
fact that her personal views about abortion do not line up with the 
minority's views about abortion. I knew the minority would ask her 
about her views on abortion, so during her nomination hearing, I took 
advantage of being the first to ask her if she would allow her 
religious views to dictate her legal decisions. She said that she would 
not. I also asked her if she would follow Supreme Court precedent 
involving abortion, and she simply and succinctly answered: 
``Absolutely, I would.''
  At her hearing, the statement was made--now, can you believe this?--
``You are controversial because many of us that have lived our lives as 
women really recognize the value of finally being able to control our 
reproductive systems.''
  This statement alone is stunning to me for two reasons--first, that a 
nominee is controversial because she might share the views of over half 
the country, which is that abortion is wrong; second, that this 
statement amounts to a religious test. In response, Professor Barrett 
said over and over that she has no power to overrule Roe or any other 
abortion-related Supreme Court case nor does she have interest in 
challenging that specific precedent.
  A further statement was made:

       [R]eligion . . . has its own dogma. The law is totally 
     different. And I think in your case, professor, when you read 
     your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma 
     lives loudly within you, and that's of concern when you come 
     to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for 
     years in this country.

  So the Democrats are saying that women who have personal beliefs that 
are consistent with their religions are not eligible to be Federal 
judges even

[[Page S6901]]

when they have assured the committee, as she did over and over again, 
that they strongly believe in following binding Supreme Court 
precedent. If that is the case--if the minority is enforcing a 
religious litmus test on our nominees--this is an unfortunate day for 
the Senate and for the country.
  Others have spoken on the issue of a religious test, but I will 
remind my colleagues that the Constitution specifically provides that 
``no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any 
office under the United States.'' It is one of the most important 
founding principles. I do not think an evaluation of how religious a 
person is or how religious she might not be should ever be a part of 
that evaluation.
  We have received many letters on this topic, including one from 
Princeton University's president, who is a former law clerk to Justice 
Stevens and happens to be a constitutional scholar. He writes that the 
questions the Democrats posed to Professor Barrett about her faith were 
``not consistent with the principle set forth in the Constitution's `no 
religious test' clause'' and that the views expressed in her law review 
article on Catholic judges are ``fully consistent with a judge's 
obligation to uphold the law and the Constitution.''
  Finally, this morning, my friend from Illinois justified the 
Democrats' questions to Professor Barrett in committee by noting that I 
also asked questions in the committee about her article, but there is a 
difference in simply asking a nominee if her religious views will 
influence her judicial decision making and trying to ascertain just how 
religious a nominee is by asking, ``Do you consider yourself an 
orthodox Catholic?'' or by saying, ``The dogma lives within you.''
  My questions gave Professor Barrett a chance to explain her law 
review article, which was an article I knew the Democrats would 
question her over. The other side's questions and comments went to 
figure out just how strongly she would hold to her faith, which was the 
inappropriate line of questioning.
  I will make one more related comment. I mentioned this in the 
Judiciary Committee, but I think that it bears repeating on the floor 
because the issue will continue to come up.
  Professor Barrett and a few other nominees have a relationship with 
or ties to the Alliance Defending Freedom group, which, as several 
Senators have recently pointed out, has been labeled as a hate group by 
the Southern Poverty Law Center. When the nominees have been asked 
about this, they have pointed out that the Southern Poverty Law 
Center's designation is, in itself, highly controversial. I would say 
that it is completely unfounded. The ADF, Alliance Defending Freedom, 
is an advocacy organization that litigates religious liberty cases. It 
has won six cases in front of the Supreme Court in the past 6 years, 
including cases that are related to free speech and children's 
playgrounds. They are not outside the mainstream.
  Any difference in viewpoint that folks may have with them boils down 
to, simply, policy differences, but dissent and a difference of opinion 
do not equal hate, and it is wrong to compare an organization like the 
ADF to that of the Ku Klux Klan or the Nazi Party and, by extension, 
imply that the nominees before us sympathize with such actual hate 
  Finally, I would note that the Southern Poverty Law Center designates 
the American College of Pediatricians and the Jewish Defense League as 
hate groups. So some of the Southern Poverty Law Center's designations 
appear to be discriminatory in and of themselves.
  Professor Barrett is a very accomplished, impressive nominee, and we 
know that her personal story is compelling. She has seven children, 
several who were adopted from Haiti and one who has special needs. She 
is an accomplished attorney and a well-respected law professor. I will 
be strongly supporting her nomination today, and I urge every one of my 
colleagues to do the same.
  I yield the floor.
  Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Mr. President, I wish to explain my vote today in 
opposition to the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to serve as a U.S. 
Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit. In Professor Barrett's hearing 
before the Judiciary Committee, I focused my questions on Professor 
Barrett's views and previous writings on the circumstances under which 
judges must adhere to precedent and on the doctrine of originalism. It 
was on the basis of her responses to those questions that I have 
concluded that I am unable to support her nomination.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.

          Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands Recovery Effort

  Mrs. GILLIBRAND. Mr. President, I rise to speak about the disaster 
supplemental that the Trump administration is expected to send to 
Congress as early as tomorrow. While Congress has passed two 
supplemental aid bills since this year's hurricanes, I want to make it 
very clear that what we have already passed is not even close to what 
we will need to help Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands fully 
recover and rebuild.
  Hurricane Maria destroyed their power grids and has significantly 
damaged their water infrastructure so as to make clean drinking water 
dangerously scarce. Three of Puerto Rico's biggest industries--
manufacturing, finance, and tourism, which drive their already 
struggling economy--remain severely damaged because the hurricane wiped 
out so many factories, buildings, and hotels. Many Puerto Ricans who 
had jobs the day before Maria struck no longer have anywhere to go to 
work. In other words, in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, this 
is not just a natural disaster; it is also an economic disaster that 
these local governments cannot dig out of on their own. Our fellow 
citizens desperately need our help.
  Listen to what one New Yorker told me about how dangerous things are 
right now, especially for the sick and elderly.
  My constituent was trying to help someone in Puerto Rico who was 
autistic and bedridden and under the care of his 93-year-old father. He 
needed surgery. He was taken to at least three separate medical 
facilities, and he spent countless hours in an ambulance with his 
elderly father. He was transported from one location to the next, but 
the medical facilities were finding it extremely difficult to 
communicate with each other. After all of that, his doctor could not 
find any facility on the island that would accept him into its care. He 
was finally able to get his treatment, but how many more people are 
still waiting for help?
  Another of my constituents is struggling to help her father, who is 
in a rural area of Puerto Rico. She has only been able to speak to him 
briefly and exchange limited text messages. Her father suffers from 
heart issues and glaucoma, and he may need a prescription refill very 
soon if not right now. There are countless more stories just like these 
throughout my State and, no doubt, in many of my colleagues' States as 
  The $36 billion that is for all of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and 
the U.S. Virgin Islands is just not enough. After Hurricanes Katrina 
and Rita, it cost the Federal Government $120 billion to rebuild the 
Gulf Coast. That is the amount of funding that we need to be thinking 
about for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands right now.
  It will take at least $5 billion just to rebuild Puerto Rico's power 
grid, and that will not even cover improvements to make the system more 
resilient and more efficient than it was before the storm. Right now, 
two-thirds of Puerto Rico still does not have power. That means no 
refrigeration so that people can have food to eat or can keep medicine 
from spoiling. It means no electricity for oxygen tanks in nursing 
homes and no lights at night to keep people safe. It will take 
additional funding to restore roads so that whatever supplies do make 
it to Puerto Rico can actually be delivered, and people can get to 
their loved ones in need.
  The Small Business Administration will need billions of dollars to 
help people rebuild their businesses, which are vital to their basic 
economic recovery. The Army Corps of Engineers will need funding and 
the authority to rebuild the dams and the ports that were damaged so 
that commerce can actually go on, and FEMA will likely need $8 billion 
more just to respond to all of the households that have requested 
assistance to repair and rebuild their homes through its Individual 
Assistance Program.

[[Page S6902]]

  In other words, the recovery effort must be massive. There is no way 
around it, because we can never turn our backs on fellow citizens, 
whether they are in New York or Texas or Florida or the U.S. Virgin 
Islands or Puerto Rico. What we need right now is a Marshall Plan. That 
is the only way that Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are ever 
going to really fully recover. A new Marshall Plan would help Puerto 
Rico greatly reduce its crushing debt owned by hedge funds, and a new 
Marshall plan would also completely modernize infrastructure in Puerto 
Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, by rebuilding their energy grid, 
hospitals, roads and bridges, reservoirs, schools, dams, and the 
thousands of buildings and homes that were destroyed by these 

  I urge all of my colleagues to join me in this effort. We must never 
stop fighting for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to get the 
funding they need to fully recover and fully rebuild.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The President pro tempore, the Senator from 
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that I be permitted 
to finish my full speech.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, the Senate will consider this week four 
nominations for the U.S. courts of appeals. Two are well regarded 
professors at prestigious law schools, and two are highly respected 
State supreme court justices. Each of them has received the highest 
rating from the American Bar Association, ``well qualified,'' which my 
Democratic colleagues have said is the gold standard for evaluating 
  I applaud the majority leader for committing to do what it takes to 
confirm these nominees, including, if necessary, working through the 
weekend to get it done.
  I want to address the state of the confirmation process by focusing 
on one of these nominees, as well as attempts to change the process 
  Later today we will confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Seventh Circuit. 
She has taught at the Notre Dame Law School for 15 years in fields that 
are especially relevant to the work of a Federal appellate judge. A 
distinguished and diverse group of more than 70 law professors at 
schools from Massachusetts to California and from Minnesota to Florida 
wrote that her scholarship is ``rigorous, fair-minded, respectful and 
  I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record that letter.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                                                     May 19, 2017.
     Re Nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Court 
         of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

     Hon. Charles Grassley,
     Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, 
         Washington, DC.
     Hon. Dianne Feinstein,
     Ranking Member, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, 
         Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein: We are 
     writing to express our strong support for the nomination of 
     Professor Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for 
     the Seventh Circuit. We are a diverse group of law professors 
     who represent a broad range of fields and perspectives. We 
     share the belief, however, that Professor Barrett is 
     exceptionally well qualified to serve on the U.S. Court of 
     Appeals, and we urge the Senate to confirm her as a judge of 
     that court.
       Professor Barrett has stellar credentials for this 
     position. She received her undergraduate degree magna cum 
     laude from Rhodes College and her law degree summa cum laude 
     from the University of Notre Dame, where she finished first 
     in her law school class. She served as a law clerk to Judge 
     Laurence H. Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 
     D.C. Circuit and to Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme 
     Court. After her clerkships, she practiced law in both trial 
     and appellate litigation in Washington, D.C. at Miller, 
     Cassidy, Larroca, & Lewin, and at Baker Botts. She has served 
     as a law professor at the University of Notre Dame since 
       As a law professor, Professor Barrett has distinguished 
     herself as an expert in procedure, interpretation, federal 
     courts, and constitutional law. She has published several 
     important and influential law review articles on these topics 
     in leading journals. Although we have differing perspectives 
     on the methods and conclusions in her work, we all agree that 
     Professor Barrett's contributions to legal scholarship are 
     rigorous, fair-minded, respectful, and constructive. Her work 
     demonstrates a thorough understanding of the issues and 
     challenges that federal courts confront in their daily work. 
     In addition, we admire Professor Barrett's strong commitment 
     to public service, including her work as a member of the 
     Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Appellate 
     Procedure from 2010-2016.
       In short, Professor Barrett's qualifications for a seat on 
     the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit are first-
     rate. She is a distinguished scholar in areas of law that 
     matter most for federal courts, and she enjoys wide respect 
     for her careful work, fair-minded disposition, and personal 
     integrity. We strongly urge her confirmation by the Senate.
       Jonathan H. Adler, Case Western Reserve University School 
     of Law, Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law; Richard 
     Albert, Boston College Law School, Professor of Law; William 
     Baude, University of Chicago Law School, Neubauer Family 
     Assistant Professor; Anthony J. Bellia Jr., Notre Dame Law 
     School, O'Toole Professor of Constitutional Law; Patricia L. 
     Bellia, Notre Dame Law School, William J. and Dorothy K. 
     O'Neill Professor of Law; Mitchell Berman, University of 
     Pennsylvania Law School, Leon Meltzer Professor of Law and 
     Professor of Philosophy; Samuel L. Bray, UCLA School of Law, 
     Professor of Law; Steven G. Calabresi, Northwestern 
     University Pritzker School of Law, Clayton J. and Henry R. 
     Barber Professor of Law; Nathan Chapman, University of 
     Georgia School of Law, Assistant Professor of Law; Guy-Uriel 
     Charles, Duke Law School, Charles S. Rhyne Professor of Law; 
     Donald Earl Childress III, Pepperdine School of Law, 
     Professor of Law; G. Marcus Cole, Stanford Law School, 
     William F. Baxter-Visa International Professor of Law; Barry 
     Cushman, Notre Dame Law School, John P. Murphy Foundation 
     Professor of Law; Nestor M. Davidson, Fordham Law School, 
     Professor of Law; Marc O. DeGirolami, St. John's University 
     School of Law, Professor of Law; Erin F. Delaney, 
     Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Associate 
     Professor of Law and Political Science; John F. Duffy, 
     University of Virginia School of Law, Samuel H. McCoy II 
     Professor of Law; Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Vanderbilt Law 
     School, Professor of Law; Nicole Stelle Garnett, Notre Dame 
     Law School, John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law; 
     Richard W. Garnett, Notre Dame Law School, Paul J. Schierl/
     Fort Howard Corporation Professor of Law; Mary Ann Glendon, 
     Harvard Law School, Learned Hand Professor of Law; Michael 
     Heise, Cornell Law School, Professor of Law; F. Andrew 
     Hessick, University of North Carolina School of Law, 
     Professor of Law; Kristin Hickman, University of Minnesota 
     Law School, Distinguished McKnight University Professor, 
     Harlan Albert Rogers Professor in Law; Roderick M. Hills, NYU 
     Law School, William T. Comfort, III Professor of Law; Clare 
     Huntington, Fordham Law School, Professor of Law; John Inazu, 
     Washington University Law School, Sally D. Danforth 
     Distinguished Professor of Law & Religion; Neal Kumar Katyal, 
     Georgetown University Law Center, Paul Saunders Professor; 
     William K. Kelley, Notre Dame Law School, Associate Professor 
     of Law; Daniel B. Kelly, Notre Dame Law School, Professor of 
     Law; Cecelia M. Klingele, University of Wisconsin Law School, 
     Assistant Professor of Law; Randy J. Kozel, Notre Dame Law 
     School, Professor of Law; Kurt T. Lash, University of 
     Illinois College of Law, Guy Raymond Jones Chair in Law; 
     Renee Lettow Lerner, George Washington University Law School, 
     Professor of Law; Gregory E. Maggs, George Washington 
     University Law School, Professor of Law; Jenny S. Martinez, 
     Stanford Law School, Professor of Law & Warren Christopher 
     Professor in the Practice of International Law and Diplomacy; 
     Michael W. McConnell, Stanford Law School, Richard and 
     Frances Mallery Professor of Law; Alan J. Meese, William and 
     Mary Law School, Ball Professor of Law and Tazewell Taylor 
     Research Professor of Law; Thomas Merrill, Columbia Law 
     School, Charles Evan Hughes Professor of Law; Robert A. 
     Mikos, Vanderbilt University Law School, Professor of Law.
       David H. Moore, BYU Law School, Wayne M. and Connie C. 
     Hancock Professor of Law; Michael P. Moreland, Villanova Law 
     School, University Professor of Law and Religion; Derek T. 
     Muller, Pepperdine University School of Law, Associate 
     Professor of Law; John Copeland Nagle, Notre Dame Law School, 
     John N. Matthews Professor of Law, Caleb E. Nelson, 
     University of Virginia School of Law; Emerson G. Spies 
     Distinguished Professor of Law; Grant S. Nelson, William H. 
     Rehnquist Professor of Law, Pepperdine University, Professor 
     of Law Emeritus, University of California, Los Angeles; Nell 
     Jessup Newton, Notre Dame Law School, Joseph A. Matson Dean 
     and Professor of Law; Michael Stokes Paulsen, University of 
     St. Thomas, Minnesota, School of Law, Distinguished 
     University Chair and Professor; James E. Pfander, 
     Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Owen L. Coon 
     Professor of Law; Jeffrey A. Pojanowski, Notre Dame Law 
     School, Professor of Law; Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash, 
     University of Virginia School of Law, James Monroe 
     Distinguished Professor

[[Page S6903]]

     of Law; Robert J. Pushaw, Pepperdine University School of 
     Law, James Wilson Endowed Professor of Law; Michael D. 
     Ramsey, University of San Diego School of Law, Hugh and Hazel 
     Darling Foundation Professor of Law; Richard M. Re, UCLA 
     School of Law, Assistant Professor of Law; Cassandra Burke 
     Robertson, Case Western Reserve Law School, Professor of Law 
     and Laura B. Chisolm Distinguished Research Scholar; Nicholas 
     Quinn Rosenkranz, Georgetown University Law Center, Professor 
     of Law; Stephen E. Sachs, Duke Law School, Professor of Law; 
     Sean B. Seymore, Vanderbilt Law School, Professor of Law; 
     David Arthur Skeel, University of Pennsylvania Professor of 
     Law, S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law; Steven D. 
     Smith, University of San Diego School of Law, Warren 
     Distinguished Professor of Law; Lawrence Solan, Brooklyn Law 
     School, Don Forchelli Professor of Law; Kevin M. Stack, 
     Vanderbilt Law School, Professor of Law; John F. Stinneford, 
     University of Florida Levin College of Law, University Term 
     Professor; Kate Stith, Yale Law School, Lafayette S. Foster 
     Professor of Law; Catherine T. Struve, University of 
     Pennsylvania Law School, Professor of Law; Lisa Grow Sun, BYU 
     Law School, Associate Professor of Law; Jay Tidmarsh, Notre 
     Dame Law School, Judge James J. Clynes, Jr., Professor of 
     Law; Amanda Tyler, University of California, Berkeley School 
     of Law, Professor of Law; Adrian Vermeule, Harvard Law 
     School, Ralph S. Tyler, Jr. Professor of Constitutional Law; 
     Christopher J. Walker, Ohio State University Moritz College 
     of Law, Associate Professor of Law; Kevin C. Walsh, 
     University of Richmond School of Law, Professor of Law; Jay 
     D. Wexler, Boston University, Professor of Law; Ernest A. 
     Young, Duke Law School, Alston & Bird Professor of Law.

  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, the criticisms of Professor Barrett are 
laughable and ridiculous. One leftwing group, for example, objects 
because she has no judicial experience. I don't recall this group being 
concerned about the nearly 60 appeals court judges appointed by recent 
Democratic Presidents who had no prior judicial experience. In fact, 
President Clinton appointed a judge with a profile strikingly similar 
to Professor Barrett's--a woman who clerked on both the U.S. court of 
appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court and who, after a few years in 
private practice, taught at a well-known Midwestern law school for 15 
years and then received the ABA's highest rating to serve on this very 
same court. Leftwing groups supported the Democratic President's 
nominee but opposed the Republican President's nominee.
  It appears that Professor Barrett has one big strike against her, and 
that is her religious faith--an important part of her life, by the way. 
That is all it takes for her critics to say that she has no place on 
the Federal bench, that women or men with such personal religious faith 
cannot be impartial judges who respect the rule of law. That is bunk. 
It is ridiculous, it is despicable, it is stupid, and it is beneath the 
dignity of this body. I strongly reject that view. I find it appalling.
  These critics apparently believe that judges decide cases based on 
their personal beliefs. They may believe that, but Professor Barrett 
certainly does not. In her hearings she pledged to unflinchingly follow 
all Supreme Court precedents. She said: ``It is never appropriate for a 
judge to apply their personal convictions whether derived from faith or 
personal conviction.'' This has been her view for nearly two decades.
  In a 1998 law journal article she coauthored, she explored the real-
world situation of how a judge should approach the death penalty when 
her religious beliefs counsel against capital punishment. Professor 
Barrett wrote that ``judges cannot, nor should they, try to align our 
legal system with the church's moral teaching whenever the two 
  In her hearing, I asked Professor Barrett about this article and 
about what should happen when a judge faces a conflict between her 
personal views and the law. I wanted the record to be crystal clear so 
that her views would not be distorted or misrepresented. Here is what 
she said, as shown on this chart:

       I believe that the law wins . . . if a judge ever felt that 
     for any reason she could not apply the law, her obligation is 
     to recuse. I totally reject and I have rejected throughout my 
     entire career the proposition that a judge should decide 
     cases based on a desire to reach a certain outcome.

  Her critics appear, to put it most charitably, to have read a 
different article by a different Professor Barrett. My Democratic 
colleagues observed that religious dogma and the law are different--so 
far, so good, as far as I am concerned. But then there is this: ``The 
dogma lives loudly within you, and that is of concern.'' Can you 
imagine, in this day and age, one of our colleagues asking a question 
like that?
  Professor Barrett, as I described, has consistently argued for nearly 
20 years that judges may not decide cases based on their personal 
religious beliefs. So what is the problem? It appears that the problem 
for some critics is not Professor Barrett's religious faith in general 
but the particular religious faith she has. Now this sounds 
disturbingly like a religious test for public office. In fact, it is a 
religious test by some of our colleagues, who ought to be ashamed of 
  I thought America's Founders put that to rest when they wrote article 
VI of the U.S. Constitution, prohibiting a religious test for public 
office. I thought we had grown past periods in our history when 
suspicion was leveled against someone running for public office simply 
because of the church to which he or she belonged. I thought the free 
exercise of religion protected by the First Amendment included being 
free from that kind of suspicion and prejudice.
  Earlier today, the assistant Democratic leader tried to distract 
attention from the clearly inappropriate examination of Professor 
Barrett's religious beliefs. He suggested that by asking Professor 
Barrett whether a judge's personal beliefs should take precedence over 
the law is no different than expressing concern that ``the dogma lives 
loudly within you.''
  Let me be clear. Inquiring whether a nominee will have her judicial 
priorities straight regarding the law and her personal views is one 
thing. Inquiring about her religious beliefs themselves is something 
very different, and I believe it should be off limits.
  I enthusiastically support Professor Barrett's nomination precisely 
because she knows the difference between her personal beliefs and the 
law and she is completely committed to maintaining that distinction 
when she becomes a judge.
  Let me now take a step back from this nominee and focus on the 
confirmation process itself.
  The Constitution gives the power to nominate and appoint judges to 
the President and it gives the power of advice and consent to the 
Senate as a check on the President. The latest dispute about the 
Senate's part in this process concerns a practice used in the Judiciary 
Committee to highlight the views of Senators regarding judicial 
nominees who would serve in their States. Judiciary Committee chairmen 
have come to use a blue piece of paper to inquire about a home State 
Senator's views on a particular nominee. We call it the blue slip.
  Today Democrats and their grassroots and media allies are demanding 
that the blue-slip process be used as a single-Senator veto, even 
though the vote is for a court of appeals judge who will represent a 
wide variety of States if not the whole country. They demand that a 
single home-State Senator be able, at any time and for any reason, to 
stop a nomination dead in its tracks without any Judiciary Committee 
consideration at all. That is ridiculous.
  I can understand why they want to weaponize the blue slip like this. 
After all, they once used the filibuster to prevent confirmation of 
Republican judges but then abolished nomination filibusters so that no 
one else could use them. Today, Democrats are trying to turn the blue-
slip process into a de facto filibuster. They want a single Senator to 
be able to do in the Judiciary Committee what it once took 41 Senators 
to do on the Senate floor.
  Shortly after Democrats abolished nomination filibusters, Judiciary 
Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy warned: ``As long as the blue-slip 
process is not being abused by home-state Senators, then I will see no 
reason to change that tradition.'' He was right. The key is to know 
when that line has been crossed, and Senator Leahy made that point.
  I have served on the Judiciary Committee for more than 40 years. That 
experience leads me to suggest two things that can help us prevent 
abuse of this part of the confirmation process. The first thing to keep 
in mind is the history of the blue-slip process.
  Now, 19 Senators have chaired the Judiciary Committee, including me, 
since this practice began in 1917--10

[[Page S6904]]

Democrats and 9 Republicans. Only 2 of those 19 chairmen have treated 
the blue slip as a single-Senator veto. According to the Congressional 
Research Service, until the 1950s, no Judiciary Committee chairman 
treated a negative blue slip as a single-Senator veto. Home-State 
Senators could express their objections in confirmation hearings, and 
the Judiciary Committee might report a nomination to the Senate with a 
negative recommendation, but in each case the process moved forward.
  Senator James Eastland, who was chairman when I first joined the 
Judiciary Committee--a Democrat--was the first chairman to treat a 
negative blue slip more like a veto. Since then, according to CRS, the 
blue-slip policy has been modified to ``prevent a home-state Senator 
from having such absolute power over the fate of a nominee from their 
  Under Chairman Ted Kennedy, for example, a negative blue slip did not 
stop consideration of a nominee. Chairman Joe Biden actually put his 
policy in writing in a letter to President George H.W. Bush in early 
1989. A negative blue slip, wrote Chairman Biden, would not be a veto 
if the administration had consulted with home-State Senators. When I 
became chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 1995 and again in 1997, I 
wrote the White House Counsel that I would continue the Biden policy.
  The second thing to remember is the purpose of the blue-slip process. 
As I wrote in both 1995 and 1997, it is ``a courtesy the Committee has 
established to ensure that the prerogative of home state Senators to 
advise the committee of their views is protected.'' Nearly two decades 
later, in the 2014 op-ed I wrote for The Hill, I said the same thing--
that highlighting the views of home-State Senators encourages genuine 
consultation with the Senate when the President chooses judicial 
  The history and purpose of the blue-slip process will help identify 
when it is being used properly and when it is being abused, and, 
believe me, confirmation abuses have occurred. Before 2001, for 
instance, only 1 percent of judicial nominees with no opposition were 
confirmed by a time-consuming rollcall vote. Under President George W. 
Bush that figure jumped to 56 percent.
  Before 2001, there had been four filibusters of judicial nominees and 
no majority-supported judicial nominee had ever been defeated by a 
filibuster. Under President George W. Bush, Democrats conducted 20 
filibusters and ultimately kept multiple appeals court nominees from 
being confirmed.
  In July, we held another unnecessary cloture vote on a district court 
  After voting 97 to 0 to end the debate that no one apparently wanted 
in the first place, Democrats forced us to delay the confirmation vote 
by 2 more days. This was the first time in history that a unanimous 
cloture vote was not followed immediately by a confirmation vote.
  What is going on here? What is wrong with our colleagues on the other 
side? Why are they doing this? They could have taken a few hours but 
instead took 2 weeks from the filing of the cloture motion to the final 
unanimous confirmation vote that took place here.
  Now, this is not the only time Democrats forced cloture votes to slow 
consideration of nominees they end up supporting. What was the point of 
all that? It is simple. Democrats want to make confirming President 
Trump's judicial nominees as cumbersome and time-consuming as possible.
  At this point in President Obama's first year, when Republicans were 
in the minority, the Senate took cloture votes on less than 1 percent 
of the executive and judicial branches--1 percent of all the nominees 
that we confirmed. This year, with Democrats in the minority playing 
confirmation spoiler, the Senate has been forced to take cloture votes 
on more than 27 percent of the nominees we confirmed. In fact, 
including those we take this week, Democrats have forced us to take 51 
cloture votes on President Trump's nominees so far this year. That is 
seven times as many as during the combined first years of all nine 
Presidents since the cloture rule has applied to nominations.
  These were the nominations under Obama and this is President Trump. 
What is going on here? That is seven times as many as during the 
combined first years of all nine Presidents since the cloture rule 
applied to nominations.
  In 2013, Democrats abolished the ability of 41 Senators to prevent 
confirmation. Today, they are demanding the ability of just one Senator 
to prevent confirmation. If that is not an abuse of the confirmation 
ground rules, I don't know what is.
  It would be a mistake to do to the blue-slip process what has been 
done to other elements of the Senate's advice and consent role. This 
can be prevented by following the less partisan guidance of history and 
purpose to chart our way forward.
  The blue-slip process exists to highlight the views of home State 
Senators and of course to encourage the executive branch in this 
country--whoever is the President--to be open to the feelings of the 
home State Senators and to consult with them when choosing judicial 
nominees. If it is serving those purposes, the blue-slip process should 
not become yet another tactic for hijacking the President's power to 
appoint judges.
  What we have going on here today with President Trump's nominees is 
hypocritical, and it is wrong. It is debilitating to the courts, and it 
is unconstitutional. It bothers me that my colleagues on the other side 
are doing this when they, themselves, were treated much more fairly by 
our side--not just much more fairly but absolutely more fairly. This is 
really pathetic. I hope we can somehow or other bring ourselves to 
treat each other on both sides better.
  With regard to judges, whoever is President ought to be given great 
consideration for the choices. That is what we do when we elect a 
President. I know it is tough on the other side that President Trump is 
the President, but he is the President, and he is picking really 
excellent people for these judicial nominations. I hope we start 
changing this process and get it back to being a reasonable, effective, 
honest, and good process.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that 
notwithstanding rule XXII, that at 3:30 p.m. today, there be 30 minutes 
of postcloture time remaining on the Barrett nomination, equally 
divided between the leaders or their designees; that following the use 
or yielding back of that time, the Senate vote on the confirmation of 
the Barrett nomination; and that if confirmed, the motion to reconsider 
be considered made and laid upon the table and the President be 
immediately notified of the Senate's action.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. FLAKE. Mr. President, I rise to discuss a matter of religious 
liberty. In particular, I urge this body to respect our constitutional 
values and avoid any hint of applying religious tests to those who heed 
the call of government service.
  Freedom of religion is as foundational a principle as we have in this 
country. Yet some in this Chamber want to take a cabined view of it. If 
you are a judicial nominee, it is fine to attend the occasional worship 
service, but don't let on that you take it too seriously. That seems to 
be unacceptable.
  From the inception of our Republic, religious believers have chosen 
to serve the country in countless ways. Whether through the Armed 
Forces, holding elected office, or sitting on the courts, Americans of 
faith always answered the call. We should welcome this service, and we 
should not sit idly by while others question the propriety of their 
service by suggesting a de facto religious test.
  The Framers of the Constitution were fearful of this very thinking. 
They understood the importance of religious participation and foresaw 
the benefits religious believers of all backgrounds would contribute to 
the common good. They also knew, from centuries of war and suffering in 
Europe, the high cost of religious intolerance.
  That is why they made it clear in article VI of the Constitution that 
no public officers could be subject to a religious test. This edict was 
entirely unambiguous in its language and its intent. This country is to 
be served by

[[Page S6905]]

people of all faiths, committed to the Constitution and the common 
good. It is up to us to question the qualifications and jurisprudence 
of nominees, not their religious views.
  Unfortunately, that is not what is happening to Professor Barrett. I 
was at the confirmation hearing, where she faced inappropriate 
questions and objections based on her religious views. I witnessed a 
citizen heeding the call to serve her country, only to face inquiries 
into her religious beliefs that bordered on ridicule. My friends on the 
other side of the aisle defended their questions and their conduct, and 
I don't doubt their sincerity, but there is little comfort in the 
defense that it doesn't matter that Professor Barrett is a Catholic, 
but somehow it matters what sort of Catholic she is. These are 
unconstitutional distinctions without differences.
  In addition, otherwise respectable news outlets have provided 
sensational reports of Professor Barrett's personal charismatic 
religious practices. As a Member of the Senate, I find this troubling, 
as a person of faith, I find this objectionable, and above all, as an 
American, I find this abhorrent.
  It is religious liberty--enshrined in constitutional provisions like 
article VI and the First Amendment--that has allowed my faith and so 
many others to flourish in the United States. It is also religious 
liberty that is threatened when we seek to evaluate the fitness of 
nominees for high office based on religious orthodoxy.
  I have endeavored to be consistent on this issue during my time in 
public service. When the Presidential nominee of my party--the party of 
Lincoln--called for a Muslim ban, it was wrong, and I said so. That is 
not what we stand for. When a judge expressed his personal belief that 
a practicing Muslim shouldn't be a Member of Congress because of his 
religious faith, it was wrong; that this same judge is now my party's 
nominee for the Senate from Alabama should concern us all. Religious 
tests have no place in Congress.
  Standing up for people of faith--whether Muslim or Catholic--who are 
facing unfair prejudice should be an act of basic conscience. It should 
be expected of all of us, regardless of party. It is no better for 
Democrats to evaluate the judicial nominee based on how many books are 
in the Bible on which she swears her oath, than it is for Republicans 
to judge a Congressman who swears his oath on the Koran.
  To suggest that somehow a Roman Catholic judge would discard the 
Constitution in favor of Church doctrine--which she has emphatically 
and repeatedly said she would not--is as wrong as suggesting that a 
Muslim judge would be somehow forced to follow sharia law over the 
  Religious liberty must not depend on the religion in question. So I 
ask, in light of these circumstances, who will stand today against all 
cases of religious bigotry? Are there true liberals who will stand up 
for the liberal values of religious tolerance? Some have, like 
Professors Larry Tribe, Noah Feldman, and Chris Eisgruber. They have 
said: Enough. Who here will join them?
  This very body is made up of individuals from around 15 different 
faiths. Each of us has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution. Each 
of us here feels we can competently carry out our duties, as do those 
in the judicial branch who swear a similar oath to uphold the 
  Let us stand together today without equivocation and say no to 
religious intolerance in all its forms by examining the jurisprudential 
views and professional qualifications of judicial nominees, not their 
relationship with the Almighty.
  I yield back.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Hoeven). The assistant majority leader.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, last night we held a cloture vote on the 
nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, who has been nominated to the U.S. 
Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
  Thanks to a unanimous consent request by the majority leader just 
moments ago, we will be voting on that nomination at around 4 p.m. That 
appeals court covers cases from Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
  By all accounts, Professor Barrett is a devoted wife and the mother 
of seven children. She is also an exemplary scholar whose research 
focuses on Federal courts, constitutional law, and statutory 
interpretation. By all accounts, she is a consummate professional, a 
beloved teacher, a gifted writer, and a generous person. There is no 
doubt in my mind she would make an excellent addition to one of our 
Nation's highest courts.
  We know, based on what we have observed in the Senate since President 
Trump was sworn in on January 20--and some of the comments made by the 
distinguished former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 
Utah, Senator Hatch--we know that our Democratic colleagues are 
deliberately slow-walking judicial and other nominations, but it makes 
absolutely no sense to slow-walk the nomination of Professor Barrett.
  They should remember some of their own previous statements. For 
example, the senior Senator from Vermont said in 2013: ``We need more 
women in our Federal courts,'' emphasizing that ``women are grossly 
underrepresented'' there. Well, Professor Barrett would help solve what 
the Senator from Vermont claimed he saw as a problem.
  The junior Senator from Washington that same year said that having 
more females on the court is ``incredibly important.'' I agree. That is 
all the more reason for this body to expedite Professor Barrett's 
confirmation instead of dragging our heels because, as I said 
yesterday, thanks to the former Democratic majority leader, Harry Reid, 
the Democratic's delay tactics will not change the outcome.
  In the Judiciary Committee, some Democrats attempted to argue against 
Professor Barrett's nomination because of the Law Review article she 
coauthored almost 20 years ago. I don't have time to discuss the 
article in depth, but suffice it to say that Professor Barrett has been 
attacked for, in effect, professing her Catholic faith.
  Her article, however, makes clear that any line of criticism that she 
would somehow subjugate the rule of law and the Constitution to her 
religious views is baseless. That same Law Review article said: 
``Judges cannot--nor should they try to--align our legal system with 
the Church's moral teaching whenever the two diverge.'' In other words, 
Professor Barrett is a strong proponent of upholding the rule of law 
over privately held desires for what it should say, whether they are 
based on one's religious convictions or some other reason.
  Former Chief Justice William Rehnquist once said that no judicial 
nominee is a tabula rasa--a blank slate. That is also true of Ms. 
Barrett. She is a person of faith who doesn't hide it, and she 
certainly need not apologize for it either, nor is it a 
disqualification for her serving as a judge on the circuit court of 
  The article she coauthored 20 years ago stated that judges should not 
shy away from honoring and upholding core tenets of their religious 
faith and recusing or disqualifying themselves when--in very rare 
cases--judicial decision making may constitute cooperation with evil. 
In other words, if there were a conflict between her religious beliefs 
and the law in a way that she could not reconcile, clearly she would 
make that choice, in an individual and rare case, by recusing herself 
from deciding that case rather than imposing her religious views or 
other deeply held personal views in place of the Constitution and the 
law. That is commendable. It is not controversial--or it shouldn't be. 
To attempt to faithfully honor both the law and one's deeply held moral 
convictions is what we all do every day. It is not an either/or 
  Some liberal interest groups have engaged in smear tactics against 
Professor Barrett. They are trying to discredit her by making spurious 
claims about organizations that she has given presentations to and by 
distorting the text of the very article I just mentioned. We all 
remember, for example, questions during the Judiciary Committee hearing 
about ``orthodox Catholics.'' One of my colleagues admitted to having 
an ``uncomfortable feeling'' about the nominee and stated with mild 
disdain that ``the dogma lives loudly within'' Professor Barrett--
whatever that means. This sort of backhanded way of painting the 
professor as somehow radical or out of the mainstream, insinuating that 
because her moral views may be unfashionable in some of the circles in 
which some of the Senators operate--the idea that they are somehow 
disqualifying should

[[Page S6906]]

be completely out of bounds in the United States of America because our 
Constitution prohibits religious tests for public service.
  In the strongest of terms, I reject this line of questioning or the 
insinuation that follows from it. If we tolerate this sort of 
commentary and these religious tests, I fear that even worse, more 
openly hostile religious discrimination will result down the road. We 
should not start down this path.
  I join my colleague, the senior Senator from Utah, who questioned 
quite legitimately whether certain of our colleagues were beginning to 
impose an inappropriate, unconstitutional, and highly disconcerting 
religious litmus test for public office. Of course, there should never 
be such a test, not in the United States of America under this 
  In Professor Barrett's case, she passes with flying colors the only 
tests that are appropriate. Let's talk for a moment about her 
impeccable credentials, which show not only that she is highly 
intelligent but also that she is widely respected by a diverse array of 
students, scholars, and practitioners.
  She received her undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Rhodes 
College and her law degree summa cum laude from the University of Notre 
Dame, where she finished first in her law school class. She has been 
twice selected as the Distinguished Professor of the Year at Notre 
Dame, where she has taught since the year 2002.
  It is clear that her students love her. They seek out her classes and 
are inspired by her formidable presence and her piercing analysis. All 
of her fellow faculty members have endorsed her. Every full-time member 
of the Notre Dame law faculty has supported her nomination. As on any 
law school faculty, that presumably includes scholars who self-identify 
as liberal.
  In a separate letter, 70 law professors from across the country, 
representing a broad range of political perspectives and areas of 
expertise, called the professor's qualifications ``first-rate.'' They 
strongly urged her confirmation by the Senate and explained that Ms. 
Barrett ``enjoys wide respect for her careful work, her fair-minded 
disposition, and her personal integrity.'' That is exactly the type of 
person we need on the Federal bench.
  Finally, Professor Barrett's legal experience is not just as an 
academic; she clerked for two highly respected judges--Judge Laurence 
Silberman of the DC Circuit and the late Justice Antonin Scalia of the 
U.S. Supreme Court. She followed those clerkships by practicing 
appellate law at the prestigious Houston-based law firm of Baker Botts. 
These and other qualifications show that Professor Barrett would serve 
the cause of justice skillfully and impartially.
  I will close by saying to my colleagues, let's send Amy Barrett to 
the Seventh Circuit, where she belongs.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. YOUNG. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. YOUNG. Mr. President, I rise today to speak in support of a 
fellow Hoosier, Amy Coney Barrett, who has been nominated by President 
Trump to serve on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh 
  Professor Barrett's credentials are well known. She is a mother of 
seven children, a distinguished legal scholar at the University of 
Notre Dame Law School, where she herself graduated with high honors and 
served as editor of the Notre Dame Law Review. She clerked for Justice 
Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court of the United States and Judge 
Silberman on the Circuit Court for the District of Columbia, and she is 
an expert on the Federal courts.
  Unfortunately, some of my colleagues on the left have made an issue 
of Professor Barrett's Catholic faith. Echoing what Leader McConnell 
has said, we do not have religious tests for office in the United 
States of America, period.
  I applaud all of those who have spoken up as the Senate weighs 
Professor Barrett's confirmation. That includes Notre Dame president, 
Rev. John Jenkins. He expressed deep concern at the questioning of 
Professor Barrett's faith. Following Professor Barrett's hearing in the 
Senate Judiciary Committee, Reverend Jenkins wrote: ``It is chilling to 
hear from the United States Senator that this might now disqualify 
someone from service as a federal judge.''
  The president of Princeton University has also asked the Senate to 
avoid a religious test in judicial appointments. In a letter to the 
Senate Judiciary Committee, President Eisgruber wrote that Professor 
Barrett and all nominees ``should be evaluated on the basis of their 
professional ability and jurisprudential philosophy, not their 
religion.'' He wrote: ``Every Senator and every American should cherish 
and safeguard vigorously the freedom guaranteed by the inspiring 
principle set forth in Article VI of the United States Constitution.''
  Despite the rhetoric surrounding Professor Barrett's nomination, I 
have yet to hear any significant doubts about her legal qualifications.
  Professor Barrett has made clear that her personal views will have no 
bearing on her rulings as a judge. She brings the skill set and the 
temperament needed for the job. She will rule according to the law and 
according to controlling precedents, and she will be faithful to the 
Constitution. There is no question that Professor Barrett will make an 
outstanding appellate judge.
  Also, 450 former students signed a letter to the Judiciary Committee 
in support of Professor Barrett's nomination. They wrote: ``Our support 
is driven not by politics but by a belief that Professor Barrett is 
supremely qualified.''
  All 49 of her fellow faculty members at Notre Dame Law School did the 
same. They said:

       We have a wide range of political views, as well as 
     commitments to different approaches to judicial methodology 
     and judicial craft. We are united, however, in our judgment 
     about Amy.

  Their endorsement comes as no surprise since Professor Barrett has 
served on committees dedicated to bettering the lives of students, 
faculty, and employees of the University of Notre Dame.
  In particular, she has dedicated her time to the professional 
development of women. She serves on the University of Notre Dame's 
Committee on Women Faculty and Students. As the faculty adviser for 
Notre Dame Law School's Women's Legal Forum, she has twice been 
recognized by her students with the Distinguished Teaching Award, which 
is selected by the graduating class to honor a faculty member. She was 
selected twice to receive that award.
  One former student, Conor Dugan, shared his story about her 
willingness to help him navigate the next steps of his career right 
after law school. He said that despite not having Professor Barrett for 
a big class, she wrote him back right away and took time out of her 
busy schedule to help someone who was no longer at the school.
  Conor says Professor Barrett has always been very responsive and a 
generous mentor over the years. Most importantly, he said, she tries to 
help people keep their perspective about the most important things in 
  Judge Silberman, for whom Professor Barrett clerked on the Circuit 
Court for the District of Columbia, had the following to say about why 
she will make an outstanding Federal judge:

       She is an honorable and straight as an arrow woman. She 
     looks at the law without preconceived notions, and she's 
     brilliant. She is the only law clerk I ever had from Notre 
     Dame, and she is as smart as any law clerk I have ever had. 
     She is compassionate, and she has a lively sense of rumor.

  Judges, former law students, fellow law professors, and even the 
American Bar Association, who rates Professor Barrett as ``well 
qualified,'' all seem to agree that she is well suited for the job.
  Now, being nominated to serve in a lifetime appointment for a U.S. 
circuit court of appeals is a privilege few in the legal profession 
will ever attain. This is a historic opportunity, as Professor Barrett 
would be the first Hoosier woman to have a seat on the Seventh Circuit 
  I offer my strong support for Professor Barrett's nomination, and I 
look forward to the Senate's confirming her today.

[[Page S6907]]

  Thank you, Mr. President.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there are now 30 
minutes of postcloture time remaining, equally divided between the two 
leaders or their designees, prior to a vote on the confirmation of the 
Barrett nomination.
  The Senator from Missouri.
  Mr. BLUNT. Mr. President, I am here today to join my colleague from 
Indiana in support of the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to be on the 
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. As we all know, that is 
the highest court you can serve on, except for the Supreme Court. The 
circuit court is the court that often makes the final determination of 
what the law says if the Supreme Court chooses not to act or isn't 
asked to act. These are important jobs to be filled and carry great 
  This week, Amy Coney Barrett, two other women, and one man will come 
before this Senate to be confirmed to various circuit courts around the 
country. As others have come to the floor to point out, she is 
extremely qualified. She should be confirmed by the Senate this week.
  In letters to the Senate Judiciary Committee, 73 law professors 
agreed that ``Professor Barrett's qualifications for a seat on the U.S. 
Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit are first rate.''
  Her former law school students wrote that they would like to see her 
on the court.
  She is a distinguished scholar in areas of law that matter most to 
the Federal courts. She respects the Constitution. She understands that 
the job of a judge is to see what the Constitution and the law say, 
rather than what she thinks they should say. She is known for her 
careful work, for her fairminded disposition, and for her personal 
  Similar things have been noted by people who served with her as 
Supreme Court law clerks. Law clerks, her former students, and lots of 
other groups that have had reason to know her and evaluate her work 
over the years have been universal in one thing; that is, that she 
would be a great addition to a circuit court in the United States and 
particularly to this court.
  It is discouraging that during her confirmation hearings, several of 
my colleagues felt it appropriate to question Professor Barrett's 
faith. She is not the only one of President Trump's nominees who have 
been subject to this line of questioning. In fact, in June, one Senator 
held out the idea that a person who was going to be in the Office of 
Management and Budget might not be well suited or able to serve in that 
job not because he didn't have the background, not because he didn't 
have the preparation, not because he didn't know what the job was all 
about but because of his answers to questions about his personal view 
of faith.
  Even when the United States, in its earlier times, may have quietly 
discriminated against people of faith, it was never publicly stated. 
Sometimes it took a long time for the first Jew to serve on the Court 
and a little time for the first Catholic to serve on the Supreme Court, 
but there was never a stated question like there has been in this 
Senate about those topics. It is shocking, in many ways, that it would 
be something we would be talking about in the United States of America 
  The idea that a qualification for public office would require a 
religious test, in fact, was specifically prohibited not just in the 
Bill of Rights, in the protections for religion there, but in the 
Constitution itself. The people who wrote the Constitution did so at a 
time when a religious test was often the test for service and of fealty 
to a specific religion or the tradition of fealty to the monarch, who 
was the head of the church in that country. Many countries had a church 
where the monarch was clearly understood to be the principal 
representative of the church in that country. Even in a time when that 
was still the case and fresh in their minds and when there may have 
been religious tests in some of the colonies--even then--in the 
Constitution, article VI says: ``No religious Test shall ever be 
required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the 
United States.''
  So is it even appropriate to ask a religious question? Most questions 
in America you are free to ask, but are you free to ask that under the 
determination of the Constitution, as if it matters? In response to 
this line of questioning, some members of the Senate Judiciary 
Committee made it clear that it is never appropriate for those 
questions to be asked, while others asked them. But Professor Barrett, 
in her own writings, has said that if a person's religious faith or 
their faith principles ever become an obstacle to determining what the 
law says, then they should step back and not be a part of that case. 
They should not, according to her, impose their personal convictions on 
the law but read what the law says. If they can't do that, they should 
make way for a judge who can. I think, maybe, that is one of the 
differences in a judicial nominee who believes that their job is to 
determine what the law says as opposed to determining what the law 
should say.
  So we have somebody here who is well prepared, well written, and who 
has clearly made the case that her job as a judge--or any judge's job--
would not be to determine what the law should say based on their view 
of faith or their view in the world but to look at the law and say: 
What does the law say?
  The Constitution guides the Congress. The Congress passes the law. As 
long as that law meets constitutional principles based on what the 
Constitution says--not what it should say, but what it says--then, the 
judge looks at what the law says--not what it should say, in his or her 
opinion, but what the law does say. So there is no real room for a 
faith determination there. The only job of the judge is to decide what 
the law says. The second job, if there is a second job, would be to 
ensure that it also conforms to what the Constitution says the Congress 
and the President are allowed to do.
  One thing the Congress and the Constitution are not allowed to do is 
to establish a religious test for public office. Whether Americans have 
any faith or no faith at all, they should be concerned if we begin to 
talk about this differently. Even though it was already in the 
Constitution, the Founders listed freedom of religion as the first 
freedom in the First Amendment. No other country has ever set out as 
one of its foundational principles freedom of religion.
  President Jefferson--not known to be the most religious of all of our 
Presidents and maybe to be the most questioning of religion generally--
said in a letter in the last year of his Presidency that of all of the 
rights that we have, the one we should hold most dear is what we called 
the right of conscience--the right to believe what your conscience 
leads you to believe is the right thing to believe. Jefferson said that 
is the right we should hold most dear. Whether you are Muslim or Jewish 
or Catholic or Buddhist or any other faith or no faith at all, there is 
no religious test. For any individual and for all individuals of any 
faith or all faiths or no faith, religious freedom includes the right 
of an individual to live, to work, to associate, and, if they choose, 
to worship in accordance with their beliefs.
  The belief that a person's religion would in some way disqualify that 
person from public service has to be strongly and fully rejected.
  There is no other legitimate question raised about this nominee 
today. So certainly I am pleased to see many of my colleagues come to 
the floor to talk about this topic. Professor Barrett did receive some 
bipartisan support on the cloture vote yesterday. One way to 
demonstrate that there is clearly no objection to a person of faith, 
who says that faith should never get in the way of the job they do as a 
judge, is simply to vote for the judge.
  I intend to do that today. I urge my colleagues to do that as well. A 
lifetime appointment to the circuit court of the United States of 
America is no small obligation. It is no small trust in an individual's 
capacity to do the job that you ask them to do. All of the nominees--
the four circuit nominees whom we will have before us this week--are 
prepared for these jobs. I wish them happy service and a long and 
healthy life as they set out on the task that they have agreed to 
accept, if and when they are confirmed, and this week the Senate will 
confirm them to these jobs.

[[Page S6908]]

  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. HOEVEN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Strange). Without objection, it is so 

                       Vote on Barrett Nomination

  The question is, Will the Senate advise and consent to the Barrett 
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Missouri (Mrs. 
McCaskill) and the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. Menendez) are 
necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Johnson). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 55, nays 43, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 255 Ex.]




     Cortez Masto
     Van Hollen

                             NOT VOTING--2

  The nomination was confirmed.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the motion to 
reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table and the President 
will be immediately be notified of the Senate's action.