Supreme Court Nominations (Executive Calendar); Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 166
(Senate - September 24, 2020)

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[Pages S5847-S5848]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                       Supreme Court Nominations

  Madam President, in a letter to our Democratic colleagues earlier 
this week, my friend, the chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, 
pointed out the vastly different treatment of Supreme Court nominees by 
the respective political parties.
  He wrote: ``Compare the treatment of Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, 
Samuel Alito, and Brett Kavanaugh to that of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia 
Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, and it's clear that there already is one 
set of rules for a Republican president and another set of rules for a 
Democrat president.''
  This double standard is not just fiction or our imagination at play. 
Two years ago, we saw the outrageous smear campaign that our Democratic 
colleagues waged against Justice Brett Kavanaugh and his family. I have 
noted that it is not just enough to defeat a nomination; they actually 
were out to destroy his reputation.
  While I hope it is something no nominee will have to endure again, I 
worry that history will repeat itself. The President has yet to even 
announce his nominee for the Supreme Court for the vacancy created by 
the death of Justice Ginsburg, but our Democratic colleagues are 
already reflexively taking potshots at potential nominees.
  One of those potential nominees is Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who is a 
well-respected Federal judge with an impressive background as a legal 
scholar. While serving on the Seventh Circuit, Judge Barrett has shown 
that she will faithfully and impartially apply the law to cases and 
controversies before her, but in the eyes of our colleagues on the 
other side of the aisle, her stellar resume has one glaring flaw--her 
strong Catholic faith.
  During Judge Barrett's confirmation hearing for her current position 
on the circuit court, the ranking member of the Committee on the 
Judiciary asked Judge Barrett if she could separate her religious 
beliefs from her legal duties, saying: ``The dogma lives loudly within 
you, and that's a concern.''
  During my time in the Senate, I don't recall any similar application 
of a religious test to a nominee or such intrusive questions about how 
their faith might impact their abilities to carry out the duty of a 
Justice. But, apparently, some on the other side of the aisle believe 
that a Christian woman is unable to separate her religious beliefs from 
her role on the bench. Yet, again, there is a different standard for 
nominees of a Republican President. But the Constitution provides that 
``no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any 
Office or public Trust under the United States.'' In other words, it is 
unconstitutional to impose a religious test on a nominee or on any 
person who holds public office.
  Unfortunately, our Democratic colleagues' efforts to destroy 
conservative nominees are getting more and more outrageous--false 
accusations, religious tests, and threats to upend institutions, like 
packing the Court. It is terrifying to imagine what might come next.
  In 2016, the American people elected President Trump knowing the type 
of nominees he would send us because he advertised and released a list 
of potential nominees to the Supreme Court were he elected.
  At the same time, the American people also reelected a Senate 
majority committed to supporting the President's nominees to the 
Federal bench. On both counts, we delivered, first, with the 
confirmation of Justice Gorsuch and, then, with the confirmation of 
Justice Kavanaugh.
  We are once again prepared to deliver on our promise to the American 
people and to consider another highly qualified jurist to the Supreme 
Court. We will not rush this process. My colleagues and I on the 
Judiciary Committee will do our job and thoroughly examine the nominee, 
just as we would any other nominee to the Court.
  Then, every single Member of the Senate will have the chance to 
debate and vote for or against that nominee right here on the Senate 
floor. This confirmation will be as thorough as it always has been, but 
my hope is that this time it will also be civil, and that

[[Page S5848]]

the threats and religious tests end today.