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Groups urging senators to vote against Barrett nomination

September 1, 2017

Less than a week before 7th Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Amy Coney Barrett is scheduled to appear for her confirmation hearing with the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, organizations opposing her nomination are urging senators to vote against her confirmation.

On Friday, members of the Younger Women’s Task Force of Greater Lafayette, Service Employees International Union Local 1 and the National Organization for Women Indiana Chapter along with other individuals are planning to visit the district offices of Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly and Republican Todd Young.

At the offices in South Bend, Hammond and Indianapolis, they will be submitting a list of their grievances and a report from the Alliance of Justice which asserts Barrett is unfit for the bench.

“We want to be clear and speak out in no uncertain terms: the courts matter and we’re paying attention,” said Melissa Gruver, chapter director of the Younger Women’s Task Force. She explained the opposition is advocating for a nominee from the mainstream rather than someone who holds views that are the liberal opposite of Barrett’s.  

The task force is affiliated with the American Association of University Women.
 
Barrett, a professor at the Notre Dame Law School, was selected by President Donald Trump in May to fill the vacant Indiana seat on the 7th Circuit. President Barack Obama had nominated former Indiana Justice Myra Selby in January 2016 for the vacancy but since Sen. Dan Coats opposed her selection, the Judiciary Committee never gave her a hearing.

Donnelly and Young have both turned in their blue slips in support of Barrett’s nomination. Barrett is scheduled to testify before the Judiciary Committee at 10 a.m. Sept. 6.

Gruver does not expect Barrett will be able to say or do anything during the hearing to change the mind of the opposition. In fact, if Barrett takes a position contrary to her writings, Gruver would suspect her of being untruthful.

A major concern, according to Gruver, is that Barrett has no experience as a judge. What she has written is raising concerns, Gruver said, pointing to Barrett’s position that judges can rule based on their personal religious beliefs.

Gruver said she was not want judges to “rule based on their faith, whatever their faith is, when the law is clear. All citizens are not subject to one single faith.”

In addition, groups see Barrett as a threat to worker’s rights, reproductive rights and Miranda rights.

“I’m really concerned she will use the courts to roll back our rights that we fought for,” Gruver said.

Alliance for Justice has spoken out about the confirmation hearing for Barrett, which will be combined with hearings for Joan Larsen, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals nominee, and Eric Dreiband, the nominee to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. The organization is concerned senators won’t devote much time to any candidate and their records.

 

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