Two women that Democrats tried to publicly excoriate in order to play politics were confirmed for federal judgeships this week. Both Amy Coney Barrett and Joan Larsen were confirmed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, respectively.
Barrett is the first Indiana woman to reach that court. Despite being heavily qualified — she was a professor at the Notre Dame Law School and a former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia — the committee repeatedly questioned Barrett’s Catholic faith and ability to judge as a religious person and woman. Her hearing became infamous when Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told Barrett, “You are controversial. 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.” She also remarked that the “dogma lives loudly within you.”
Unfortunately for Feinstein, while she was busy yapping about dogma, Barrett’s credentials were powerful enough to push her nomination forward and secure a confirmation. In the future, perhaps this will help Feinstein realize this is one of the advantages of a conservative president, just like it is when Democrats enjoy a liberal president.
Joan Larsen also boasted a great resume, but she too received criticism from Democrats. Larsen attended Northwestern University School of Law and also clerked for Scalia. After being appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court, she landed on Trump’s short list for potential Supreme Court nominations, before Neil Gorsuch filled it. She was hounded for her faith and asked if she would be able to stand up against the president.
The Judicial Crisis Network’s Chief Counsel and Policy Director Carrie Severino said, “The Senate did a great job in confirming an exceedingly well-qualified, accomplished judge to the federal bench. Justice Larsen brings with her a sterling background, and an unwavering commitment to the rule of law. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of many more confirmations of President Trump’s excellent judicial nominees.”
For all their showmanship and whining about these two judges, Democrats failed to block these nominations because these women were highly qualified and deserving of the positions. It would be nice, in the future, if Democrats stopped playing politics when it comes to the federal bench, but it’s unlikely.
Nicole Russell is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. She is a journalist in Washington, D.C., who previously worked in Republican politics in Minnesota. She was the 2010 recipient of the American Spectator's Young Journalist Award.
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