Virginia, North Carolina leaders react to Amy Coney Barrett confirmation


WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 12: Supreme Court Justice nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett listens during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice in the Hart Senate Office Building on October 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. With less than a month until the presidential election, President Donald Trump tapped Amy Coney Barrett to be his third Supreme Court nominee in just four years. If confirmed, Barrett would replace the late Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)

(WAVY) — Within minutes of the official Senate vote, former and current elected leaders in Virginia and North Carolina released prepared statements on the Supreme Court confirmation for Amy Coney Barrett.

Some applauded the confirmation, while others were sharply critical.

Here are the statements released by officials so far.


U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine

“I voted not to confirm Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court. After declaring the Senate shouldn’t confirm a new justice during an election year in 2016, Senate Republicans have abandoned their own rule so they can ram through their own nominee in hopes she will strike down the Affordable Care Act. I strain to recall ever before witnessing such disdain for precedent, such disrespect for the legacy of an American giant, such disregard for the will of the voters.”

Virginia Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond)

 “Justice Amy Coney Barrett had a historically short vetting period, but her record on reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, climate change and health care is deeply concerning,” McClellan said. “I thank Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine for voting against this right-wing power grab.

“The impact of a right-wing court for Virginia and the nation could be massive. Virginia has made tremendous progress over the past several years on expanding health care, protecting equal rights, making it easier to vote, and ensuring more Virginians have educational opportunities and opportunities to participate in the economy.

“We cannot afford to let the Supreme Court drag us backwards. We must elect Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and a Democratic U.S. Congress on November 3. Then, in Virginia, we need to continue to advance legislation that protects equality, reproductive health, voting rights, and access to affordable, quality health care.

“As governor, I will ensure that Virginia remains a beacon of progress, despite a right-wing Supreme Court. I will make it a top priority to pass a constitutional amendment to protect reproductive health, and to pass new laws to further protect LGBTQ+ rights, civil rights, workers’ rights, voting rights, clean energy, and access to health care. We must continue to step boldly into the future and protect the rights of all Virginians.”

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe

“This entire confirmation process has been a sham aimed at ripping Americans’ access to health care away from them in the middle of a pandemic. Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans have done everything they can – from breaking with precedent to violating their own rules – just to ram this partisan nomination through to achieve their long standing goals of striking down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and reversing Roe v Wade.

As governor, I fought hard to expand Medicaid under the ACA. And I was a brick wall against Republicans’ attack on women’s reproductive freedom – successfully keeping all of Virginia’s women health clinics open. Now with Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court, all of those things are on the line. The stakes in this election have never been higher, we must keep fighting to elect Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and a Democratic Senate to protect Virginians’ access to health care, especially for the 3.5 million Virginians with pre-existing conditions who would lose their protection if the ACA is repealed and the millions of women here and across the country whose reproductive freedom must remain a fundamental right.”

U.S. Congressman Rob Wittman, 1st District of Virginia

“Judge Barrett boasts an impeccable academic and judicial resume, making her an excellent pick to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. Her record on the Seventh Circuit and her time in academia at Notre Dame makes it clear that she believes a judge’s role is to apply the law based on the original text of the Constitution, not impose their own preference or ideology. Our highest court should reflect a legal philosophy that places life, liberty, and the words of the Constitution above all else. Judge Barrett will uphold that vision and be a defender of our foundational principles on the Supreme Court. I am glad to see her confirmation and look forward to hearing more of her jurisprudence in the coming years.”

North Carolina

Lt. Gov. Daniel Forest

“The confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States is a major win for the rule of law. Throughout the entire confirmation process Judge Barrett displayed an impeccable understanding of the Constitution. Her qualifications, judicial record, life experiences and outstanding character will make her an excellent Supreme Court Justice for years to come. President Trump has delivered once again on his promise to nominate judges that will uphold the Constitution as written.”

U.S. Congressman Gregory F. Murphy, 3rd District of North Carolina

“Throughout her career Amy Coney Barrett has proven she is one of the most brilliant legal minds in America. I congratulate her on this tremendous accomplishment. Justice Barrett’s professionalism, intellect and judicial philosophy have been widely praised by both Republicans and Democrats. She is a phenomenal choice for Supreme Court. I applaud President Trump for nominating her to our nation’s highest bench and commend the Senate for confirming her.”

“Our Constitution is very clear: Congress writes the law, the president executes the law and the federal judiciary interprets the law. A judge cannot and should not make the law. The Supreme Court’s job is to impartially examine, interpret and apply the law to cases that come before it. If Justice Barrett’s past jurisprudence is any indicator, she will do exactly that.”

This post will be updated as more officials are being released.

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