WASHINGTON – Amy Coney Barrett paid homage to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her White House speech Saturday as a shatterer of glass ceilings. She said she would be mindful of the woman whose place she would take on the Supreme Court.
She even commented that her children think their father is the better cook, much as Ginsburg used to talk about her husband's prowess in the kitchen.
But the replacement of the liberal icon Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the high court, by Barrett, who would be the fifth, would represent the most dramatic ideological change on the Supreme Court in nearly 30 years and cement conservative dominance of the court for years to come.
Barrett, a judge on the federal appeals court based in Chicago, made clear in her Rose Garden address that she looks to conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, for whom she once worked, and not Ginsburg, on matters of law.
“His judicial philosophy is mine, too. Judges must apply the law as written. Judges are not policy makers,” Barrett said. She was referring to their common method of interpreting laws and the Constitution based on what they were understood to mean when they were written.
Ginsburg, who died this month at age 87, and Scalia were dear friends, but they were on opposite sides of the most divisive issues of the day.
Barrett's conservative judicial record, her writings and speeches suggest that she too would be Ginsburg's polar opposite on a range of issues that include abortion and guns.
Barrett has cast votes suggesting she would uphold state abortion restrictions that Ginsburg found violated the Constitution. Barrett also favors a more expansive interpretation of gun rights.