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President Donald Trump and Jesse Barrett look on as U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas swears in Judge Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court Associate Justice at the White House on October 26, 2020,. Photo by Andrea Hanks / White House
Justice Amy Coney Barrett
Monday, November 2, 2020

American history was made recently on October 26, when Amy Coney Barrett was officially confirmed to serve as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. With an outstanding educational background, remarkable career and spotless reputation, Justice Barrett is indeed the right person at the right time to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the highest court in the land.

As Justice Barrett demonstrated throughout her confirmation hearings, she is immensely qualified to serve and incredibly knowledgeable as well. Indeed, her exceptional intellect was made evident to all by her ability to recall information and answer questions for a grueling number of hours without taking or referring to any notes. Such brilliance makes it apparent why she graduated at the top of her class from Notre Dame Law School, where she later became a much beloved professor and mentor.

Prior to her confirmation to the Supreme Court, Justice Barrett served as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. That tenure revealed a fair and impartial jurist committed to defending the United States Constitution and interpreting laws as written, “not as she wishes it were.” A former clerk to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Barrett is also a constitutional originalist.

Deeply committed to the philosophy that judges and justices should not legislate from the bench, Justice Barrett remarked during the confirmation process, “Courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life. The policy decisions and value judgements of government must be made by the political branches, elected by and accountable to the people. The public should not expect courts to do so and courts should not try.”

While it’s obvious that Justice Barrett is a smart, well-educated and driven woman, she is also devoted to her husband and family. She is a present and loving mother of seven children, including two who were adopted from Haiti and one with special needs. As the fifth woman confirmed to the Supreme Court, she is also the first working mother of school-aged children ever to serve.

Justice Barrett is not only a great choice because of her background and credentials, she also exemplifies great character and compassion. Throughout her life, she has inspired and impacted many lives for the better. Indeed, she is a wonderful role model and worth looking up to. As she has done throughout her impressive career, Justice Barrett will indeed be an ardent defender of the Constitution. I look forward to seeing her leadership, knowledge and compassion shine through as she serves on the bench.

Although some may criticize the timing of the confirmation, the truth is that all Americans can and should be proud of the quality of the individual. Moreover, no wrong was done by either President Trump for exercising his constitutional duty by nominating or the Republican-led U.S. Senate for confirming Justice Barrett. Remember, our nation’s government was built to be a system of checks and balances.

When the leading party in the White House and the U.S. Senate are the same, it is not unusual or unlawful for court nominations to move forward, even in a presidential election year.


Tom Cole, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, is serving his eighth term in Congress as the elected representative of Oklahoma’s 4th Congressional District. He is recognized as an advocate for taxpayers and small business, a proponent for a strong national defense and a leader in promoting biomedical research. He is considered the foremost expert in the House on issues dealing with Native Americans and tribal governments. He and his wife, Ellen, have one son, Mason, and reside in Moore, Oklahoma.