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Amy Coney Barrett should be confirmed by Senate

By SEN. MIA COSTELLO

As the national spotlight shines on Amy Coney Barrett during her traverse to the United States Supreme Court, amid protests in DC and calls that her nomination be stalled, hard-working American families are getting to know her a little bit better.

One fact that has come out is her commitment to her family, faith and other people. We’ve learned, too, that she and her husband responded to natural disasters far from home by opening their home and adopting two orphaned children.

There is no way to spin this: At its core, the decision to adopt is a decision to put someone else’s needs ahead of your own. The Barretts could have continued in their comfortable life as most of us do – for whom the plight of people in a distant country may mean nothing more than a token donation online.

When the tragedies in Haiti made news, and the world responded with aid and donations, the Barretts went further than most. They stepped in to personally work to give a new life to someone who had lost everything. And then, when tragedy struck Haiti again, they again responded by opening their home to another orphan.

I, too, was adopted and know that it is impossible to overstate the impact this has on a person’s life. The Barrett’s commitment to adopting two children, in addition to raising a special needs child of their own and their other children, should be celebrated, not condemned. 

Like the Barretts, my parents were Catholic, and before I knew what adoption was, they told me I was special, even though I had been given up by my natural mother. It took me until I was a parent myself before I really started to understand just what parenting meant and to raise another’s child is a labor of love. It’s that same type of selflessness that Amy Coney Barrett and her husband are demonstrating plainly for all Americans to see. 

Barrett’s qualifications for the job are obvious and unquestioned. Her story is inspiring, much like the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg whose seat she would fill. Her legal acumen, personal character, fairness, and intellect are universally acclaimed by those who know her: Notre Dame Law School students; fellow Notre Dame Law School faculty; and law clerks with whom she served at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Well-known liberal legal scholar Noah Feldman, with whom she served as a law clerk in the late 1990s,” I know her to be a brilliant and conscientious lawyer who will analyze and decide cases in good faith, applying the jurisprudential principles to which she is committed. Those are the basic criteria for being a good justice. Barrett meets and exceeds them.”

Yet during the confirmation hearings Senator and vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris similarly tried to suggest that Judge Barrett’s strengths are in some way weaknesses. She insinuated that Judge Barrett was somehow insensitive to the challenges facing ordinary individuals. But one look at her family makes clear that Barrett sees the suffering of individuals as something she has a personal responsibility to help alleviate. Judge Barrett’s strength of character is clear – as are Sen. Harris’s transparent attempts at character assassination for craven political purposes.

Americans saw firsthand that Amy Coney Barrett’s demeanor and poise are exceptional, her temperament is unflappable, and her empathy is unmatched. These are attributes that should be celebrated, not attacked. But in a sure sign of desperation and debasement, attack these qualities is exactly what some of her detractors have attempted to do.

In nominating Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump has made a sterling choice. No one knows for sure how a justice will perform on the court – but we can already see that she is a jurist whose judgment, priorities, and empathy are exemplary.

I realize that for some senators the decision to confirm is a complicated one, but I encourage the Senate to confirm Amy Coney Barrett and for Alaskans to let your voice be heard on this important imminent vote.

Sen. Mia Costello represents Senate Seat K, Anchorage.

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  • So well written and true.
    The morning after Mia Costello’s last election she didn’t sleep in, but was back on the corner at Jewel Lake and Raspberry with another sign for passing motorists. It read, “Thank-You!”
    Mia’s good character confirms her recognition of that same kind of character in Judge Barrett.
    I hope both our Senators recognize it as well, and vote to confirm.

  • Adoption is good. It has NOTHING to do with legal prowess needed for the Supreme Court. This candidate was brought forward with the same national political group that is trying to get rid of judges in Alaska.

    This was a rush job of an unqualified legal candidate.

    Yay for adoption.

  • I agree, she is an excellent choice.

  • I hope our senior Senator reads the comments of Mia then does the right thing and votes for the confirmation as well as Senator Collins and I would also hope a few clear thinking democrats vote to confirm as well.

  • I hope our Senior Senator has a chance to read this very fine post by one of our better Alaskan State Senators and then along with Senator Collins does the right thing and votes to confirm Judge Barrett…..and I hope a few of the Democrats also chose to vote to confirm as well….ACB is a healer and it needs to start NOW ….she will bring great stability to the entire court….

  • Justice Amy Coney Barrett dissent in Barr v Kanter (2019) Second Amendment argument acquiesced to 42 references to “person/s. Of these 42 references to “person/s” there are 13 mentions to a gun or firearm. Her Second Amendment, “textualism” approach having zero reference to “person/s. Judge Barrett’s view only recognizes “person/s” in Barr and her refusal to acknowledge, recognize or connect the U.S. Constitution benchmark legislative interpretive precept language of “person/s,” referenced in our Constitution 49 times, to the Second Amendment’

    Questioning Judge Barrett’s judgment runs in conflict with her view of Barr v Kanter and not applying her viewpoint of “person/s” to the Second Amendment.

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