2020 News Releases

AG Derek Schmidt backs confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to U.S. Supreme Court

Release Date: Oct 01, 2020

TOPEKA – (October 1, 2020) – Senators should take swift action to hold hearings and confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.

Schmidt joined 21 other state attorneys general in sending a letter of support for Judge Barrett to Senate leaders of both political parties. The attorneys general noted that Judge Barrett received bipartisan support, including the backing of 49 fellow Notre Dame law professors and more than 450 former students, when she was nominated and confirmed three years ago to her current position on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. They also noted that since 1900, six justices have been confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court during election years, including Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was unanimously confirmed in the final year of the Reagan Administration only about two months after being nominated. 

“Some have voiced concern that the senators of the 116th Congress will not have enough time to adequately consider Judge Barrett’s qualifications. History and precedent show that to be untrue,” Schmidt and the attorneys general wrote. “We are confident that the Senate will need little time to conclude that Judge Barrett will make an excellent Associate Justice.”

Schmidt, who has personally argued three cases for Kansas before the U.S. Supreme Court, said Barrett’s approach to judging – which the attorneys general praised as “a judicial philosophy that prioritizes restraint, humility, and a respect for the rule of law” – would better balance the Court. He also noted the increased geographical and intellectual diversity she would bring to the Court from the industrial Midwest and that she would be the only justice to study law somewhere other than Harvard or Yale. A highly qualified jurist, Barrett graduated first in her class at Notre Dame Law School.   

“As the chief legal officers of our states, we have an obligation to our citizens to ensure that the federal government respects the principles of federalism and separation of powers embodied in the United States Constitution,” Schmidt and the others wrote. “As guardians of the Constitution, Supreme Court Justices bear a special responsibility to prevent the other branches of the federal government from encroaching on individual liberties and the states’ power to provide for the health, education, and welfare of their people.”

A copy of the letter supporting Judge Barrett can be found at https://bit.ly/3nauBLd.

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.