Democrats have pounced on an open letter signed by 88 faculty members at the University of Notre Dame calling on Judge Amy Coney Barrett to withdraw herself from being considered for the Supreme Court until after the November election. Yet not one of the signatories is from the Notre Dame Law School.
The letter starts by congratulating Barrett on her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court but quickly pivots and urges her to step down, calling the nomination process “rushed” and “an exercise in raw power politics.”
The letter concedes that Barrett is not responsible for the supposedly “anti-democratic machinations” driving her nomination but urges her to “refuse to be a party to such maneuvers.”
“We ask that you honor the democratic process and insist the hearings be put on hold until after the voters have made their choice,” the letter says.
The signatories’ fields of study are diverse, spanning STEM subjects to the humanities, but not a single one of the 88 names have any law credentials.
This glaring fact was widely ridiculed on Twitter for its blatant attempt to provide more fodder for why the nomination process shouldn’t proceed.
The letter comes less than a week after a group of more than 50 law professors sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee expressing their support for Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
The 53 signatories described themselves as “diverse” in their views about President Donald Trump and the controversial timing of the nomination.
“We share the belief, however, that Judge Barrett is exceptionally well qualified to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States, and we urge the Senate to confirm her as an associate justice,” they wrote.
Barrett has also received the highest, “well-qualified” rating from the American Bar Association, though she is the first nominee since Clarence Thomas who did not receive a unanimous assessment.
The nomination of Barrett has provoked a firestorm of criticism from Democrats who accuse Republicans of hypocrisy for moving forward with the process after they refused to hold confirmation hearings on President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland in 2016, an election year.
Barrett’s Catholic faith has also received scrutiny – even well before her nomination – from critics who fear it will influence her decision making, particularly on abortion.
Tuesday marked Barrett’s second day of confirmation hearings where she took questions from Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee.