“Fill the seat! Fill the seat!”
That was what a crowd gathered in front of the Dirksen Senate Office Building chanted Thursday, hours after the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
The committee’s action sends the nomination to the full Senate, where it’s scheduled for a Monday vote.
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“We are one step closer to filling that seat as the Senate Judiciary Committee voted Judge Barrett out of committee this morning, a major milestone and huge first step, and now she will head to the Senate floor in just a few days for her final confirmation vote,” Jessica Anderson, executive director of Heritage Action for America, The Heritage Foundation’s grassroots partner, told the crowd in kicking off the rally.
Signs read “Confirm Amy.” Another said, “The Dogma Lives Loudly in All of You”—a mocking reference to a critical comment by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., at Barrett’s 2017 confirmation hearing to serve as a judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The committee’s vote was a rare instance where it was both unanimous and by party line, as the 10 Democrats on the committee boycotted it. All 12 Republican senators voted to advance Barrett’s nomination.
“Thank you to Amy Coney Barrett for giving us the most incredible civics lesson that anyone could have. What is the role of a judge? And she just nailed it, hour after hour, day after day,” Carrie Severino, general counsel for the Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative legal group, said at the rally, adding:
As a mother and as a lawyer and a woman myself, I am so excited that Amy Coney Barrett is going to be the face and the role model that my daughters can look up to on the Supreme Court.
President Donald Trump nominated Barrett to the high court on Sept. 26 to fill the seat vacated by the death eight days earlier of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Barrett shows women can do it all, and yet she’s drawing strident opposition from self-proclaimed feminists, said Autumn Lindsey, a spokeswoman for the anti-abortion group Students for Life.
“Amy Coney Barrett shatters the pro-choice narrative that women can’t do it all,” Lindsey told the crowd, adding, “You know what Amy Coney Barrett did? She said, ‘I’m not going to sacrifice my faith. I’m not going to sacrifice my family. I’m not going to sacrifice my marriage, and I’m not going to sacrifice my career.’ She did it all. She stands for every woman to say: ‘Women can do it all.’”
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However, the left won’t graciously accept Barrett’s ascension to the high court and will pursue court-packing to add seats to the high court, several speakers warned.
“We are going to win on Monday, but Democrats are not going to quit,” David McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth, a conservative advocacy group, told the crowd on Capitol Hill. “We will have to fight to preserve a free and independent judiciary, and not allow court-packing to turn the Supreme Court into just another political body.”
The grassroots support for Barrett is strong, said Casey Mattox, vice president for legal and judiciary strategy at Americans for Prosperity, another conservative advocacy group. He said that about 600,000 letters came into Senate offices in support of Barrett’s nomination.
“So, on Monday, let’s make Judge Barrett Justice Barrett,” he said.