MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett will begin on Monday.
The Rhodes College graduate faces what could be a tough and consequential confirmation battle amid a polarizing presidential election.
A lifetime seat on the nation’s highest court– that’s what awaits Barrett if she’s confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
An advanced copy of her opening statement was released on Sunday.
Barrett will talk about the role her upbringing, faith, and mentorship from the late Justice Antonin Scalia had on her judicial philosophy.
“The policy decisions and value judgments 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,” Barrett said.
Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn, the only Mid-South lawmaker on the Senate Judiciary Committee, supports Barrett’s nomination.
“We are so pleased to have a woman who is so accomplished,” Blackburn said. “As someone who is disciplined in the law, has a curious mind, a strong intellect, that has an appreciation for the Constitution and an appreciation for the rule of law. That is something we are looking for.”
Mississippi Sen. Cyndi Hyde-Smith says she also supports Barrett’s nomination.
“I think she will be an amazing addition to the court,” Hyde-Smith said.
But hundreds of alumni at Rhodes College, where Barrett received her undergrad degree, have come out in opposition to her nomination.
“Why I wanted to use my voice is to speak up for the younger women as well who may be really scared and may not know how this is going to affect their future,” Katherine Morgan Breslin Esq., Rhodes College Alumni Class of 1998, said.
“Her public record really jeopardizes a lot of people that Rhodes taught us to care for and to serve,” Rob Marus, Rhodes Alumni Class of 1997, said.
They plan to send a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, explaining why Barrett should not sit on the high court.
Memphis U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen is among the Democrats who had been urging the Republican-controlled Senate to hold off on confirmation hearings until after election day.
Republicans decided not to do that.
WMC will carry live coverage of Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing starting at 8:00 a.m. Monday.