Coney Barrett: ‘It’s Not the Law of Amy, It’s the Law of the American People’

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett explained her personal judicial philosophy on Textualism and Originalism during Day 2 of her confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday.

A transcript is as follows: 

SEN. MIKE LEE: Tell me why Textualism and Originalism are important to you.

AMY CONEY BARRETT: Because I think that both statutes and the Constitution are law. They derive their democratic legitimacy from the fact that they have been enacted, and in the case of statutes, by the people’s representatives–or, in the case of the Constitution, through the Constitution-making process. I, as a judge, have an obligation to respect and enforce only that law that the people themselves have embraced. As I was saying earlier, it’s not the law of Amy, it’s the law of the American people. I think Originalism and Textualism, to me, boil down to that–to a commitment to the rule of law, to not disturbing, changing, or updating, or adjusting in line with my own policy preferences what that law requires.


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