Texas, Houston-area officials response to nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court

Judge Amy Coney Barrett listens as President Donald Trump announces Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Judge Amy Coney Barrett listens as President Donald Trump announces Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – The reaction to President Donald Trump selecting Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee fell along party lines after the announcement Saturday at the White House.

Texas and Houston-area Republicans applauded the appointment and pushed for a quick approval. While Democratic leaders called the selection unjust during an election.

Gov. Greg Abbott called Coney Barrett “a remarkable individual who will make an outstanding Supreme Court Justice.”

“Her proven legal brilliance is matched by her exceptional character and unflinching commitment to the U.S. Constitution. The Senate should swiftly confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court just as it recently confirmed her to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals,” Abbott said in a statement.

U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said Coney Barrett is a “legal trailblazer with a deep respect for the law and our nation’s founding principles.”

“Throughout her impressive career, Judge Barrett has maintained the importance of an independent judiciary that interprets the law and Constitution as-written, and operates free from political pressure. Judge Barrett has impressed the brightest judicial and legal minds with her profound understanding of the law. During the confirmation process for her current position, Judge Barrett proved she has not only the legal expertise, but also the proper temperament and character to serve on the high court," Cornyn said in a statement.

He continued: “The Senate will begin a thorough review of Judge Barrett’s nomination, a process that should not be rushed. Despite previous attacks based on Judge Barrett’s religious faith, I hope Democrats choose not to engage in another character assassination, as they did against Justice Kavanaugh. I look forward to meeting with Judge Barrett in the coming days as the Judiciary Committee prepares for her confirmation hearing.”

Attorney General Ken Paxton said Trump “made an exceptional selection."

'Judge Barrett, who currently serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, has extensive experience in the Supreme Court’s work as a clerk for the late Justice Antonin Scalia and as a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, where she was named ‘distinguished professor of the year’ three times. She has also written nearly 100 opinions in an impressive judicial track record that demonstrates superb temperament, judicial restraint, and a firm commitment to following the rule of law and upholding the Constitution. Judge Barrett will make an outstanding addition to the Supreme Court,” Paxton said in a statement.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said putting forth a nomination when Americans are voting on the next president is "wrong and hypocritical.”

“These actions must not become the norm or else chaos and confusion will be our future,” Turner wrote on Twitter.

He added: “The Senate majority in rushing through the nomination and vote on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement is going directly against what they stated 4 yrs ago. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Actions should have consequences. Vote!”

Congressman Al Green said Trump will expect Coney Barrett to be “his political voice and proxy vote on the Supreme Court.”

"He will expect a Justice Barrett to vote to eventually overturn the pivotal reproductive rights decision in Roe v. Wade. The President will expect her to vote to overturn the landmark legislation that provides over 20 million Americans access to health care regardless of pre-existing conditions – the Affordable Care Act, which he has consistently promised his supporters he will repeal without having presented any replacement legislation. This would needlessly put countless lives at risk,” Green said in a statement.

He concluded: “Yes, it’s late, but it’s not too late to let Senators – who have to the power to confirm the next Supreme Court Justice – know where you stand on issues of vital importance, including your health care, reproductive rights, as well as the integrity of the executive office and its respect for our nation’s Constitution. This is a pivotal moment not only for the Supreme Court but for the fate of our country. History will judge not only our actions but also our inactions. We must act now – not only for ourselves but for generations to come.”

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