The Corner

Politics & Policy

Barrett and the Illegitimacy Canard

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer says that Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court is illegitimate. Let’s review the evidence for such a claim:

  1. Republicans hold the White House and Senate, the two institutions needed for completing the confirmation process. They have been returned to power in the Senate for three consecutive election cycles.
  2. Dan McLaughlin has done the requisite research to show that precedent supports Republican efforts to move forward with her nomination. There have been 29 Supreme Court vacancies during presidential-election years and the president has put forward a nominee every single time. When the Senate has been controlled by the same party as the White House when those vacancies opened up, the nominee has very nearly had a guarantee of being confirmed.
  3. The American people support Barrett’s confirmation. 51 percent of Americans want her confirmed and 46 percent oppose her joining the Court per a newly released Gallup poll. This comes after a Morning Consult poll conducted before her hearings showed a 17-point difference between those who support her elevation from the Seventh Circuit and those who don’t.

Senate Democrats have not yet clarified why Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court is illegitimate. That’s because it’s a focus-group-tested term unsubstantiated by any of the available evidence.