The Corner

Law & the Courts

Senator Ben Sasse Explains How Courts Work in the American System

Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) attends a confirmation hearing of Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., October 12, 2020. (Greg Nash/Reuters Pool)

Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) deftly used his questioning of Amy Coney Barrett to illuminate the true purpose and role of America’s judiciary.

In this Q&A – a moment of clarity in the thick of Tuesday’s confirmation hearing – Sasse explored with the judge the meaning of originalism and what renders the courts unique in their role as a “reactive branch.”

He’s pushing back here at Democrats who suggest she’s part of a nefarious plot to reach particular outcomes on Obamacare and elsewhere. But only the two political branches – executive and legislative – are those “where policy decisions are made,” as this segment makes clear.

Watch the colloquy here:

The complete exchange can be viewed here.

Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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