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HomeIllinois NewsWhat Tammy Duckworth is telling Illinoisans about Amy Coney Barrett

What Tammy Duckworth is telling Illinoisans about Amy Coney Barrett



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CHICAGO – Illinois' junior US Senator Tammy Duckworth will not be supporting Amy Coney Barrett for the US Supreme Court – and nothing any Illinois constituent can say will change her mind. Judge Barrett will not be an "impartial, fair and independent jurist," she says in responses she's sending to those asking her to support Judge Barrett. 

Here's what Duckworth is sending to those inquiring: 

Dear Neighbor,

Thank you for contacting me about the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States for a lifetime term. I appreciate you taking the time to make me aware of your concerns on this important matter. 

As your Senator, my constitutional responsibility is to fairly evaluate a Supreme Court nominee’s qualifications to serve a lifetime appointment. To earn my support, a nominee must demonstrate the capability and willingness to serve as an independent jurist who exercises integrity, wisdom and fairness on the bench. I carefully examined Judge Barrett’s record and suitability after President Trump nominated her in 2017 to serve a lifetime appointment as a Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which covers our home State of Illinois. I was forced to oppose Judge Barrett’s confirmation after concluding that Judge Barrett demonstrated neither the capability nor willingness to serve as an impartial, fair and independent jurist.

Judge Barrett was not fit to be a Circuit Judge in 2017, and she is the wrong choice for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court today. Once again, she will not have my support and I will vote against her nomination to serve a lifetime term as an Association Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. My constituents in Illinois and Americans across the country are voting now on who they want to serve as President of the United States, and their voices should be respected and heard before the Senate acts on any nominee to our Nation’s highest court.

Despite my opposition, Judge Barrett was confirmed to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit by a narrow roll call vote of 55 to 43. I hoped that once confirmed, Judge Barrett would prove me wrong and resist adhering to an extreme, right-wing ideology when interpreting the Constitution and the law. Regrettably, Judge Barrett’s brief tenure as a Circuit Judge has only validated my initial fears. Since Judge Barrett was confirmed, I have been alarmed by her extreme judicial activism on matters related to reproductive health freedom. Judge Barrett has voted with a minority in an attempt to force the Seventh Circuit to re-hear cases because the nominee deemed the majority opinion to be inadequately anti-choice. 

Nothing Judge Barrett has said or done makes me question that her appointment to the Federal judiciary was consistent with Donald Trump’s clear promise to voters: “I will be appointing pro-life judges.” There is a reason that special interest groups that are extremely hostile to the right of a woman to make healthcare decisions are Judge Barrett’s most dedicated and devoted backers. They are certain that Judge Barrett will be a key vote in eliminating reproductive health freedoms for millions of my constituents and I have no reason to doubt them.

Even more troubling, Judge Barrett associated herself with an Indiana organization, St. Joseph County Right to Life, which holds extreme views that are considered radical within the larger anti-choice movement. Specifically, this organization believes that certain in-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures should be criminalized and supports charging medical doctors with crimes for participating in the IVF process. In regard to mothers such as myself, who relied on IVF to begin a family, this group made clear that they view women who use IVF as criminals and have not ruled out support for arresting mothers who use IVF in the future, stating:

“We support the criminalization of the doctors who perform abortions. At this point we are not supportive of criminalizing the women. We would be supportive of criminalizing the discarding of frozen embryos or selective reduction through the IVF process [emphasis added].”

We are each, of course, entitled to our own beliefs about women’s access to constitutionally-protected healthcare choices. However, that does not change the reality that St. Joseph County Right to Life’s position is extremely offensive and dangerous to American families. While my two beautiful little girls are unique, my story of struggling with fertility is not. Assisted reproductive technology (ART), including IVF treatment, has empowered thousands of Americans to safely start families. 

Judge Barrett’s willingness to associate her name with such an organization is disqualifying and, frankly, insulting to every parent, hopeful parent or would-be parent who has struggled to start a family. Judge Barrett’s personal decision to formally sign an advertisement purchased by an organization with such radical views on IVF demonstrates a lack of judgment, an absence of due diligence and a derision toward families like mine who were only able to have children with the help of methods and assistance that Judge Barrett may personally disapprove of.

I fear that, if confirmed to the Nation’s highest court, Judge Barrett would be unable to resist the temptation of overturning decades of judicial precedent in an effort to force every American family to adhere to her individual moral code. I fear that if a case involving ART were to be brought before the bench, families like mine would not be able to trust that her opinions would be based on facts, laws and the Constitution rather than swayed by her personal beliefs. A lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States is an incredible privilege. It is absolutely not a right.

The consequences of rushing through a partisan confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to serve a lifetime term on the Supreme Court will extend far beyond reproductive healthcare rights. The rights of every American, spanning from access to healthcare to the right to marry and everything in between, hang in the balance with this nomination.

This threat is not theoretical. In just a few weeks, in the middle of a pandemic, the Supreme Court will consider a case that could strike down the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), resulting in millions of Americans losing health insurance coverage they could only obtain under the ACA because of their preexisting conditions, lifetime limits and other corporate abuses that were allowed before the ACA was signed into law. Judge Barrett has openly expressed opposition to the ACA and a number of its key provisions. If confirmed, Judge Barrett could be the deciding vote that leaves millions of Americans without affordable access to healthcare during this deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that has already killed more than 210,000 Americans in a matter of months.

With Americans dying every single day during an ongoing public health crisis that the Trump administration has failed to control, I must strongly oppose Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s cynical effort to completely ignore the public health and economic crisis our Nation is facing. Instead of negotiating a substantive and urgently-needed comprehensive COVID-19 relief package, President Trump and the Senate Republicans are focused on rushing the confirmation of another Trump nominee to a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court so they can achieve their long-sought goal of repealing ACA and ripping away healthcare from millions – including every COVID-19 survivor who now has a pre-existing condition.

The reality is that our Nation has never confirmed a nominee to the Supreme Court this close to a presidential election, regardless of which party was in the White House. We have certainly never rushed through the process in the midst of a deadly pandemic that killed thousands of Americans in a matter of months. I am deeply disappointed that to date, there do not appear to be four Republican Senators willing to put principle before party in refusing to jam through a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court a mere weeks away from the American people potentially electing a new President. Please be assured that I will do everything in my power to give the American people a voice in determining which President should fill the current vacancy.

Thank you again for contacting me on this important issue. If you would like more information on my work in the Senate, please visit my website at www.duckworth.senate.gov. You can access my voting record and see what I am doing to address today’s most important issues. I hope that you will continue to share your views and opinions with me and let me know whenever I may be of assistance to you.

Tammy Duckworth
United States Senator


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  1. Sad that she ignores the scientific fact that a human life begins at conception. If you are seeking an abortion you have already exercised your reproductive right and wala you have produced a child. So abortion is not about reproductive rights or reproductive healthcare as it is about destroying what you produced through your reproductive rights. Even more distressing is she sends out a form letter and ignores the here constituents whom many are Pro-Life Democrats. You do not own the child you have produced whether it is inside or outside the womb so you have no constitutional right to harm your offspring which is its own unique person. You have no constitutional right to produce a bunch of offspring through IVF and then discard the ones you don’t use like they are some kind of disposable medical waste. She speculates(and that is all it is is speculation) about Amy Coney Barrett possibly basing her judgements by following her beliefs and the whole time she does the same thing without regard to the constitutionality of her decisions.

  2. Once again, Duckworth has proven herself UNFIT to serve as a senator from Illinois. Her DEMONcratic rational for opposing Judge Barret demonstrates her wickedness and a total absence of wholesomeness fir American Family Values as defines by our Creator. Her illegitimate rationale is offensive and anti-culture, it is based on her rejection of Barrett’s religious foundation which is SPECIFICALLY called out NOT TO BE CONSIDERED. But Duckworth’s continued NEGLECT IF OATH AND OFFICE is not a new phenomenon, it’s consistent with her hypocrisy.

  3. She’s 100% correct. Barrett is extreme even by extreme standards. Her testimony was nothing but evasions and lies.
    Tell us it’s ok to lie under oath under GOD as long as you’re protecting the holy fetus.
    She has lied, she has avoided questions… she is as extreme and partisan as they come. And the GOP without a replacement plans looks forward to taking 20 million off insurance and bringing back pre-existing conditions LIKE COVID EXPOSURE back to their glory. All in the name of money.
    The Senate is going Democrat because of this. A democrat house and senate. Even if Trump wins his ass will be on a LEASH for a change.