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AMY CONEY BARRETT SWORN IN AS SUPREME COURT JUSTICE AT WHITE HOUSE

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Judge Amy Coney Barrett, fresh off her confirmation to serve as an associate justice on the nation’s highest court, took her constitutional oath yesterday at the White House.

The Supreme Court said in a press release that Barrett will be able to start her new role after Chief Justice John Roberts administers her judicial oath today. Justice Clarence Thomas administered the constitutional oath at yesterday’s ceremony.

Thomas has long been considered one of the more conservative justices on the court, along with Barrett’s mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Echoing her mentor, Barrett underscored the need for a separation of powers between the judicial and legislative branches.

“It is the job of a senator to pursue her policy preferences,” Barrett said to an audience on the South Lawn of the White House. “In fact, it would be a dereliction of duty for her to put policy goals aside. By contrast, it is the job of a judge to resist her policy preferences. It would be a dereliction of duty for her to give into them. Federal judges don’t stand for election. Thus, they have no basis for claiming that their preferences reflect those of the people.”

The separation of duty is what makes the judiciary distinct, she said.

“A judge declares independence not only from Congress and the president, but also from the private beliefs that might otherwise move her,” she said.

The Senate confirmed Barrett with a 52-48 vote. All 45 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the Democrats opposed her confirmation.


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