Local leaders react to Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Former Rhode Island Supreme Court Chief Justice Frank Williams is impressed by Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

“I’m not a particular fan of the president, but I do think he’s made an excellent choice for the Supreme Court,” he said. “Amy Coney Barrett, who I admire, her intellect is superb.”

Her judicial philosophy strictly follows the language of the constitution, like her mentor, the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

“She is a constitutional originalist, like the judge she clerked for,” Williams said.

The former chief justice says it is appropriate for the nomination process to go forward now.

“It comes right down to the politics of who’s got the votes,” he said.

Williams says he doesn’t feel it’s rushing the vetting process.

“She’s already been vetted when she was appointed to the 7th Circuit, which is the court just below the Supreme Court,” he said. “And she’s already demonstrated her acumen as a jurist and as an author. People may not agree with her views.”

Some Democrats are expressing concerns that she could help overrule Roe v. Wade and the Affordable Care Act.

“It’s all on the line,” Congressman Cicilline said. “The senate should reject this nominee.”

Senator Whitehouse is concerned about special interests.

“It doesn’t matter who the nominee is; it matters who’s behind this pick,’ he said. “The American people overwhelmingly want the president sworn in in January to replace Justice Ginsburg.”

Williams says even if Coney Barrett is confirmed and the court tilts to the right, he expects some decisions will still be based on a centrist approach.

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