Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Sen. Marsha Blackburn to the newsmakers line.
During the third hour, Blackburn weighed in on how the hearings for Amy Coney Barrett as one of the next Supreme Court justices will unfold and how the Democrats will attack her faith. She added that most often a conservative woman’s strengths are used against her by the left.
Leahy: We are joined now on the newsmaker line by our good friend Senator Marsha Blackburn. Good morning, Senator Blackburn.
Blackburn: Good morning! How are you?
Leahy: Well, I’m delighted you’re able to join us. You were last here about a month ago. Not much happened in the past month has it?
Blackburn: Not much at all. Just kind of cruising along as you said. But you know what? It’s 2020.
Leahy: It did go crazy here. There’s a report that you are a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the hearings on the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett are apparently scheduled to begin in Washington on Monday. Will you be there?
Blackburn: I will be there. I’m looking forward to being there. And after we work through the hearings for four days and vote her from the committee to go to the Senate floor for a confirmation vote, I look forward to casting that yes vote for the next constitutional judge who will take a seat on the Supreme Court.
Leahy: How many members are on the Judiciary Committee?
Blackburn: All told I think we have 25. It’s majority Republican.
Leahy: Is it 13, 12 or 14?
Blackburn: Yeah, whatever.
Leahy: Yeah, I think it’s 13:12. And so it’s almost certain that you will be approved out of the committee. And then that takes four days. So it starts Monday, will end probably Thursday afternoon the vote will be held. I guess there’s Thursday the afternoon?
Leahy: What do you expect is going to happen? What do you think the Democrats are going to do in those hearings?
Blackburn: Well, they’re going to try to delay. They are trying to say that her being a woman of faith is a disqualifier. And that is just so egregious that they would even make those comments. But they’re trying to say, you know, the dogma lives in you. Or questioning her orthodoxy. Or questioning the Knights of Columbus and things that I feel like are really are an affront to my friends who are Catholics and very active in their faith.
I think if you look at the way that the left is looking at religion right now they feel as if you need to be an atheist or a secularist to hold a seat on any of our federal courts, including the Supreme Court. So they’re going after that. They’re going after the fact that she is pro-life. Much of that Centers in her Catholic faith. And so they’re going to try to investigate these areas of her life and have the FBI investigate. That’s one of the areas they’re going to use to try to slow things down.
Quite frankly, I don’t think they’re going to be successful in that. Our constitution prohibits a religious litmus test. They should know better than to go there. So we’ll see how this they’re going to conduct themselves. But we will take that first vote. It takes two votes to get her out of the committee. We vote to hold her over when we finish the hearings on the 15th. And then we come back and vote her to the floor next week.
Leahy: Oh, so that’s how it will work. I didn’t know that procedural element to it. Here’s an interesting question for you. So the vice presidential nominee for the Democratic party, Senator Kamala Harris is one of the Democrats on that committee. She was way over the top in her attempts to smear Brett Kavanaugh back in 2018. Do you have any indication as to how she’s going to approach her questioning of Amy Coney Barrett?
Blackburn: I don’t. I think she will be very aggressive. I do think that the religious liberty issues and the campus free speech and the immigration issues are the most likely areas for Kamala to go. I think after tonight to VP debate will have a better or not tonight tomorrow night. We’re going to have a better idea of where she’s going to go with her questioning.
Leahy: Yeah. I think that’s probably a very astute observation. We’ll see what that debate looks like tomorrow night. Question for you. Have you had an opportunity yet to meet with or talk with Amy Coney Barrett?
Blackburn: Oh, yes. I was just at the White House for her announcement and I talked with her there. And I also had the opportunity to visit with her separately last week and talk about some of the issues in areas that I wanted to delve a little bit further in. Bear in mind, she has written over 100 opinions as a circuit judge. So there is a lot of material there. Looking at some of her writings on originalism.
Talking with her about her position as a professor and Notre Dame and campus free speech, which I know is an enormous issue with moms that have children in college and concerns over that. And you know, I think that’s an issue where we need to all look at what is happening on these college campuses where they are not allowing counterpoint or robust debate. It is becoming a cancel culture and you have to believe a certain way in order to be accepted.
Leahy: I read a report that if confirmed, Amy Coney Barrett would be the first mother of school-age children serving ever on the Supreme Court. Is that true? And what do you think that will do in terms of her judgment?
Blackburn: Yes, that is definitely true. And we know that I have found it so curious and what has happened to her. Of course, I have had happened to me for four years you have reporters out there who are on the left who are saying, well, you know, the woman has seven children. She obviously does not have time to do the job. It has that this much test to the job and I have found that really curious to get out.
If Amy Coney Barrett were a liberal woman they would be lining up to cheer her own and talk about what a superwoman she is because she is managing so many facets of her life. She is a circuit court judge. She is a law professor. She is a spouse. She has seven children two of them are adopted one has special needs. It is a very full life. So this is something they’re trying to turn around and use against her. But you know, this is what the left does. They try to take your strength and turn them into weaknesses when you are a conservative woman and they do it every single time.
Leahy: Well, they haven’t been able to do that very well with you because you’ve got the art of push back down to a tee. And I don’t think they take you on anymore from what I can tell.
Blackburn: I don’t know. They take me on on a daily basis and you realize after a while that this is what they are going to do. And so you better prepared for it. But yes, they try to take me on all the time.
Leahy: Hey, I guess I would say not take you on effectively because you really you do you take them down pretty well, Senator Marsha Blackburn. Thank you so much for joining us today and keep us posted on what happens in Washington D.C. Thanks for joining us.
Listen to the full third hour here:
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Photo “Marsha Blackburn” by U.S. Senate. Background Photo “Amy Coney Barrett” by The White House.