Three Members of the Tennessee General Assembly Voice Support for Amy Coney Barrett


Three members of the Tennessee General Assembly co-signed a letter this week calling for the swift confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

This, they said, because of her support for limited government, free markets, and federalism.

The three Tennessee legislators — State Rep. Martin Daniel (R-Knoxville), State Sen. Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma), and State Sen. Shane Reeves (R-Murfreesboro) — co-signed the letter alongside several other state legislators nationwide. The Arlington, Virginia-based American Legislative Exchange Council published the letter on their website Monday.

ALEC is the largest voluntary membership organization of state legislators who support limited government, free markets and federalism, according to its website.

“As state legislative members dedicated to those principles, we believe Judge Barrett is tremendously qualified to serve on the Supreme Court and has a keen understanding of the country’s federalist principles,” the state legislators said.

“Judge Barrett has a proven track record of originalism and judicial precedent. She has also promised to follow in the footsteps of one of her mentors, Justice Antonin Scalia, applying the law as written and refraining from acting as a policymaker. She will analyze the text, structure and original meaning of the Constitution. Importantly then, while she has a clear, publicly stated judicial philosophy, she has also shown the judicial temperament to not presuppose an outcome of a case but to respect and listen to all sides.”

The state legislators touted Barrett’s academic credentials. She graduated magna cum laude from Rhodes College and was first in her class from Notre Dame Law School, where she served as executive editor of the Notre Dame Law Review. After law school, Barrett obtained two very prestigious clerkships: one for D.C. Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman and another for the late former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

After starting her career in private practice, Judge Barrett began her teaching career, including 15 years at Notre Dame Law School, where three graduating classes voted her “Distinguished Professor of the Year.” In addition, when confirmed to serve as a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017, Barrett received bipartisan support.

“Judge Barrett’s legal scholarship, particularly on originalism and judicial precedent, has earned her national acclaim. In a 2003 article, she argued that reliance on previous Supreme Court decisions should be ‘flexible in fact, not just in theory,’ and should not serve to inhibit parties the chance to fully present their case,” state legislators wrote in their letter.

“By pledging to interpret the law as written, Judge Barrett’s philosophy will protect essential principles such as individual liberty, federalism, limited government, and free markets. Judge Barrett understands the role of a judge is different than that of a policymaker. Elected representatives of the people should determine policy solutions for states and the federal government. As a jurist committed to the text of the Constitution and statutes, Judge Barrett understands the boundaries placed upon the federal government and the authorities of state governments.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected] 





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