GRAND RAPIDS – Just in the wake of President Trump’s Supreme Court appointment over the weekend, FOX 17 is listening to a local lawyer and a student of Federal Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
Conor Dugan, Warner Norcross Senior Counsel and Judd LLP said, “I really think it’s a great gift to the country.”
The Grand Rapids attorney said Barrett’s knowledge of the law and ethics is unmatched.
Dugan said, “Everything you hear about her is true in terms of intellect, but one of the things I’m really amazed at is how lightly she wears it; her humility.”
Judge Barrett and Dugan have remained in contact since graduating from Notre Dame Law School in 2003. He frequently asks her for advice on both personal and professional matters.
“You are someone who has faced some of the same pressures and problems that I have,” he said.
Since his appointment Saturday, Judge Barrett has become polarized, with Conservatives applauding the move and Democrats questioning Barrrett’s religious beliefs. Many spoke of fears that those beliefs would impact Barret’s future rulings, including the historical abortion case, Roe v. Wade.
Dugan said: “He has the ability to hear arguments that he doesn’t necessarily agree with or perhaps has a leaning against, but to try to understand ‘why this person is making this argument’.”
Dugan refers to Barrett’s same promise during his nomination speech over the weekend, where he said “the judges must enforce the law as written”.
“He has a deep commitment to justice and the rule of law because of his faith, so when people try to create a conflict between the two, I think they are somehow grabbing the straws. I think they need to hear her, see and understand that she has a specific understanding of the role of judges and that she will adhere to that, ”Dugan said.
This is one of the reasons Dugan posted his thoughts on Facebook on Monday, urging people to stop and listen to Barrett during the upcoming confirmation hearings.
He said: “These are very busy times obviously with COVID and our political situation as well and I wanted to get out of this and speak as someone who is not invested in this administration. In fact, I did not vote for the president in 2016, I will not vote for. the president this time, but I think he did something very wonderful with this appointment. “
With much debate over whether to vote for the SCOTUS seat before the November election, Dugan said the following.
“I thought Merrick Garland should have gotten an up or down vote. I think the elections have consequences and the President and the Senate – they don’t give up their roles two months before the elections or before they change office, so I think it’s important to vote up or down. “
Barrett allegedly occupied the seat, held by the late judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg; a champion for equality and women’s rights. It’s something Dugan said Barrett isn’t taking lightly.
“In many ways Judge Ginsburg has helped open so many of those doors and I think Judge Barrett is aware of that; the opportunities she has had are partly due to the battles that justice Ginsburg has fought, “he said,” My sense of Judge Barrett is that she will build on that giant’s legal shoulders. “
Dugan told FOX 17 that Judge Barrett even responded to an email from him, congratulating her once her name was cast as a SCOTUS candidate. He added that it’s little things like that that will show he’ll take the same time and worry about his rulings if the next Supreme Court of Justice is appointed.
“This is someone who is the real deal. She is really good as people say and I just think we hit the jackpot with her as nominated. “
Senate Republicans have said they hope to get confirmation hearings underway by October 12th.