COLUMBUS -- Ohio's state and national politicians chimed in on Saturday night with their reactions to President Donald Trump's nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, for the United States Supreme Court seat vacated by the recent death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
As expected, the reactions broke strictly along party lines, with Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Gov. Mike DeWine, and Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof all applauding the nomination and urging the United States Senate to vote for a swift approval.
On the other side of the aisle, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) voiced his strong objection to Barrett.
"The Supreme Court has enormous influence over the lives of Ohioans, and any nominee must be willing to defend their rights to make their own health care decisions, collectively bargain for safe workplaces and fair pay, and to be protected from discrimination and Wall Street greed," Brown said. "Americans are already voting, and deserve to have a say on the court that will decide their health care, workplace safety, criminal justice reform, and civil rights.
"The Senate should not be voting to fill Justice Ginsburg's seat on the court until after the inauguration. This is a power grab by President Trump and Mitch McConnell when they should be focused on COVID relief for the millions struggling amid this public health and economic crisis.
"I have serious concerns about Judge Amy Coney Barrett's rulings against women's rights and civil rights and her record of siding with corporations over workers, and the American people deserve to have a say in whether or not she is their nominee to replace Justice Ginsburg."
Meanwhile, Portman was pleased with Trump's pick.
“I look forward to considering the nomination of Judge Barrett to serve as the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Judge Barrett was confirmed by the Senate on Oct. 31, 2017 for her current role as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit," Portman said. “The job of a Supreme Court justice is to fairly and impartially apply the law and to protect our rights guaranteed by the Constitution, not to advance public policy goals by legislating from the bench.
"Judge Barrett has an impressive background and is highly regarded for her work as a judge and as a constitutional law professor at Notre Dame. I look forward to meeting with her in the coming weeks as she goes through a fair and thorough evaluation process.”
Both Portman and Brown will have a vote on the nominee, who must obtain a simple majority of 51 votes to be seated on the court. Should the process tie at 50-50, the vice president could cast the deciding vote.
Ohio's top state politicians, also Republicans, offered their support, too.
"As President of the United States, President Trump has the constitutional obligation to put forward a U.S. Supreme Court nominee, and I applaud his selection of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who is both highly qualified and highly respected," DeWine said. "In addition to her distinguished judicial career, Judge Coney Barrett is a mother of seven, a constitutional scholar, and an esteemed law professor.
"Judge Coney Barrett’s prior writings and judicial opinions show that she will interpret the law fairly and impartially, and I urge the U.S. Senate to act quickly to confirm her nomination."
Obhof echoed those thoughts.
"Judge Amy Coney Barrett is brilliant, well-qualified, and has the right judicial temperament to serve on the nation’s highest court. This pick is a home run by President Donald J. Trump.
"Amy Coney Barrett’s qualifications are undeniable. She is a well-respected federal appellate judge. She served as a law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia. She has authored important legal scholarship, and she was named Notre Dame’s 'Distinguished Professor of the Year' several times.
"Judge Barrett belongs on the United States Supreme Court. The Senate should consider her nomination and confirm her as soon as possible."
At the moment, the Republicans have a 53-47 edge over Democrats in the U.S. Senate. Still, a couple of Republicans have already voiced opposition to any nominee, making for an interesting process in the weeks ahead.