After Judge Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed by a partisan GOP vote on Monday evening following a rapid process to get her on the Supreme Court before Election Day, she was sworn in by Justice Clarence Thomas and declared her “independence” as a judge from private political preferences.
“It is the job of a senator to pursue her policy preferences. In fact, it would be a dereliction of duty for her to put policy goals aside,” Barrett said in a speech afterward in the Rose Garden at the White House. “By contrast, it is the job of a judge to resist her policy preferences. It would be a dereliction of duty for her to give into them.”
“This separation of duty from political preference is what makes the judiciary distinct among the three branches of government,” she continued. “A judge declares independence not only from Congress and the president but also from the private beliefs that might otherwise move her.”
Notably, during the swearing-in ceremony, a large number of attendees wore face masks and the chairs were spaced out to allow for some semblance of social distancing. The ceremony comes on the heels of the Rose Garden event last month announcing Barrett’s nomination, which turned into a “superspreader” event that resulted in an outbreak of coronavirus infections.