S.D.’s governor, U.S. senators express their support for U.S. Supreme Court nominee

Capitol News Bureau

President Donald Trump walks along the Colonnade with Judge Amy Coney Barrett to a news conference to announce Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The nomination of U.S. Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday drew praise from South Dakota’s two Republican U.S. senators and Republican governor.

“Simply put, she doesn’t legislate from the bench,” John Thune, the U.S. Senate’s second-ranking Republican, said in a statement.

Thune, a former U.S. House member, referred to his 2002 loss to Democrat Tim Johnson and his 2004 victory over Tom Daschle, who at the time was the U.S. Senate’s Democrat leader. “One of the main reasons I ran for the Senate was for big moments like this one, and I plan on fulfilling my constitutional duty,” Thune said.

Mike Rounds, a former South Dakota governor, won his seat in the Senate in 2014 as Johnson retired. Rounds in a statement said President Donald Trump made “an excellent choice” in nominating the 48-year-old Coney Barrett.

“As an accomplished jurist, wife and mother from the Midwest, Judge Barrett brings a unique perspective to our nation’s highest court. With so many important decisions to be made at the Supreme Court that are important to South Dakotans – from issues related to health care and taxes to the very sanctity of human life – the person confirmed to replace Justice Ginsburg will have a tremendous impact on our daily lives,” Rounds said.

Rounds is seeking re-election in November against Democratic challenger Dan Ahlers, a former state legislator.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died September 18. President Bill Clinton nominated Bader Ginsburg in 1993.

Governor Kristi Noem, who was elected in 2018 as South Dakota’s first female chief executive, has been campaigning in other states for Trump’s reelection and is a Trump elector on the South Dakota ballot this year. Noem on Saturday called Coney Barrett “the perfect woman for this vacant seat.”

“Liberals and their media allies always attack strong women who defend the Constitution, so I hope South Dakotans will join me in praying for Judge Barrett and her family,” Noem’s statement began.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has said he has the votes to bring Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Senate for a confirmation vote before the November 3 presidential election.

In 2016, a presidential-election year, McConnell refused to allow the Senate to vote on President Barack Obama’s nominee, Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland, arguing that the choice should wait until the next president was elected. Democratic senators sought a vote on the Garland nomination.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for president this year, issued a statement Saturday about the Republican president’s nomination of Coney Barrett. “The Senate should not act on this vacancy until after the American people select their next president and the next Congress,” Biden said.

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