WASHINGTON — Federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett was offered the nomination by President Donald Trump three days after Ruth Bader Ginsburg's passing, according to a questionnaire by the nominee that was released Tuesday after she spent the day meeting with Republican senators on Capitol Hill.
The revelation, released in a 69-page questionnaire filled out by Barrett for the Senate Judiciary committee, shows just how quickly Trump settled on Barrett for the high court before making her nomination official on Saturday.
The documents show White House officials called her the day after Ginsburg's death, on Sept. 19, and Trump offered her the job on Sept. 21 when she met with him at the White House. The document includes a plethora of details about Barrett's life, career and the conflicts of interest that could potentially cause her to recuse herself from weighing in on certain cases that come before the Supreme Court.
Not mentioned was recusing herself from cases involving the outcome of the November presidential election, something Democrats have repeatedly called for Barrett to do if a case comes before the court.
The calls by Democrats largely relate to Trump's acknowledgment that he wanted to fill the vacancy because of his belief the results of the election will end up before the court, though she did state in the questionnaire that she had not made any representations to the White House or others as to how she might rule on the court if she was confirmed.
The only conflicts that Barrett listed that could merit her recusal were cases that included her family, which includes several attorneys, and those including Notre Dame University, where she attended and teaches, as well as any matters where she previously weighed in while serving in the lower courts.
Throughout Tuesday, Barrett met with a slew of Republicans, who have decried such calls as ridiculous.
The one-on-one meetings are a ritual for high court nominees, who quietly woo the lawmakers who will determine their fate. Barrett's battle for a seat on the high court is expected to be particularly bruising, coming just weeks before the Nov. 3 election.
She does not have any meetings currently scheduled with Democrats, and several Democratic senators said they would not meet with her. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called the nomination process an "illegitimate power grab" on Tuesday and said she would not be sitting down with Barrett.
Trump tapped Barrett to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal icon who worked for women's equality and social justice. If Barrett is confirmed, she could cement a conservative majority on the Supreme Court for decades to come.
On Tuesday, the federal judge and former Notre Dame law professor started her day with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Mike Pence. In the afternoon, she met with other key Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee, which will oversee her nomination, including Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah; and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who chairs the panel.
Instead of meeting in each senator's office, lawmakers met individually with Barrett in a larger room in the Capitol to allow for COVID-19 precautions.
After his meeting with her, McConnell, joined by Barrett and officials from the White House, offered brief remarks about starting the process. McConnell has come under fire from critics who say he is rushing the confirmation process and has reversed his 2016 position. When a vacancy came open during that presidential election year, McConnell refused to allow a vote, or even a hearing, for then-President Barack Obama's nominee, saying the next president should fill the seat.
"We're pleased today to welcome Judge Barrett," McConnell said Tuesday, noting she would be meeting with senators who "are interested in talking with her" over the next several days before her confirmation process starts in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Standing nearby, Pence, joined by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and White House counsel Pat Cipollone, praised Barrett and the members of the Senate who "committed to meet with an extraordinary American."
"We truly do believe that Judge Barrett represents the best of America," Pence said, urging Democrats to also meet with her and to offer the "kind of respectful hearings that the American people expect."
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McConnell, R-Ky., did not respond to shouted questions about whether Barrett should recuse herself if the court considers legal disputes related to the November election results. He also ignored a question about whether the Senate would vote on her nomination before the election.
Other Republican senators praised Barrett after their meetings.
Cruz said Barrett had "impeccable credentials" and that Trump's nomination of Barrett "may well have been the most important decision of his presidency."
Graham hailed Barrett as "one of the most qualified people ever nominated to the Supreme Court.” She's "really good at everything" she has chosen to do, he said, and “the American people are going to see that over the coming days.”
I will not be meeting with Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee. We need to treat this nomination like the illegitimate power grab it is. pic.twitter.com/KwmtQ27miP— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) September 29, 2020
Asked Monday if she would meet with Barrett, the Democratic Party's vice presidential nominee, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., told reporters: "I’m sure that’s going to happen, we’ll see how it works out ... I haven’t made a plan one way or another."
Harris will take part in the hearings as a Judiciary Committee member.
The White House officially submitted Barrett's nomination to the Senate Tuesday afternoon. Hearings are set to begin on Oct. 12 and last for four days. Graham has said he wants to send Barrett's nomination to the full Senate by Oct. 26, meaning her final confirmation could come days before Election Day on Nov. 3.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Amy Coney Barrett meets McConnell, Pence, Grassley, Graham