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Utah senators call Supreme Court nominee highly respected

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Judge Amy Coney Barrett applauds as President Donald Trump announces Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington.

Alex Brandon, AP

SALT LAKE CITY — The not so widely kept secret of President Donald Trump’s choice for the U.S. Supreme Court — Amy Coney Barrett — brought swift response from a variety of Utah voices after Saturday’s announcement.

“Amy Coney Barrett is a highly-respected jurist with distinguished legal and academic credentials,” said Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah. “My constitutional role to provide advice and consent on a Supreme Court nomination is one of my most serious responsibilities as a senator, and I believe our next justice must faithfully apply the law and our Constitution, impartially and regardless of policy preferences.

“I look forward to meeting with Judge Barrett, reviewing her record thoroughly, and carefully evaluating her qualifications.”

Romney’s support of a Trump-U.S. Supreme Court nominee was in question — he has not played party politics with the president in many arenas — but he recently announced he would support the choice to make a pick and make up his mind on the candidate’s merits.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes tweeted that Barrett is an incredible candidate with deep respect for the rule of law.

“She’s a respected jurist, accomplished professor, dedicated wife, mother and woman of faith. I urge Congress to confirm her before Election Day.”

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who was also on Trump’s list as a potential nominee, had pressed Trump to pick Barrett and had this quick response Saturday: “Excited to see history made.”

Earlier in the week, Lee told Fox News he would “wholeheartedly” support Barrett.

“She’s got a proven track record. She’s someone who understands the difference between judging and lawmaking. She understands that she’s there to interpret the law based on what the words say rather than on the basis of what some social scientist or lawyer might wish that it said,” he said.

“That’s exactly the kind of person we need on the Supreme Court.”

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President Donald Trump walks 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.

Alex Brandon, AP