(CNN)Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett are set to begin Monday.

Read a copy of her opening statement, as prepared for delivery, released Sunday in advance of the hearing:Opening Statement at Senate Judiciary Committee HearingMonday, October 12, 2020Chairman Graham, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Members of theCommittee: I am honored and humbled to appear before you as a nominee forRead MoreAssociate Justice of the Supreme Court.I thank the President for entrusting me with this profound responsibility, aswell as for the graciousness that he and the First Lady have shown my familythroughout this process.I thank Senator Young for introducing me, as he did at my hearing to serve onthe Seventh Circuit. I thank Senator Braun for his generous support. And I amespecially grateful to former Dean Patty O’Hara of Notre Dame Law School. Shehired me as a professor nearly 20 years ago and has been a mentor, colleague, andfriend ever since.I thank the Members of this Committee—and your other colleagues in theSenate—who have taken the time to meet with me since my nomination. It has beena privilege to meet you.As I said when I was nominated to serve as a Justice, I am used to being in agroup of nine—my family. Nothing is more important to me, and I am so proud tohave them behind me.My husband Jesse and I have been married for 21 years. He has been a selflessand wonderful partner at every step along the way. I once asked my sister, “Why dopeople say marriage is hard? I think it’s easy.” She said, “Maybe you should askJesse if he agrees.” I decided not to take her advice. I know that I am far luckier inlove than I deserve.Jesse and I are parents to seven wonderful children. Emma is a sophomore incollege who just might follow her parents into a career in the law. Vivian came tous from Haiti. When she arrived, she was so weak that we were told she might neverwalk or talk normally. She now deadlifts as much as the male athletes at our gym,and I assure you that she has no trouble talking. Tess is 16, and while she shares herparents’ love for the liberal arts, she also has a math gene that seems to have skippedher parents’ generation. John Peter joined us shortly after the devastating earthquakein Haiti, and Jesse, who brought him home, still describes the shock on JP’s facewhen he got off the plane in wintertime Chicago. Once that shock wore off, JP assumed the happy-go-lucky attitude that is still his signature trait. Liam is smart,strong, and kind, and to our delight, he still loves watching movies with Mom andDad. Ten-year-old Juliet is already pursuing her goal of becoming an author bywriting multiple essays and short stories, including one she recently submitted forpublication. And our youngest—Benjamin, who has Down Syndrome—is theunanimous favorite of the family.My own siblings are here, some in the hearing room and some nearby. Carrie,Megan, Eileen, Amanda, Vivian, and Michael are my oldest and dearest friends.We’ve seen each other through both the happy and hard parts of life, and I am sograteful that they are with me now.My parents, Mike and Linda Coney, are watching from their New Orleanshome. My father was a lawyer and my mother was a teacher, which explains how Iended up as a law professor. More important, my parents modeled for me and mysix siblings a life of service, principle, faith, and love. I remember preparing for agrade-school spelling bee against a boy in my class. To boost my confidence, Dadsang, “Anything boys can do, girls can do better.” At least as I remember it, I spelledmy way to victory.I received similar encouragement from the devoted teachers at St. Mary’sDominican, my all-girls high school in New Orleans. When I went to college, itnever occurred to me that anyone would consider girls to be less capable than boys.My freshman year, I took a literature class filled with upperclassmen English majors.When I did my first presentation—on Breakfast at Tiffany’s—I feared I had failed.But my professor filled me with confidence, became a mentor, and—when Igraduated with a degree in English—gave me Truman Capote’s collected works.Although I considered graduate studies in English, I decided my passion forwords was better suited to deciphering statutes than novels. I was fortunate to havewonderful legal mentors—in particular, the judges for whom I clerked. Thelegendary Judge Laurence Silberman of the D.C. Circuit gave me my first job in thelaw and continues to teach me today. He was by my side during my Seventh Circuithearing and investiture, and he is cheering me on from his living room now.I also clerked for Justice Scalia, and like many law students, I felt like I knewthe justice before I ever met him, because I had read so many of his colorful,accessible opinions. More than the style of his writing, though, it was the content ofJustice Scalia’s reasoning that shaped me. His judicial philosophy wasstraightforward: A judge must apply the law as written, not as the judge wishes it were. Sometimes that approach meant reaching results that he did not like. But ashe put it in one of his best known opinions, that is what it means to say we have agovernment of laws, not of men.Justice Scalia taught me more than just law. He was devoted to his family,resolute in his beliefs, and fearless of criticism. And as I embarked on my own legalcareer, I resolved to maintain that same perspective. There is a tendency in ourprofession to treat the practice of law as all-consuming, while losing sight ofeverything else. But that makes for a shallow and unfulfilling life. I worked hardas a lawyer and a professor; I owed that to my clients, my students, and myself. ButI never let the law define my identity or crowd out the rest of my life.A similar principle applies to the role of courts. Courts have a vitalresponsibility to enforce the rule of law, which is critical to a free society. But courtsare not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life. Thepolicy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the politicalbranches elected by and accountable to the People. The public should not expectcourts to do so, and courts should not try.That is the approach I have strived to follow as a judge on the Seventh Circuit.In every case, I have carefully considered the arguments presented by the parties,discussed the issues with my colleagues on the court, and done my utmost to reachthe result required by the law, whatever my own preferences might be. I try toremain mindful that, while my court decides thousands of cases a year, each case isthe most important one to the parties involved. After all, cases are not like statutes,which are often named for their authors. Cases are named for the parties who standto gain or lose in the real world, often through their liberty or livelihood.When I write an opinion resolving a case, I read every word from theperspective of the losing party. I ask myself how would I view the decision if oneof my children was the party I was ruling against: Even though I would not like theresult, would I understand that the decision was fairly reasoned and grounded in thelaw? That is the standard I set for myself in every case, and it is the standard I willfollow as long as I am a judge on any court.When the President offered this nomination, I was deeply honored. But it wasnot a position I had sought out, and I thought carefully before accepting. Theconfirmation process—and the work of serving on the Court if I am confirmed—requires sacrifices, particularly from my family. I chose to accept the nominationbecause I believe deeply in the rule of law and the place of the Supreme Court in our Nation. I believe Americans of all backgrounds deserve an independent SupremeCourt that interprets our Constitution and laws as they are written. And I believe Ican serve my country by playing that role.I come before this Committee with humility about the responsibility I havebeen asked to undertake, and with appreciation for those who came before me. Iwas nine years old when Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman to sit in thisseat. She was a model of grace and dignity throughout her distinguished tenure onthe Court. When I was 21 years old and just beginning my career, Ruth BaderGinsburg sat in this seat. She told the Committee, “What has become of me couldonly happen in America.” I have been nominated to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat, butno one will ever take her place. I will be forever grateful for the path she markedand the life she led.If confirmed, it would be the honor of a lifetime to serve alongside the ChiefJustice and seven Associate Justices. I admire them all and would consider each avalued colleague. And I might bring a few new perspectives to the bench. As thePresident noted when he announced my nomination, I would be the first mother ofschool-age children to serve on the Court. I would be the first Justice to join theCourt from the Seventh Circuit in 45 years. And I would be the only sitting Justicewho didn’t attend law school at Harvard or Yale. I am confident that Notre Damewill hold its own, and maybe I could even teach them a thing or two about football.As a final note, Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank the many Americans fromall walks of life who have reached out with messages of support over the course ofmy nomination. I believe in the power of prayer, and it has been uplifting to hearthat so many people are praying for me. I look forward to answering theCommittee’s questions over the coming days. And if I am fortunate enough to beconfirmed, I pledge to faithfully and impartially discharge my duties to the Americanpeople as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Thank you.

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