SOUTH MISSISSIPPI, Miss. (WLOX) - The news of President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee stirred worldwide reaction tonight, including here in South Mississippi.
The announcement came Saturday afternoon, and now people are speaking out about both the process and person, bringing praise as well as caution.
Conservative leaders in Mississippi praised Amy Coney Barrett as a Supreme Court nominee.
U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith writing, in part:
“In Judge Barrett, I believe President Trump has chosen a qualified conservative jurist who, if confirmed, will bring an important perspective to the Court.”
Then, Hyde-Smith added this reference to the last confirmation: “I hope Senate consideration of Judge Barrett will not descend into the dishonorable spectacle that Americans witnessed during the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.”
U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker also tried to set a less contentious framework, referencing her confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
“Her grace under pressure and long-standing commitment to the rule of law indicate that she has the right temperament to serve on the Supreme Court and go through a highly-charged confirmation process.”
At a rally in Gulfport for U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Mike Espy, the reaction was not as friendly.
“They always say how confident they are that he’ll re-win,” said Espy supporter and college student Maurice Williams. “If that’s the case then they should take their time. Let alone the fact that there was a nominee that Obama nominated in 2016, and they waited eight months and he never got a hearing.”
Martha-Lee Bohn, another Espy supporter, said she is depending on the Senate to do what’s right.
“I don’t know her,” said Bohn. “So, I hope that those tasked with taking care of this will really do due diligence and dig into the various stories that we’ve heard because I feel like there was a trace of ‘pick a woman’ and not as much pick a qualified woman who will be able to serve us well.”
Espy said that health care is the number one issue at stake with this nomination.
“If the Affordable Care Act is overturned, I want everyone to know, there’s going to be 600,000 Mississippians automatically without coverage for pre-existing conditions,” said Espy. “There’s going to be thousands and thousands of young people who’ve been able to benefit from their parent’s insurance policies up to age 26 that will now be thrown from their parent’s insurance.”