Chairman [Lindsey] Graham, Ranking Member [Dianne] Feinstein, and Members of the Committee: I am honored and humbled to appear before you as a nominee for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
I thank the President for entrusting me with this profound responsibility, as well as for the graciousness that he and the First Lady have shown my family throughout this process.
I thank Senator [Todd] Young for introducing me, as he did at my hearing to serve on the Seventh Circuit. I thank Senator [Mike] Braun for his generous support. And I am especially grateful to former Dean Patty O’Hara of Notre Dame Law School. She hired me as a professor nearly 20 years ago and has been a mentor, colleague, and friend ever since.
I thank the Members of this Committee—and your other colleagues in the Senate—who have taken the time to meet with me since my nomination. It has been a privilege to meet you.
As I said when I was nominated to serve as a Justice, I am used to being in a group of nine—my family. Nothing is more important to me, and I am so proud to have them behind me.
My husband Jesse and I have been married for 21 years. He has been a selfless and wonderful partner at every step along the way. I once asked my sister, “Why do people say marriage is hard? I think it’s easy.” She said, “Maybe you should ask Jesse if he agrees.” I decided not to take her advice. I know that I am far luckier in love than I deserve.
Jesse and I are parents to seven wonderful children. Emma is a sophomore in college who just might follow her parents into a career in the law. Vivian came to us from Haiti. When she arrived, she was so weak that we were told she might never walk 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 her parents’ love for the liberal arts, she also has a math gene that seems to have skipped her parents’ generation. John Peter joined us shortly after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, and Jesse, who brought him home, still describes the shock on JP’s face when 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 and Dad. Ten-year-old Juliet is already pursuing her goal of becoming an author by writing multiple essays and short stories, including one she recently submitted for publication. And our youngest—Benjamin, who has Down Syndrome—is the unanimous favorite of the family.
杰西和我养育了七个可爱的孩子。艾玛现在是大二学生，看起来要沿着父母的足迹走上法律这条路。Vivian来自海地，刚来的时候非常虚弱，我们被告知她恐怕永远不能像常人一样走路和说话。可是她现在硬拉的水平，不逊于我们健身房的男性运动员，而且我敢作保，她说话才是一点问题也没有。Tess今年16，跟父母一样喜欢文科，但是她有很好的数学基因 – 显然不是从爹妈这里来的。John Peter是海地地震之后不久来到我们家的。杰西到现在还不停说起刚把他接回美国的时候，冬天的芝加哥给他的震惊。但是随后不久，他就恢复了欢快的天性。Liam聪明，坚强，宽厚，让我们高兴的是，他仍然喜欢和爸妈一起看电影。10岁的Juliet已经立志要成为作家，不停地写文章和小故事，其中一篇她刚刚投稿给出版社。我们最小的孩子，Benjamin，患有唐氏综合症，他是我们一家所有人的心肝宝贝。
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 so grateful that they are with me now.
My parents, Mike and Linda Coney, are watching from their New Orleans home. My father was a lawyer and my mother was a teacher, which explains how I ended up as a law professor. More important, my parents modeled for me and my six siblings a life of service, principle, faith, and love. I remember preparing for a grade-school spelling bee against a boy in my class. To boost my confidence, Dad sang, “Anything boys can do, girls can do better.” At least as I remember it, I spelled my way to victory.
I received similar encouragement from the devoted teachers at St. Mary’s Dominican, my all-girls high school in New Orleans. When I went to college, it never 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 I graduated with a degree in English—gave me Truman Capote’s collected works.
Although I considered graduate studies in English, I decided my passion for words was better suited to deciphering statutes than novels. I was fortunate to have wonderful legal mentors—in particular, the judges for whom I clerked. The legendary Judge Laurence Silberman of the D.C. Circuit gave me my first job in the law and continues to teach me today. He was by my side during my Seventh Circuit hearing 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 knew the 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 of Justice Scalia’s reasoning that shaped me. His judicial philosophy was straightforward: 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 as he put it in one of his best known opinions, that is what it means to say we have a government 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 legal career, I resolved to maintain that same perspective. There is a tendency in our profession to treat the practice of law as all-consuming, while losing sight of everything else. But that makes for a shallow and unfulfilling life. I worked hard as a lawyer and a professor; I owed that to my clients, my students, and myself. But I 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 vital responsibility to enforce the rule of law, which is critical to a free society. But courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life. The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the People. The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try.
类似的原则同样适用于法庭。法庭担负法治的重大责任，这对一个滋油的社会是至关重要的。 但是法院的目的并不是解决公共生活中的每个问题或纠正每个错误。 政/府的决策和价值判断，必须由人民选举产生的行政部门负责。 公众不应该指望法院去做，法院也不应去尝试。
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 reach the result required by the law, whatever my own preferences might be. I try to remain mindful that, while my court decides thousands of cases a year, each case is the 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 stand to 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 the perspective of the losing party. I ask myself how would I view the decision if one of my children was the party I was ruling against: Even though I would not like the result, would I understand that the decision was fairly reasoned and grounded in the law? That is the standard I set for myself in every case, and it is the standard I will follow as long as I am a judge on any court.
When the President offered this nomination, I was deeply honored. But it was not a position I had sought out, and I thought carefully before accepting. The confirmation process—and the work of serving on the Court if I am confirmed— requires sacrifices, particularly from my family. I chose to accept the nomination because 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 Supreme Court that interprets our Constitution and laws as they are written. And I believe I can serve my country by playing that role.
当总统计划提名我的时候，我感到非常荣幸。但是这不是我尽力争取的，我接受之前仔细地考虑过。 确认程序以及确认之后高院任职的工作需要做出牺牲，尤其是我家人的牺牲。 我之所以选择接受提名，是因为我深信法治和高院在我国的地位。 我认为，所有美国人民都应该拥有一个独立的最高法院，能在诠释宪法和法律的时候依据法律原意。 我相信我可以通过担任这个角色来为我的国家服务。
I come before this Committee with humility about the responsibility I have been asked to undertake, and with appreciation for those who came before me. I was nine years old when Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman to sit in this seat. She was a model of grace and dignity throughout her distinguished tenure on the Court. When I was 21 years old and just beginning my career, Ruth Bader Ginsburg sat in this seat. She told the Committee, “What has become of me could only happen in America.” I have been nominated to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat, but no one will ever take her place. I will be forever grateful for the path she marked and the life she led.
If confirmed, it would be the honor of a lifetime to serve alongside the Chief Justice and seven Associate Justices. I admire them all and would consider each a valued colleague. And I might bring a few new perspectives to the bench. As the President noted when he announced my nomination, I would be the first mother of school-age children to serve on the Court. I would be the first Justice to join the Court from the Seventh Circuit in 45 years. And I would be the only sitting Justice who didn’t attend law school at Harvard or Yale. I am confident that Notre Dame will hold its own, and maybe I could even teach them a thing or two about football.
如果得到确认，能与首席大法官和其他七名大法官共事将是我一生的荣幸。 我尊敬每一位大法官，都是我珍视的同事。 或许我也能给高院带来一些新观点。 正如总统所说，我将是最高法院第一个尚有学龄孩子的母亲。 我将成为45年来第一位从第七巡回法庭加入高院的大法官。 我将是唯一一个没有在哈佛或耶鲁法学院毕业的现任大法官。 我有信心圣母大学绝不逊色，或许我还能教他们一点橄榄球的知识。
As a final note, Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank the many Americans from all walks of life who have reached out with messages of support over the course of my nomination. I believe in the power of prayer, and it has been uplifting to hear that so many people are praying for me. I look forward to answering the Committee’s questions over the coming days. And if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed, I pledge to faithfully and impartially discharge my duties to the American people as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Thank you.
最后，主席先生，我要感谢来自各行各业许许多多的美国人，他们通过各种渠道对我的提名表达支持。 我相信祈祷的力量，听到如此众多的人为我祈祷，令人感动和振奋。 我期待在未来几天内回答委员会的提问。如果有幸得到确认，我保证忠诚和公正地履行大法官的职责，向美国人民负责。 谢谢。