Thomas has long been considered one of the more conservative justices on the court, along with Barrett’s mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Echoing her mentor, Barrett underscored the need for a separation of powers between the judicial and legislative branches.
“It is the job of a senator to pursue her policy preferences,” Barrett said to an audience on the South Lawn of the White House. “In fact, it would be a dereliction of duty for her to put policy goals aside. By contrast, it is the job of a judge to resist her policy preferences. It would be a dereliction of duty for her to give into them. Federal judges don’t stand for election. Thus, they have no basis for claiming that their preferences reflect those of the people.”