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Amy Coney Barrett assumes the role of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the US

After the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Donald Trump has assigned a new conservative justice

Tess Petrillo, Editor in Chief
Originally published December 2, 2020


Fred Schilling via CNNJudge Amy Coney Barrett is sworn into the United States Supreme Court.

Fred Schilling via CNN

Judge Amy Coney Barrett is sworn into the United States Supreme Court.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett assumed her role on the Supreme Court on Oct. 27, giving the court a conservative majority. Her nomination will be influential in the future of issues such as abortion rights and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), both of which have been very divisive between conservative and liberal voters.

History teacher Carol Faust identifies as a progressive voter; she expressed concern in an email about the outcomes of Judge Barrett’s assignment, “I am worried about the health of many people who have little voice in the matter,” Faust said. 

However, both sides are uncertain of what Judge Barrett’s decisions will lead to given her history.

According to a BBC article, “Amy Coney Barrett: Who is Trump’s Supreme Court Pick?” she was mentored by conservative justice Antonin Scalia during her studying at University of Notre Dame’s law school.

The article also stated that like Justice Scalia, Judge Barrett is an originalist, meaning that she believes in interpreting the Constitution as the authors intended it to be; this is a perspective most liberals tend to disagree with.

Liberals have also been skeptical of Judge Barrett’s devotion to her Catholic faith; she comes from a French-Irish family and grew up in Louisiana, where she attended a Roman Catholic high school and her father became an ordained deacon. 

Many believe that her beliefs will have influence in her decisions concerning abortion rights and gay marriage. 

Faust comments on this topic in the same email, “I’m glad to have women in the Supreme Court, just would like them to be more liberal and reflect the diversity of the country and the majority opinions.” 

Author of New York Times article “Barrett’s Record: A Conservative Who Would Push the Supreme Court to the Right” and Yale Law school graduate Adam Liptak comments on the future of Roe v. Wade. 

“Justice Scalia wrote that the Constitution has nothing to say about abortion and that states should be allowed to decide the question for themselves,” Liptak wrote in the article. “There is no reason to believe Judge Barrett disagrees.”

Judge Barrett has said that she does not let her beliefs influence her work, as quoted in the same BBC article. “I would stress that my personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear in the discharge of my duties as a judge,” she said. 

Moreover, Judge Barrett expresses her determination to do what is best for the American people, regardless of her personal views. “A judge declares independence not only from Congress and the president, but also from the private beliefs that might otherwise move her,” she said after her confirmation hearing according to the Washington Post article, “Senate confirms Barrett to the Supreme Court: Cementing a Conservative Majority.” 

“My fellow Americans, even though we judges don’t face elections, we still work for you” as quoted in the same article.

Judge Barrett’s nomination has induced stress among left-leaning voters as she has yet to make an official statement of her stance in regards to the ACA. 

Democrats fear her nomination could be the tipping point in its imperilment, which is especially distressing given the rise of people with predisposed illnesses due to COVID-19.

This aspect has resulted in a surging debate within the Democratic Party whether President-elect Joe Biden should expand the Supreme Court in order to distinguish the conservative majority as to ensure security of the ACA. 

As Democrats have expressed this despair with the new nomination, Republicans have rejoiced. 

“This is one of the brilliant, admired and well-qualified nominees in our lifetime,” Kentucky’s Republican Senator Mitch McConnell said (as quoted in the CNN article “Senate confirms Amy Coney Barrett, heralding new conservative era for Supreme Court”).

All in all, Judge Barrett has accumulated a plethora of credentials throughout her education and years of experience. 

She graduated top of her class at Tennessee’s Rhodes College with a B.A. in English literature, then went on to earn her J. D. as well as the Hoynes Prize at Notre Dame Law School where she served as executive director of the Notre Dame Law Review as a student, and was titled “Distinguished Professor of the Year” for three years during her time teaching at the law school.

Her position on the court is justified. 

Take a moment to remember that the Chief Justice Warren E. Burger was a conservative constructionist, who voted in favor of Roe v. Wade in 1973. The role of a Supreme Court Justice is to serve the American people to the best of their ability, no matter the intentions of those who nominated them.

Judge Barrett sums this up in her speech given at her nomination; “A judge must apply the law as written Judges are not policy makers, and they must be resolute and setting aside any policy views they might hold,” she said.

“I [will] not assume that role for the sake of those in my own circle and certainly not for my own sake. I [will] assume this role to serve you. I [will] discharge the judicial oath, which requires me to administer justice without respect to persons. To equal right to the poor and rich, and faithfully and impartially discharge my duties under the United States Constitution.” 

Sources: 

“Amy Coney Barrett: Who is Trump’s Supreme Court pick?”

https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54303848

“Barrett’s Record: A Conservative Who Would Push the Supreme Court to the Right”

https://www.nytimes.com/article/amy-barrett-views-issues.html

“Senate confirms Barrett to Supreme Court, cementing its conservative majority”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/senate-court-barrett-tr”mp/2020/10/26/df76c07e-1789-11eb-befb-8864259bd2d8_story.html

“Senate confirms Amy Coney Barrett, heralding new conservative era for Supreme Court”

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/amy-coney-barrett-set-be-confirmed-supreme-court-monday-n1244748

“Hon. Amy Coney Barrett”

https://law.nd.edu/directory/amy-barrett/

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Amy Coney Barrett assumes the role of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the US