Amy Coney Barrett as Nominee


Meena Lane, Opinons Editor

Amy Coney Barrett, who is a conservative federal appeals judge, received President Donald Trump’s nomination on Saturday, September 26. Barrett is a graduate and colleague at Notre Dame Law School. She’s a forty-eight-year-old woman from New Orleans, Louisiana with seven children. In 2017, President Donald Trump released a list of future, potential Supreme Court nominees. On the list included Amy Coney Barrett. In the eyes of Republicans, she is a “brilliant and gifted legal mind”. She is very Catholic and claims she wouldn’t “impose [her] own personal convictions upon the law”. In the past, Barrett has conflicted with stare decisis, which is the legal doctrine that obligates judges to make a ruling based on past cases. She touches on cases involving Second Amendment gun rights, abortion, immigration, and discrimination. Her many judicial opinions are influenced by her hundreds of cases that she dealt with on the federal appeals court in Chicago. She worked as a law clerk under Antonin Scalia, who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, from 1998 to 1999 in which she developed some of her judicial methods. Though some of Justice Antonin Scalia’s methods fell toward the liberal side, that’s where Amy Coney Barrett’s differences lie. One big difference that isn’t a shock to the public is the subject of abortion. President Trump appointed a Justice that is ready to overturn Roe v. Wade. Roe v. Wade is the 1973 decision that declared abortion as a constitutional right. People opposing abortion are cheering and pushed for Barrett’s nomination. As abortion is not a small precedent to overturn, Barrett believes that it is one that deserves her utmost attention and respect in overturning.

Amy Coney Barrett is taking Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s place on the US Supreme Court. Trump claims she is a woman of “towering intellect” and “unyielding loyalty to the Constitution”. President Donald Trump says it is a critical time in history, due to it being months before the election, and all nine seats of the Supreme Court should be filled. Her nomination was backed by many conservatives, especially religious conservatives. Though Republicans are all in favor of her to replace RBG, Democrats are opposing her on all stances. With her position on the Supreme Court, she could overturn abortion rights and invalidate the Affordable Care Act. In the past, Amy Coney Barrett has considered three laws in her home state, Indiana, restricting abortion. In 2018, she got behind two other Indiana laws concerning abortion. One of them banned abortions on the single fact of the sex or disability of the fetus. The other law required abortion providers to bury or cremate the fetus or remains. Thankfully, both laws were blocked by a three-judge panel. In future terms, on November 10th, a week after election day, the Supreme Court will hear arguments for recent notions involving the Affordable Care Act. President Trump and Senate Republicans got what they wanted, Judge Amy Coney Barrett is on the bench. During the period of time that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was alive, the dismantling of the law seemed to have little success, but now Barrett’s presence seems to add uncertainty to the mix. Alongside her argument with the Affordable Care Act, Judge Amy Coney Barrett also says she wants to limit the law forbidding people with felony convictions from owning automatic weapons. 

With this woman on the Supreme Court of the United States, she moves the court towards the right. Having a right-siding court, could potentially make compromise less likely and take away rights such as abortion. During Barrett’s confirmation hearings for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, she repeatedly claimed that a judge cannot impose personal convictions upon the law. Yet, she continuously backs claims that take away people’s personal rights due to her views or opinions. Amy Coney Barrett sees no harm in providing guns to people with a criminal background. She claims that there should be no issue with forbidding people with felony convictions from owning guns if the crimes were nonviolent. “History does not support the proposition that felons lose their Second Amendment rights solely because of their status as felons”. I understand her point in saying that they should have the right to automatic weapons despite the conviction. Though, if you’re capable of a felony conviction and have committed a crime of some stature, you should be background checked or have some level of clearance from owning or purchasing one. Amy Coney Barrett wanted to overturn a court ruling that blocked the Trump administration from tightening the “public charge” rule. This rule allows officials to deny permanent legal statues, also known as a green card, to immigrants who may need public assistance. “She is smart, kind, humble, honest and selfless. Ms. Barrett is an originalist, looking to the original meaning of the Constitution in reaching decisions.” As an “originalist”, Barrett will have very traditional views in terms of judicial rulings. The Constitution was originally written in the 1700s by white men. The conditions and the way we live today are completely different from hundreds of years ago. We cannot let the rulings of our Supreme Court take us back in time with history. “They want to return to a world in which Black people could be enslaved, women could not own property, Native Americans could be subjugated, children did not need education and government had no role in protecting health or the environment. Originalists are not interested in the evolving nature of the American experiment. They do not care that our nation and its institutions are now vastly different from when a small group of well-to-do White men wrote the Constitution.” The quote addresses how originalists supposedly think. Though the quote does not directly correlate with every view that Amy Coney Barrett believes in, it gives insight into the way they view current issues. Giving her the ability to rule on the Supreme Court of the United States could potentially take us back in time and compromise basic human rights.


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