If nominated and confirmed, Barrett would be the youngest justice on the Supreme Court, a position that would give her the chance to reshape the law and society for generations to come.
As President Trump prepares to reveal his Supreme Court nominee on Saturday, Judge Amy Coney Barrett has emerged as the leading candidate to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The 48-year-old is being hailed a favorite of social conservatives, considering her stance against abortion and hostility to the Affordable Care Act. With Barrett's name making the top of nearly every speculative list, those on the left and right have been left wondering who she is and what she really stands for. After all, if nominated and confirmed, Barrett would be the youngest justice on the Supreme Court — a position that would give her the chance to reshape the law and society for generations to come.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett is regarded — at least for now — as the leading contender to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. If nominated and confirmed, she would be viewed as a home run by conservative Christians and anti-abortion activists.https://t.co/dAtb4D6K44— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 21, 2020
Raised in Metairie, Louisiana, Barrett attended St. Mary's Dominican High School for girls before graduating with honors from the Presbyterian-affiliated Rhodes College. According to NPR, she then graduated, summa cum laude, from Notre Dame Law School and went on to clerk for the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. She built quite a reputation for herself during her clerkships, reportedly getting nicknamed "The Conenator" by fellow law clerks "for destroying flimsy legal arguments." Barrett briefly practiced law before teaching for 15 years at Notre Dame Law School in South Bend, Indiana.
Amy Coney Barrett has been described as Antonin Scalia’s “ideological heir.” Not alarming at all. https://t.co/2UQVkVGKdG— Refinery29 (@Refinery29) September 21, 2020
Barrett currently serves the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago — a position she was appointed to by Trump in 2017 — where, according to The Associated Press, she has written about 100 opinions and "several telling dissents in which Barrett displayed her clear and consistent conservative bent." The mother-of-seven has shown herself to be a conservative jurist and legal thinker in her rulings and academic writings in everything from guns and sexual assault on campus to health care and abortion rights. "She is the perfect combination of brilliant jurist and a woman who brings the argument to the court that is potentially the contrary to the views of the sitting women justices," Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B Anthony List — an anti-abortion political group — told The New York Times.
Dannenfelser's words appear to be true by all accounts, as Barrett has long made clear that in her new role as judge, she would follow the Supreme Court’s lead in looking to restrict and ban abortion. During a 2016 discussion at Jacksonville University, Barrett suggested that the court most likely would hollow out the Supreme Court's 1973 abortion decision, allowing states wide latitude to make abortion difficult to obtain.
This is an extremely important, thoughtful, must-read piece on the disturbing promises Amy Coney Barrett has made to a secretive religious group. Opinion | Why Amy Coney Barrett’s Religious Beliefs Aren’t Off Limits https://t.co/mNLEiKg3yG via @politico— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) September 25, 2020
"I don't think the core case, Roe's core holding that women have a right to an abortion, I don't think that would change," she said at the time. "But I think the question of whether people can get very late-term abortions, you know, how many restrictions can be put on clinics, I think that will change." However, this was before Trump became President and the outright reversal of Roe became more plausible with the right-leaning composition of the court. Furthermore, the future of Obamacare could also be at stake with Barrett's nomination.
I said this yesterday, but saying again today:— Celeste P. says wear a mask, stay home. 😷 (@Celeste_pewter) September 20, 2020
Please read up on Trump's likely nominee ASAP - we need to be prepared to raise hell over specific records.
The front runner is Amy Coney Barrett. Here's a critical 2018 op-ed on her abortion views: https://t.co/xNB2hqLBeT
The court is scheduled to hear a third challenge to the law the week following the Presidential election in November and although the court has upheld much of the law twice before, that may not be the case with Barrett getting a vote on the matter. "Chief Justice Roberts pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute," Barrett wrote in 2017, criticizing Chief Justice John Roberts' reasoning in upholding the Affordable Care Act. "He construed the penalty imposed on those without health insurance as a tax, which permitted him to sustain the statute as a valid exercise of the taxing power; had he treated the payment as the statute did — as a penalty — he would have had to invalidate the statute as lying beyond Congress's commerce power."
Hold onto this tape if Amy Coney Barrett ends up being Trump’s nominee on Saturday. She’s entitled to be as shameless as her nominator, no doubt, but just how smart she is will be tested by how she handles this bit of hypocrisy. https://t.co/rMQvpXpQP0— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) September 23, 2020
As for the matter of immigration, according to Courthouse News Service, Barrett voted to uphold the Trump administration's "public charge" rule, which "adds barriers for immigrants seeking green cards if they rely on public benefits, food stamps or housing vouchers." When the 7th Circuit blocked the administration's ability to enforce its interpretation of the public charge rule in Illinois, she wrote in a dissent that the Department of Homeland Security's definition is not "unreasonable," especially considering that "the text of the current statute... was amended in 1996 to increase the bite of the public charge determination."