Domestic Affairs

Amy Coney Barrett: A Proper Nominee for the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has further exacerbated America’s political divisions. While Alexandria Ocasio Cortez used Justice Ginsburg’s death as a call for Democrats to radicalize and rally behind the increasingly-progressive Democratic Party, this moment is an opportunity for President Trump to fill the seat with an individual who will uphold the Constitution with grace and integrity. His nomination of Amy Coney Barrett will likely outlast the legacy of his presidency by decades.

As soon as Amy Coney Barrett’s name made President Trump’s short list for nominees, Democrats began to investigate her for any faults to call her judicial fitness into question. Let’s get the record straight on who she is. She is an icon of womanhood with seven children, two of whom she and her husband adopted from Haiti. She is an originalist, meaning she will rely more on the Constitution than Supreme Court precedents. She was a law clerk for the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who inspired her originalist views. She is a professor, a mother, and a woman of faith. 

Amy Coney Barrett is a constitutionalist, and as such, she has said that “A judge must apply the law as written.” She lives her life by the values and principles set forth in the Bible, but as a judge, she also interprets the Constitution and laws as they are written, not as she wishes they would be. Nonetheless, Barrett’s personal opposition to abortion has rattled Democrats more than any other issue. As soon as Democrats realized they might lose the federal protection of legal abortion, the bold accusations from the left-leaning media came out. Skimming headlines makes it clear which issue the media cares about. According to the media, Amy Coney Barrett “Hates Your Uterus,” and her church is the type that “inspired The Handmaid’s Tale.” Additionally, her pro-life views have earned her a title of “extremist” when in reality her record does not reflect extremism.

When it comes to Roe v. Wade, Barrett has said that she will not use her personal opinions on a precedent when she is deciding on a case. She even stated that she doubted that the “right” to abortion could be revoked. Furthermore, Barrett’s colleagues respect her as an honorable judge and professor. One of her fellow professors at Notre Dame has said that Barrett will consider the issue of abortion thoroughly and thoughtfully, and that there is not a definitive way she will rule. In other words, her pro-life personal belief is not so fervent that she would allow it to compromise her decision-making. Prior to her nomination to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Notre Dame vouched for Barrett, calling her a “fair, impartial, and sympathetic judge.” Evidently, her academic and judicial peers respect her judicial philosophy. 

During Barrett’s 2017 appointment, Democrats, including Senator Dianne Feinstein, criticized Barrett’s faith. Feinstein notably commented that Barrett’s religious dogma was “of concern,” as if Barrett’s personal beliefs would uniquely disable her from serving as a judge. However, every thinking person, including Supreme Court justices, have beliefs, experiences, and identities that guide their interpretations and decisions. This does not imply that Barrett cannot also make judicial decisions without legislating based on her beliefs. Barrett herself responded that “It’s never appropriate for a judge to impose that judge’s personal convictions, whether they derive from faith or anywhere else on the law.” To vilify Amy Coney Barrett’s fundamentalist Christian views as disqualifying her from making constitutional decisions is absurd. It would be a disservice to the Democrats and America to continue questioning Barrett’s ability based on her faith. Especially in an election year, it is unwise for Democrats to further ostracize the Catholic vote, which is already divided between the parties, by continuing to unfairly question and criticize Barrett’s Catholicism.

Democrats’ fear of a Supreme Court with a right-leaning majority will continue to bring vicious attacks leading up to Barrett’s confirmation. Many angry activists have already taken to twitter to make some nasty suggestions about her “colonizing” her adopted children and using them as “props.” While it is not in the best interest of the Senate hearings, it is possible that Barrett and her family will suffer the Democrats’ bullying and harassment to delay the confirmation. Only two years ago, Democrats dragged Justice Kavanaugh through miserable testimonies filled with largely unsubstantiated, disgraceful accusations of gang rape. 

Democratic Senators may try to frame Amy Coney Barrett’s faith as extreme and disqualifying, but the facts around her record do not support those accusations. Democrats’ characterization of her as a Catholic zealot seeking to use a position as a justice for an inquisition is speculative and dismissive towards Barrett’s and her peers’ testimonies of her intentions and suitability as a judge. ACB will succeed the late RBG as a proper woman with a dedication to maintaining the integrity of the Supreme Court.

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