Who is Amy Coney Barrett?
President Trump is expected to announce today that he is nominating Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, filling the seat of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Barrett is a circuit judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which oversees districts in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana.
- Amy Coney Barrett is a Judge born in New Orleans; she was confirmed by the Senate to the Chicago-based Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017. Barrett is an accomplished judge and legal scholar; she graduated from Notre Dame Law School in 1997.
- Barrett is a devout Roman Catholic and has received criticism from liberals who worry that her faith may impede her impartiality as a judge. In 1998, she wrote a journal article about the moral conflict that Catholic judges face and its effect on jurisprudence. Despite these concerns, she has repeatedly insisted that her faith does not compromise her work.
- Late last week, Newsweek drew criticism for publishing an article that was later proven to be factually inaccurate and poorly researched. The article alleged that Barrett’s close-knit religious organization, a devout Catholic group called People of Praise, was the inspiration for Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, a dystopian novel about a version of America which has been taken over by Christian extremist dictators and revoked women’s rights.
- Barrett was a legal clerk and mentee to former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a notorious textualist legal scholar. Barrett is conservative; she has ruled in favor of Trump’s hardline immigration policies and in favor of gun rights during her career as a Circuit Judge. She has also been quoted saying that life begins at conception and Title IX protections do not extend to transgender Americans.
- Trump and Republican senators are expected to push for a confirmation hearing before the November 3 election in order to secure a Trump appointee in the Court.
- Expresses concern about Barrett’s conservative faith-based ideals, but encourages liberals to have an open mind and judge Barrett based on her intellect, her history as a Judge, and her character as an individual.
- Posits that Barrett’s nomination was a smart political move by Trump before the election, but reminds readers that it goes directly against Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s last wishes and discourages the Senate from confirming her.
- Reports extensively on her rulings regarding hot-button issues that are likely to arise in the next year, including abortion, gay and trans rights, and gun rights. In some circles, coverage promotes concern that a Barrett Supreme Court seat would mean an end to women’s rights and an unsafe society for gay Americans.
- Zeroes in on reporting about her religious group, People of Praise, portraying it as a fringe extremist wing of Catholicism.
- Argues that this could be a new era of SCOTUS.
- Condemns Newsweek’s gaffe, which portrayed People of Praise as a toxic religious cult and tied it to The Handmaid’s Tale, as a sign that liberals are looking for baseless reasons to dismiss Barrett.
- Reports extensively on her rulings regarding hot-button issues that are likely to arise in the next year, including abortion, gay and trans rights, and gun rights.
- Expresses frustration at Democrats who say that the GOP has no right to fill Ginsburg’s seat so swiftly.
- Provides coverage of her religious beliefs as an indicator of her good character, and expresses disappointment at liberals who see her religious belief as an impediment to her career.
- Reminds readers why it is imperative that Ginsburg’s seat in the Supreme Court be filled promptly, in case Trump does not win the next election or the outcome is contentious.
© Evelyn Torsher, 2020