Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett


Hunter Nealey, Secretary

Following the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Trump announced this past weekend his third nomination to the Supreme Court: Amy Coney Barrett. Born on January 28, 1972, Barrett grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana with six siblings. Her father, an attorney for Shell Oil Company, inspired Barrett to become a lawyer herself. She went on to study at Notre Dame Law School with a full ride scholarship. After graduating, Barett began her career as a lawyer and later went on to become a teacher at Notre Dame’s Law School. In 2017, Barrett was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit by President Donald Trump.

On September 26, President Trump officially nominated Barrett to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. Barrett, if appointed, would become President Trump’s third Supreme Court appointee. This appointment, however, is arguably the most important because it would significantly skew the Supreme Court in favor of Republican principles. Of the nine justices on the Supreme Court, six of them would lean on the conservative side while only three would lean liberally, and, since Supreme Court Justices often serve until they die, the highest court in the nation would favor conservative principles for many years to come. 

Barrett identifies as an originalist, meaning that she upholds and interprets the Constitution based on its meaning at the time of its conception. This viewpoint makes her a favorite among evangelical voters (religious conservatives). Many evangelicals believe that if appointed, Barrett would not only uphold second amendment rights, but also limit social rights that do not adhere to Christian beliefs. As a Roman Catholic, Barrett has emphasized the importance of upholding Christian values in the US government. During her time as a judge in the Seventh Circuit, Barrett expressed support on laws restricting abortions rights in the state of Indiana. Many Democrats are fearful that the successful nomination of Amy Coney Barrett could lead to the overturning or restriction of Roe v. Wade (1973)–the controversial decision to legalize abortion across the United States. 

Republicans, in order to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, need to get her approved in the Senate with a minimum of 51/100 votes. Republicans currently hold 53 seats in the senate, all but confirming her nomination. Republicans have pledged to push Barrett’s nomination through before the election next month, despite having refused to hold a vote on Barack Obama’s nomination during the last months of his presidency four years ago. Many Democrats view this decision as hypocritical. 

Barrett’s nomination is expected to be held in the coming weeks, with many Republicans hoping to confirm her before the 2020 election on November 3.