The Supreme Court's Newest Justice
On Monday, October 26th, the United States Senate took their official vote on the
nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court of The United States. Members of the Senate voted 52-48 to confirm Judge Barrett’s appointment. This comes just after weeks of controversy surrounding Judge Barrett’s nomination by President Trump. The weeks prior to Judge Barrett’s confirmation included interviews and hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee and disapproval by many United States citizens. Judge Barrett was preceded by the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg or “RBG”, who passed away just over a month ago. While both are honorable women, Justice Ginsburg and the now Justice Barrett have very different political views, causing quite the controversy throughout the United States.
Justice Barrett was born on January 28th, 1972 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She attended
Rhodes College as an undergraduate and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in English. She then
attended the University of Notre Dame’s Law School, where she graduated first in her class with a Juris Doctorate (JD). Since then she has worked as a lawyer, taught law school classes at Notre Dame, and eventually became a judge. A quick glance at Justice Barrett’s qualifications would favor her appointment, so why is there so much controversy surrounding it? We have a few answers that deal with the potential implications of Justice Barrett’s confirmation in hopes that it will inform our readers and allow them to make their own, informative decision on whether or not they support her.
First and foremost, Justice Barrett is a proud conservative. Now, let’s set something
straight. The issue here isn’t necessarily “party based” as some would think, but rather how she will interpret the constitution when key issues are brought to the Supreme Court. Justice Barrett and other conservative viewing judges now hold a majority of 6-3 in our nation’s highest court. Think back to the description of the Judicial branch of government that we’ve been taught since grade school: its function is to interpret or evaluate the laws that are set forth in the United States Constitution. So, Justice Barrett’s appointment would pave the way for key issues such as abortion, gun control, voting laws, etc. to be interpreted in a conservative way, which could differ from what we have in place now.
Let’s take a look at a few of Judge Barrett’s major rulings. In Kanter v. Barr, a 2018 case
involving a convicted felon fighting to regain his second amendment right, Judge Barrett argued that although the subject was a convicted felon, he should be allowed to possess a firearm because his felony was a non-violent crime (mail fraud). This extreme decision, that even some of her conservative colleagues disagreed with, shows us that Judge Barrett will vote pro-gun on almost any gun control issue. Judge Barrett has never issued a direct ruling on abortion, but her history as a circuit court judge would lead us to believe that she would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, and President Trump has already hinted at the fact that the abortion issue could make its way to the supreme court soon. When it comes to voting rights, it’s important to note that Barrett worked on behalf of George W. Bush in Bush v. Gore, a controversial case that helped George W. Bush win the election in 2000. During her confirmation hearings, Barrett would not comment her opinion or involvement on the case or how she would rule if the same or similar incident occurred with the 2020 election.
So, what’s at stake here? The appointment and confirmation of Justice Amy Coney
Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States puts even more emphasis on the 2020
presidential election. There are many key issues out there that have been debated for a long time and could potentially be coming to the courts in the near future. Find your issue or issues, research the candidates, and make an informed decision. We hope that this article will help readers truly understand the history that’s about to be made right in front of us, and why it’s important that, no matter what your political views are, you vote.