Is Amy Coney Barrett the right choice to fill the SCOTUS seat?


Fact Box

  • Amy Coney Barrett currently serves on the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. For 15 years, she taught at Notre Dame Law School, and was nominated in 2017 by her colleagues as a “model of the fair, impartial and sympathetic judge.” 
  • President Trump nominated Barrett to fill the Supreme Court seat vacancy. If chosen, she will be the sixth conservative judge, making it possible that Roe v. Wade could be overturned. Trump had two qualifications when deciding on a replacement: opposition to Roe v. Wade and the Affordable Care Act. 
  • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday, September 18, from metastatic cancer of the pancreas. During her 27 years in the court, she was a “champion” for women’s rights and gender equality. 
  • Her death came seven weeks before the 2020 Election in November. Before passing, Justice Ginsburg requested “not to be replaced until a new president is installed.”
  • The federal election will be held November 3, 2020.

Andrew (No)

President Trump's nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, Amy Coney Barrett, is out of touch with the mainstream of the population and is the wrong choice for a lifetime appointment. Barrett has written extensively on her extreme beliefs regarding the judicial concept of Stare Decisis, which she believes is the right and duty of justices to overturn previous rulings if they believe said rulings were decided incorrectly. This is an unusual change from the Supreme Court's tradition of not re-litigating cases that have already been decided. This willingness to overturn previously settled issues is concerning considering Barrett's views on multiple social issues.

Barrett has made her opinions clear on matters of LGBTQ+ rights, women's rights, and affirmative action, among others. The US has voted on many of these issues, and polls show nationwide support for these decisions. Though some argue the Supreme Court is no place for judicial activism, aka 'legislating from the bench,' doing so accomplishes worthwhile causes, such as securing racial equality, abortion/women's rights, and marriage equality, to name a few. 

Additionally, Barrett has frequently spoken out against the wildly popular Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), particularly against John Roberts's defense. This is especially important because the ACA is due to be challenged at the Supreme Court in November. Barrett represents extreme views of jurisprudence, showing an eagerness to overturn decisions settled by past courts, and is a textualist/originalist in her judicial thinking. She has also shown she is out of touch with the majority of Americans on social issues, and for these reasons, it is the wrong choice to fill the SCOTUS vacancy.

Stephanie (Yes)

Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a worthy Supreme Court nominee. She has a remarkable record, having worked as a professor at Notre Dame Law School, serving on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and being considered for the Supreme Court in 2018, demonstrating various skill sets.

Barrett is outspoken about important, controversial issues. Upon discussing the second amendment in a case concerning felons and gun ownership, she stood firm in her belief that while some dangerous individuals ought to lose the right to bear arms, Constitutional rights must always be considered first. She opposes abortion and has been adamant the practice should never be performed 'to choose the sex, race, and other attributes of children.' She has been praised for 'her writings on faith and the law,' is a highly experienced professional working woman all the while mothering seven children (two of whom were adopted from Haiti and the youngest has Down Syndrome). This compassion level shows her wherewithal to approach difficult cases with the same level of love and competence that she has displayed as a mother.

Many have commented on Barrett's proper and 'reserved demeanor,' which is an important quality for a Supreme Court Justice to possess. Upon discussing her income, it was revealed that, if appointed, she will have one of the lowest salaries among the justices. While some have criticized her conservatism, which strongly aligns with President Trump's, the Commander in Chief has the right to appoint a justice he considers to be the best candidate. Barrett's professionalism throughout the years shows she will surely be able to put any bias aside, as she has already vowed not to let 'her faith…shape her rulings.'

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