Conservatory in the Court! Judge Amy Coney Barret Fried During Nomination Hearing

By Starr A. Wilson

swilson3@mail.ccsf.edu

Federal Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, Amy Coney Barrett was nominated as a Supreme Court Justice by President Donald Trump, on Sep. 28, 2020. She was elected after Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, and was aggressively questioned in a four-day confirmation hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

One of the main concerns pertaining to the Democratic Party is Barrett’s endorsement of anti-abortion ads in 2006. 

Barrett is a long-time faculty member of the Notre Dame Law School where she taught civil procedure, constitutional law, and statutory interpretation. She will be the first judge nominated onto the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) out of Notre Dame Law School.  

Illustration by Daina Medveder Koziot/The Guardsman. Instagram: @Dmkoziot.

The Affordable Care Act will be decided by the Supreme Court one week after her appointment. It was formerly known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and referred to as Obamacare. It was enacted by federal statute by the 111th United States Congress and signed into law by former President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.

The SCOTUS is a forum mainly of Yale and Harvard graduates on the bench. The Democratic Party showed concerns that  Barrett will not approve the Affordable Care Act. In addition, the judge’s religious views have been questioned as to if they will affect her decisions in implementing rules. 

Presently, on the SCOTUS are five Catholic justices: John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, and Brett Kavanaugh. Many worry with Barrett being elected that the court will sway mainly conservertative. Court-packing, a legislative initiative proposed to add more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court has been suggested to balance the court. However, it has only been enforced twice since being enacted by former President Franklin D. Roosevelt. 

Rick Garnett, a professor of political science and director of the Notre Dame Program on Church, State, and Society said, “Judges decide legal questions, not religious ones.”

Barrett stated in her opening statement on the first day of the hearing, “The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by political branches elected by, and accountable to the people. The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try.”

Barrett was confirmed October 26, and is the third judge appointed by President Donald J. Trump alongside with Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to form a 6-3 majority of Supreme Court justices. 

Democratic Presidential Nominee, Joe Biden said that he will pack the court if he is elected as president.   

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