Who is Amy Coney Barrett?

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Label’s Editor Emily Jackson gives a rundown of President Donald Trump’s latest (and very controversial) nomination to the Supreme Court

As we near closer and closer to the 2020 US Presidential election, let’s take a look at who exactly Donald Trump’s newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice is.

After the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who served in the Supreme Court from 1993, many believe that Donald Trump has used her death as an advantage as he had placed his nominee forward, almost immediately, as a ninth vacancy appeared. Ahead of the election, Trump could use this opportunity to make the court more right wing as he faces Joe Biden on 3rd November. However, Barrett’s views on topics such as abortion and gun ownership have caused an even bigger division between the right and the left.

Who is Amy Coney Barrett?

At 48 years old, Amy Coney Barrett is now the youngest Supreme Court Justice and she will be there for years to come. As becoming the 115th Justice, she is just the 5th woman to serve in the Supreme Court. As well as becoming the youngest member of the Supreme Court, she is also the first mother of school-aged children; her and her husband have seven children together. In regards to education, Barrett is also the only member of the Court to not have graduated from the Ivy League of universities. She also worked as a professor for much of her career at her alma mater, Notre Dame, in which she won many awards for her work. As she spent much of her time as a professor, she spent just three years on the bench as a federal appeals court judge. As a devout Catholic, Barrett has insisted multiple times that her faith does not influence her work however, many believe that her strong right-wing views have a lot to do with her strong, Catholic beliefs.

What are her views?

President Donald Trump said that he had been “saving her” for this moment of nomination. Her beliefs and views will undoubtedly cause controversy within the court as well as throughout America. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was incredibly reliable to the left-wing politicians with a history of liberal voting, Barrett will contribute massively to the right-wing beliefs already present in the court.

Barrett describes herself as an originalist when it comes to her work as a Judge. This means that one should interpret the US Constitution as the authors intended and not move with the times and having a modern interpretation.

Barrett’s views on abortion was the deal breaker for many who support and oppose her. She voted in favour of a law which specified that a doctor would have to inform the parents of a minor seeking an abortion, with no exceptions whatsoever. Similarly, she also called for a state law to be re-heard which attempted to ban abortions relating to: race, sex, disability or life-threatening health conditions.

Healthcare is another controversial factor as to how many view Barrett and her beliefs. This is incredibly important for voters as the Supreme Court is to rule on the legality of the Affordable Care Act, which was brought in by Obama, in November. The act itself was historical in American politics as it gave millions of people insurance coverage to American healthcare. If Obamacare disappears, it could leave millions of Americans without healthcare in a middle of a pandemic.

The right to bear arms is controversial for both the right-wing and left-wing member of politics and American society. Barrett, with her right-wing views, is a hit with gun rights supporters as she has been praised for her thirty-seven page dissent in regards to a man who had pleaded guilty to mail fraud and was barred from owning a gun again. She challenged these state laws arguing that it should only be dangerous individuals who should not be allowed to own a gun. In regards to her personal life, Barrett also said that she and her family are gun-owners.

Defending herself on multiple occasions, Barrett claims that her faith does not influence her political career or judicial practices. However, another topic which has caused much controversy within her beliefs is LGBT rights. One of the most recent controversies is her link with the incredibly conservative Christian faith group: People of Praise. Since Barrett has spent very little time on the bench, she hasn’t voiced many of her views and beliefs however, her link to this particular group has caused quite a storm in the US press. Many LGBT organisations and groups have flagged that the group she is linked to have a network of schools. These schools have guidelines which state that sexual relations should only happen between married, heterosexual couples.

What does this mean?

Many believe that Barrett’s appointment as a new Supreme Court Justice may take America back in time rather than being more progressive and move with the times. With six Justices appointed by a Republican president, Barrett’s new role may be pivotal for the Presidential Election and will be a contributing factor as to whether Trump will be re-elected or not.

 

Header by Frankie Stevens – Head of Design

Article edited by Connor Wade – Political Editor

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Label Political Editor 2020-22

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