Trump’s Supreme Court Pick: Amy Coney Barrett


Shealah Craighead/White House/Creative Commons

“President Trump Nominates Judge Amy Coney Barrett for Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Aayan Khan, Staff Member

President Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett to replace Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, who passed away almost two weeks ago, on the bench of the Supreme court. The nomination of the former lawyer has brought many complications to Washington, especially as the election draws near. 

Amy Coney Barret was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on January 28, 1972. She is happily married and a mother of 7, including two kids she adopted from Haiti. She went to Rhodes College to get a major in English literature, and Notre Dame Law School to study law, where she was first in her class. She spent two years each as a judicial clerk for Judge Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and Justice Scalia of the Supreme Court. She practiced law at Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin, where she worked on Bush v. Gore. Barret, then, served as an associate professor at George Washington University Law School, until coming back to her alma mater, Notre Dame, as a professor of law. She entered federal judicial service on May 8, 2017, when President Trump nominated her for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. 

The federal judge is known for her far-right, conservative views on important issues such as abortion, healthcare, gun rights, and the death penalty. Barret is a practicing Catholic, which some say has played a factor in many of her decisions. As the Supreme Court was somewhat evenly balanced before the passing of Justice Bader-Ginsburg, with 4 liberals, 4 conservatives, and 1 swing vote, this new step taken by the Trump administration has lasting effects. Even if President Trump loses this election, but can get Barret through before, she will be on the bench, making it a huge win for Republicans and conservatives. Barret, a woman in her late 40s, would be on the bench for at least a couple decades, making key court cases victories for the Republicans. The perspective of Democrats and liberals on this issue is that a justice shouldn’t be nominated this soon before the election, as it is the choice of the American people as to whether they want the current administration to pick in the first place. Many people are citing the situation in 2016, when Justice Scalia passed away and President Obama wanted to push through a candidate, but the Republican-held Senate were using the same reasoning Democrats are using now. The irony has led to much distrust and confusion in the Senate, leaving the American people with no clear answer.

Whether you believe that the current administration should be able to push through a nomination this close to the election, or that it should be up to the American people, the politics Washington is playing right now, without a doubt, will have effects we can’t even imagine for the decades to come. So, it is up to us to determine whether this is the America we want to live in or not.