Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Not the Right Candidate


Rachel Malehorn, Smugmug

Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

Former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death gives President Donald Trump the opportunity to replace her seat on the Supreme Court. President Trump has chosen a conservative judge, Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee. If Judge Barrett is approved by the Senate, the Supreme Court would have a 6-3 Republican majority.
Barrett is a conservative woman, unlike the liberal Justice Ginsburg. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be replaced by a woman who walked through every door that Ginsburg opened for her so she can promptly use her position to shut them all for others behind her,” tweeted author and journalist Lousie Ahern.
In 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell argued that former President Barack Obama should not be able to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, left by former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, because it was his last year in office. “This vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,” was McConnell’s statement in February of 2016. However, he is now pushing for the vacancy left by Justice Ginsburg to be filled immediately, while President Trump is still in office. According to USA Today, just days before her death, Ginsburg stated to her granddaughter that “my most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
The 2016 vacancy and the vacancy today are extremely similar, as both have happened during an election year. McConnell’s push for the seat to be filled has led to great outrage from many people, including many Democratic political figures. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stated in a tweet, “All our rights are on the line. To protect them, everyday people must mobilize in unprecedented ways to keep the SCOTUS vacancy open & win back the White House + Senate.”
Similarly, the Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted, “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.” This is the same statement that Sen. Mitch McConnell made in 2016 when asked about filling the Supreme Court vacancy left by Antonin Scalia. I believe that McConnell’s push for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat to be filled is a prime example of hypocrisy in our government.
Judge Barrett is a member of a religious group, People of Praise. According to The Associated Press, Barrett’s name and all references to her were removed from the group’s website following President Trump announcing Barrett as a candidate. The People of Praise is a group of extremely conservatrive Christians, with branches in the US, Canada and the Carribean. The group promotes misogynistic and homophobic views, going as far as staing that the husband should be the “head” of the family. Tim Kaiser, who grew up in the the group and left at 18, told Newsweek, “the submission to your husband bit is not negotiable or figurative.”
I believe that Judge Barrett poses a risk to this country’s belief of a separation of church and state. In a 1998 article co-written by Judge Barrett, she stated, “(Catholic judges) are also obliged to adhere to their church’s teaching on moral matters.” She stated in 2017 that, “I would stress that my personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear in the discharge of my duties as a judge.”
I do not trust Judge Barrett will separate her religion from her choices as Supreme Court Justice. Barrett’s beliefs as a judge are directly reflective of the beliefs of the Catholic Church, as stated in her 1998 article. I expect that Judge Barrett’s appointment to the Supreme Court will leave millions of American’s without proper access to healthcare. Throughout Barrett’s career she has shown interest in exhausting abortion rights, but not outlawing the medical practice altogether.
Barrett’s inability to completely separate her church and the law could mean bad things for many oppressed groups. President Trump asked the Supreme Court to invalidate the affordable care act in June. With a 6-3 republican majority SCOTUS on his side, he could succeed in doing so. The American people’s rights are on the line, which is why I believe that Judge Barrett is the wrong choice in replacing Justice Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court.