Less than 72 hours after the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court — coincidentally, on the same day he met her. The federal appellate judge and former Notre Dame law professor has proven to be an extreme conservative with dangerous views and ideals that can endanger the country and women’s rights if she is to take Ginsburg’s seat.
Before Justice Ginsburg’s death, the nine justices were split half conservative and half liberal with one swing vote. The liberal justices included Sonya Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer and the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The conservative justices include: Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas. Chief Justice John Roberts has unexpectedly emerged as the swing vote.
With a conservative filling a liberal’s seat, it disrupts the balance, making Justice Roberts’ swing vote ineffective because the Supreme Court would lean right.
Trump planning to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat with Barrett diminishes the great legacy Ginsburg left behind. A true pioneer of women’s rights, Ginsburg laid the stepping-stones for gender equality. Because of Ginsburg, Barrett has the right to be a professor, judge and potential Supreme Court justice, and she will use those rights to destroy one of the most sacred and hard- fought rights a woman has: the reproductive rights to her body.
During the 2016 presidential debate, Trump said that he was pro-life and planned to overturn, Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision made by the Supreme Court in 1973 that gave women the right to an abortion.
“If we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that’s really what’s going to happen,” Trump said during the debate. “That will happen automatically, in my opinion, because I am putting pro-life justices on the court.”
President Trump followed through with his statement, nominating Neil Gorsuch in 2017, Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 and now Barrett in 2020, weeks before an election he could potentially lose. This reality makes this appointment push all-the-more pernicious.
What is most alarming is that Barrett has voiced her religiously influenced far-right views very prominently. With four other ultra-conservative justices, currently on the bench, a woman’s right to an abortion under Roe is dead in the water.
Justice Ginsburg stated at her 1993 Supreme Court confirmation hearings that an abortion “is something central to a woman’s life, to her dignity. It’s a decision she must make for herself. And when Government controls that decision for her, she’s being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.”
“Nominating Amy Coney Barrett is a particular insult to the legacy of Justice Ginsburg,” Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Alexis McGill Johnson said that nominating Barrett would be an insult to the legacy of Justice Ginsburg. Johnson worries that Barrett’s history regarding reproductive health rights and healthcare access will put all of Justice Ginsburg’s work to ensure everyone receives equal justice at risk.
Barrett, a devout Catholic, has not come out and given a definitive statement about her stance on abortion; however, her judicial record speaks for itself. In the mere three years sitting on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, Barrett has routinely voted to uphold restrictions on abortion-related cases.
Barrett has made many statements referring to abortion, not as the law of the land or settled law under the judicial doctrine of stare decisis, but rather, as “immoral,” maintaining that life starts at conception. These views are more aligned with her religion than the U.S. Constitution.
They also mirror the conservative views of her mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, whom she worked for as a law clerk from 1998 to 1999.
Katie Watson, an attorney and bioethicist at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine , expects Barrett to overrule Roe v. Wade.
“I think the best evidence of her position on Roe v. Wade is that President Trump has said he will only appoint justices who are committed to reversing Roe, and there’s no reason not to believe him,” Watson said in a recent interview with NPR.
If Barrett’s destructive intentions for women’s rights do not sufficiently scare the American people, consider also what a complete and utter hypocrite she is. In February 2016, Barrett appeared in an interview with CBS following the death of Justice Scalia. She discussed the Senate’s role in confirming a new Jjustice. At the time, President Barack Obama planned to replace Justice Scalia with Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, known as a moderate and politically connected judge.
“We’re talking about Justice Scalia, the staunchest conservative on the court, and we’re talking about him being replaced by someone who could dramatically flip the balance of power on the court,” Barrett said in the interview.
That was in 2016, when a moderate would be replacing a conservative. But today, Barrett is accepting Trump’s nomination as an extreme conservative replacing a legendary liberal.
It appears that flipping the balance of power is not nearly so much of an outrage when the person facilitating the “flip” is her. The hypocrisy of not only Barrett, but of the entire Republican Party is a disgrace.
What United States Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell and the rest of the party so strongly advocated for in 2016, namely, that no Supreme Court Justice nominee be considered in the last year of a President’s term in deference to the voting will of the American people, is now only a distant memory.
It is sickening how Barrett and McConnell’s “principles” are binding, unless those “principles” affect them negatively. It would appear that Barrett’s hypocrisy and thirst for destroying the rights of women is evidence of that time-honored maxim: “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Meet your new Supreme Court, America.
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