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Amy Coney Barrett: A Look at the President’s Nominee for the Supreme Court

By: Charley Albert

After the passing of Supreme Court Justice and women’s rights legend Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Trump promptly announced his nomination to fill the highly regarded seat. 

One important detail in this nomination is how quickly the Trump administration intends to push their candidate through. Democrats believe that this would be an act of extreme hypocrisy. Just a few years ago the Obama administration was in a similar position, where the Republican Party strongly advised them against filling the seat and prohibited them from doing so. However, many Republicans believe that the current situation is different, even unprecedented. Majority leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, stated their case: because the GOP has control over both the White House and the Senate, these two instances are not the same.

As an interesting side note: Justice Ginsburg’s final wishes were that her seat not be filled until after the upcoming election.

In order for a nominated candidate to be inaugurated, an important process takes place. It begins with a senate judiciary committee that conducts a very serious background check; they are tasked with weighing whether or not the nominee in question is suitable for the position. After this, hearings are held at which senators may interview the candidate. Finally, the previously mentioned judiciary committee has the choice to give their recommendation of the candidate, and with this information the senators will take a vote.

The President’s nomination has caused even more political unrest throughout the country, plenty of headlines and rumors have been floating around the media and social media feeds. In today’s society, it is very difficult to find unbiased sources, and it’s difficult to form a truly original opinion. The intent of this piece is so that the audience may form their own opinions after reading it.

“crsreports.congress.gov”

Amy Coney Barrett, from New Orleans, graduated from Notre Dame Law School where she continues to work as a professor. Barrett has also worked on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals as a justice, and as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia.

If her position were to be confirmed then Barrett would be the only justice with young children on the high court, and she would surely make the court conservative leaning. She is also very passionate about applying the constitution to today’s society, she desires to use it in the way that she believes the founding fathers would have.

In the past, Barrett has been an advocate for people’s Second Amendment rights. In the case, Kanter v. Barr, she made clear her feelings: She believes that unless a violent threat to society, all citizens deserve gun rights. In this specific case, the citizen in question was a felon who had committed mail fraud, his right to bear arms was redacted. He appealed this ruling to a higher court, in the end they ruled against him. Barret disagreed. She thought that the loss of the man’s Second Amendment right was unconstitutional because his crimes were not physically dangerous.

In another case, U.S. v. Terry, members of the Drug Enforcement Administration had entered and searched Dimitris Terry’s apartment. However, a third party had allowed them to enter the apartment instead of Terry himself. Since it wasn’t Terry, the owner of the property, who gave permission to let the agents enter, it was argued that his rights granted by the Fourth Amendment were violated. Amy Coney Barret demonstrated her belief that the information uncovered by the agents couldn’t be ethically used, that it was a constitutional violation.

Both of the cases listed above show Barrett’s feeling about the constitution. As a judge, she believes in interpreting it in the way that it was originally written; she has even shared her opinion that the constitution should have more dominance than past case precedents. While many people can side with this reasoning, others are opposed to it because the constitution was written a very long time ago, for a much smaller nation than today’s.

A quote from Barrett summed up her judicial method quite nicely: “A judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policymakers, and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they might hold.”

It is very likely that the United States of America will soon see Amy Coney Barrett as a member of the highest court. The people can only hope that she will act in a way that supports the best interest of the country despite any views she may have.

Sources:

https://www.npr.org/sections/supreme-court-nomination/2020/10/01/916644231/how-a-barrett-confirmation-would-compare-to-past-supreme-court-timelines

https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=7220197-Amy-Coney-Barrett-Senate-Questionnaire

https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/amy-coney-barretts-judicial-record-criminal-justice-cases

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/11/amy-coney-barrett-opening-statement-supreme-court-428635

http://media.ca7.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/rssExec.pl?Submit=Display&Path=Y2019/D03-15/C:18-1478:J:Flaum:aut:T:fnOp:N:2309276:S:0

http://media.ca7.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/rssExec.pl?Submit=Display&Path=Y2019/D02-14/C:18-1305:J:Barrett:aut:T:fnOp:N:2293819:S:0

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