Home Christian News Who Is Amy Coney Barrett? A Closer Look at Trump’s SCOTUS Nominee

Who Is Amy Coney Barrett? A Closer Look at Trump’s SCOTUS Nominee

A Look at Key Issues 

While Barrett’s background offers some insight into her beliefs and judicial philosophy, history shows it’s not always easy to predict how nominees will rule once they’re on the SCOTUS bench.

Barrett has said it’s “very unlikely at this point” that Roe v. Wade will be overturned, yet abortion foes are thrilled by her nomination. “Her religious convictions are pro-life, and she lives those convictions,” says U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz. While serving on the Seventh Circuit, based in Chicago, Barrett ruled that the law permits restrictions on abortion.

Professor Brian Fitzpatrick, who clerked for Scalia, says of Barrett: “She is sympathetic to Justice Scalia’s methods, but I don’t get the sense that she is going to be a philosophical leader on how those methods should be executed.” He adds, “I’m sure she thinks that Roe v. Wade is not a well-reasoned Supreme Court decision; the hard question is whether she would be willing to overturn it.”

Just one week after the presidential election, SCOTUS will hear arguments about the legality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Barrett was critical of Chief Justice Roberts’ 2012 opinion that upheld the act and has called its birth control mandate a “grave violation of religious freedom.”

Barrett has defended gun ownership, saying convicted felons who aren’t deemed dangerous don’t automatically lose their Second Amendment rights. While on the Seventh Circuit, she voted to let death-penalty executions proceed. She dissented in a case that upheld a block of President Trump’s so-called “public charge” rule, which could shed light on future immigration-related rulings. And Barrett ruled in favor of a Purdue student who was suspended for allegations of sexual violence.

Expect Heated Ideological Debates

The National Organization of Women, Planned Parenthood, and many Democrats are taking strong stands against Barrett’s SCOTUS nomination. On Saturday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), said, “Justice Ginsburg must be turning over in her grave up in heaven to see that the person that they chose seems to be intent on undoing all the things that Ginsburg did.”

But the conservative National Review writes that “if the case against Barrett [that Democrats] have made so far were a lawsuit, it would be thrown out of court as frivolous.” It adds that by candidly aligning herself with Scalia, she “will obliterate any argument from Senate Democrats about how they need more time to discover why Amy Coney Barrett truly believes about the Constitution.”