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Amy Coney Barrett

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WASHINGTON, D.C., September 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — American media reported this evening that President Donald Trump will nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court tomorrow. 

The Hill reported, “President Trump will nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court on Saturday barring any last second change, multiple people familiar with the process confirmed to The Hill.”

The New York Times was even more confident, with its headline (as of 9:28 P.M. Eastern time) declaring, “Trump Selects Amy Coney Barrett to Fill Ginsburg’s Seat on the Supreme Court.”

Barrett is a former University of Notre Dame law professor and Catholic mother of seven who became famous when Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) interrogated her about her Catholic faith during her confirmation hearing for the Seventh Circuit in 2017. Axios reported last year that Trump privately said he was “saving her” to replace Ginsburg.

If she is indeed appointed by Trump and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Barrett will be the first pro-life woman to sit on the high court.

“Mr. Trump said this week that he had five top contenders, but he is only known to have met with Barrett, and he saw her twice in the week since Ginsburg died, on Monday and on Tuesday,” CBS News noted.

A former clerk for the late conservative stalwart Justice Antonin Scalia, Barrett is widely regarded as a pro-life originalist. She was a member of Notre Dame’s Faculty for Life group, signed a 2015 letter expressing  “solidarity with our sisters in the developing world against what Pope Francis has described as ‘forms of ideological colonization which are out to destroy the family,’” and is reported to have signed another letter published by Becket Law criticizing the Obama administration’s contraception mandate.

Revolver News further notes that Barrett has taken the conservative and/or originalist stance in written positions on hot-button issues such as due process for sexual assault claims on college campuses, the right to bear arms, and immigration. Perhaps most encouragingly, Barrett has also written multiple articles critical of the stare decisis doctrine, which grants weight to past rulings’ status as precedent, regardless of whether they were rightly decided.

There is no doubt that the fight over Barrett’s confirmation will be bitter. This week, a number of hit pieces on People of Praise, a charismatic group with which Barrett is affiliated, surfaced, with some leftists insinuating or outright claiming (incorrectly) that the Christian group inspired Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale 

Despite Barrett’s popularity among conservatives, some have also expressed doubts about her. Last year, conservative Catholic writer John Zmirak wrote that she was “not a safe pick” because of an article she wrote in law school with her then-professor, John Garvey, arguing that a Catholic judge would have to recuse herself when asked to impose the death penalty on someone.  

While (as noted above) Barrett has presided over immigration cases without recusing herself (and has voted to uphold executions more than once), Zmirak argued that Barrett might reverse course should Catholic authorities such as Pope Francis move to make their left-wing views official Catholic doctrine.

Barrett addressed the article in her confirmation hearings for the Seventh Circuit, explaining that “I was very much the junior partner in our collaboration” and that it does not reflect “how I think about these questions today with … the benefit of 20 years of experience and also the ability to speak solely in my own voice[.] … I cannot think of any cases or category of cases in which I would feel obliged to recuse on grounds of conscience.”

On Wednesday, Zmirak wrote that Barrett has “proved better than her word” on the Seventh Circuit, leading him to “withdraw my previous questions about her fitness.”

Others have raised concerns over Barrett joining a panel ruling that denied the Illinois Republican Party’s request for an emergency stay of the governor’s 50-person limit on religious gatherings. Attorney Robert Barnes takes this as evidence she’s an “authoritarian”; Barrett-defenders such as National Review’s Ed Whelan argue that the decision merely applied the legal criteria necessary for a stay.


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