By Megan Loock
Elm Staff Writer
On Sept. 26, eight days after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the Court’s empty seat. The announcement was made a month before the 2020 presidential election.
If Barrett gets the Senate’s majority vote by Nov. 2, she would be the third Supreme Court justice confirmed under the Trump administration.
Many Democrats are concerned about how Barrett will vote on issues regarding women’s rights, particularly abortion.
Barrett is openly pro-life, which she has a constitutional right to be forthcoming about. But many are concerned that she will project her conservative views onto decisions that will affect women across the nation.
On Oct. 3, 1,500 alumni of Barrett’s alma mater Rhodes College signed a letter that questioned Barrett’s qualifications for the job as a Supreme Court Justice.
“We oppose this embrace because we believe both her record and process that has produced her nomination are diametrically opposed to the values of truth, loyalty, and service that we learned at Rhodes,” the letter said.
Despite the questions surrounding Barrett’s qualifications, the Grand Old Party is still persistent for a speedy confirmation before the November election.
Trump seems to believe that the nomination could boost him in the polls because it shows his dedication to female voices inAmerica. In reality, Barrett’s nomination demonstrates the opposite.
In 2006, Barrett signed a newspaper ad that was sponsored by an anti-abortion group which said that she opposed “‘abortion on demand’ and defended ‘the right to life from fertilization to the end of life,’” according to the Associated Press.
While adding her signature to the ad was Barrett’s first amendment right, it increases discussion surrounding her ethics, especially as an interpreter of the law. By publicly announcing her own beliefs, Barrett has made evident explicit red flags that call into question her ability to uphold the collective interest of the people, tainting the faith that she is as unbiased as a judge should be.
The issues posed by religious views of Supreme Court Justices have been in public discussion for decades.
“It’s because the Catholic vote can be relatively predictable on abortion,” Marci Hamilton, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, told NPR.
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was openly against abortion, but in Pennsylvania v. Casey in 1992, she preserved the precedent set by Roe v. Wade. Although Barrett is openly against abortion, it is possible that she may not vote to reverse it.
“There may soon be five votes on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, but the Justices will have to think twice about reversing the precedent of now nearly a half century,” The New Yorker’s Evan Thomas said.
Those who question Barrett’s motivations are still valid. The Supreme Court’s credibility relies on predictability, which is why Trump is using his push for Barrett to get his way one last time before the election.
“Trump advisors and allies are pushing so hard to vote before the election is a sign many of them believe he is likely to lose, and therefore the votes won’t be there post election day,” The New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted on Sept. 30.
It is important to note that Trump did not nominate Barrett because of her beliefs, but because of the votes she will be able to secure him.
Barrett is Trump’s last chance to seize reelection. He has tokenized her as a campaign promise built on the threat of women’s reproductive rights.
“Barrett’s life challenges the feminist notion that fertility and children are a drain on a woman’s ambition,” Rachel Campos Duffy of Fox News said.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg will forever be known as a trailblazer for women’s rights and equality. While Barrett’s nomination may add another female voice to the Court, she does not tailor to all women.
Featured Photo caption: President Trump recently named his Supreme Court nominee as Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a right-wing judge with a history of infringing on abortion rights and same-sex marriage. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.