With all the misinformation being spread through social media, news networks, and by officials—who should be telling the truth— it’s almost impossible to distinguish what’s important, and what is just plain lies.
On Saturday, Trump announced his replacement for Supreme Court Justice: Amy Coney Barrett. Until recently, it was filled by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a pioneer for women and LGBTQ+ rights, who tragically passed on September 18th due to complications from pancreatic cancer.
Barrett, a federal appellate judge and law professor at Notre Dame, has been referred to by some as the “Republicans dream,” due to her far-right stance on many issues. If Trump manages to appoint Barrett before the Presidential Election, this will become a high-priority feminist concern.
In the past, Conservative judges have surprised us with their more liberal votes. However, it is likely that this will not be the case with Barrett. In the final Presidential Debate, Trump states, “Well if we put another two, or perhaps three, justices on that’s really what’s going to – it will happen, and that’ll happen automatically in my opinion, because I am putting pro-life justices on the court” (source). This is in reference to the landmark Roe v. Wade case, which gave women a state-wide right to have an abortion. It is very likely that Barrett will overrule Roe v. Wade if given the chance.
Barrett’s stance on abortions may also spell certain doom for Planned Parenthood. In August of last year, the Trump Administration won a battle against Planned Parenthood, essentially placing a “gag order” on telling patients where they could get abortions. This resulted in Planned Parenthood pulling out of Title X, federal government funding. Now, all over America, federal courts are either blocking or accepting this rule. This imbalance will result in this case eventually being brought to the Supreme Court. If Barrett rules over this case, it might spell the end of federal funding for Planned Parenthood entirely, leaving millions of low-income women without family planning services (mainly health screenings and contraceptives). Alexis McGill Johnson, Planned Parenthood’s Action Fund President, released this statement,
“Donald Trump has made it clear that he would only appoint justices who would overturn Roe v Wade, and his administration is currently asking the Supreme Court to dismantle the Affordable Care Act – we can’t afford to see this nomination succeed. Nominating Amy Coney Barrett is a particular insult to the legacy of Justice Ginsburg. Barrett’s history of hostility toward reproductive health and rights, expanded health care access, and more demonstrate that she will put Justice Ginsburg’s long record of ensuring that everyone receives equal justice under the law at risk.” (source)
On November 10th, the Supreme Court will hear the latest challenge of the Affordable Care Act. Since the beginning of his Presidential run, Trump has pledged to repeal “Obamacare,” stating in a speech in 2016, “I’m going to ask Congress to send me a bill to immediately repeal and replace disastrous Obamacare”(source). Now, with Barrett being the possible 3rd judge placed on the Supreme Court, the possibility of the Affordable Care Act being overturned is much more likely. This decision would leave approximately tens of millions of Americans without healthcare coverage (Check out this source for more information).
Barrett is also a strong believer in the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. This year has seen over 300 mass shootings (as of July), triggering the public to call for gun control laws, something the Trump Administration has opposed time after time. Barrett’s stance on this issue will create problems for future Second Amendment court cases, not allowing the changes the public wants to see.
These are just a few issues that could arise as a result of Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation as Supreme Court Justice. Due to her young age, Barrett’s influence will be around for a long time. Ruth Bader Ginsberg fought for the rights of women, minorities and the LGBTQ+ community in the USA. In honour of Ginsberg, we must keep her memory alive. It is critical, now more than ever, to fight for our rights.