Everything You Need to Know About Amy Coney Barrett

While much of the country still mourns the passing of feminist icon Justice Ruth Badger Ginsburg, President Donald Trump has already chosen a potential new justice to replace her: conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett. While Ginsburg was a champion for women’s rights, many advocates for reproductive rights say Barrett is on a path to reverse all of the liberal-leaning Ginsburg’s work. If confirmed, Barrett would initiate a significant shift toward a right-leaning Supreme Court, with Republican justices outnumbering Democrats 6-3. Here’s the fast facts you need to know about Barrett before a possible confirmation.  

  1. 1. Her past work

    Barrett formerly worked as a clerk for the highly conservative former Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia after graduating law school. Scalia was known to hold strong anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion views, and some say Barrett’s work in the Supreme Court could echo such sentiments. She then worked as a law professor at the University of Notre Dame. In 2017, she was nominated as a judge to the seventh circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals by President Trump, where she currently serves.

  2. 2. Religious influence

    As Barrett is a devout Catholic, many have expressed concern that Barrett would bring her religious ideals to the Supreme Court. While Barrett is on the record saying that she’d “never impose her own personal convictions upon the law” conflicting information has been brought to the table. In 2012, Barrett spoke to Notre Dame law school graduates about being a “different kind of lawyer” where she said, “a legal career is but a means to an end…and that end is building the Kingdom of God.” 

  3. 3. Her views on abortion

    Barrett's record reflects steady pro-life views, dating back to 2006 in which she signed her name on an ad in her local newspaper that called the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that granted women the right to an abortion “barbaric.” In 2013, she expressed the hallmark conservative view that “life begins at conception” in a Notre Dame Magazine article. Though Barrett has since stated that Roe v. Wade would likely not be overturned, she has said that the implications regarding how and when women could receive an abortion could be changed. Yet, this makes it more difficult to predict exactly how Barrett would rule on decisions regarding abortion—especially after Trump has said he would only appoint justices who are commited to reversing Roe v. Wade. 

  4. 4. Her views on healthcare

    Barrett has repeatedly struck down on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), criticizing Chief Justice Roberts on his decision to uphold the statue. With the Supreme Court’s upcoming hearing about the constitutionality of the ACA, having Barrett in the Supreme Court could mean a serious threat to the availability of healthcare to many Americans.

  5. 5. She’d likely serve for generations to come

    Barrett is only 48 years old, which would make her the youngest justice on the Supreme Court if confirmed. Since Supreme Court justices have life tenure, Barrett's influence could last for years to come, even after the Trump era has ended.  

The decision to nominate a new Supreme Court justice before the presidential election is one that has been heavily criticized, especially because no Supreme Court justice has ever been nominated so close to the presidential election. With less than a month left until the election, we can only wait to see how the confirmation will play out.