Amy Coney Barrett confirmed as next U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Amy Coney Barrett

The U.S. Senate voted tonight 52-48 to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Barrett will be the fifth woman in U.S. history to serve on the Court, and succeeds the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who passed away on September 18 after serving 27 years on the Court.

Justice Barrett graduated summa cum laude from Notre Dame Law School, and clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a well-known Constitutional “Originalist” who passed away in 2016.

Since 2010, Barrett has taught Notre Dame Law School as the Diane and M.O. Miller II Research Chair of Law, receiving a “distinguished professor of the year” award in 2010 and 2016. In 2017, Barrett was appointed by President Trump to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. In her confirmation hearings before the U.S. Senate, Senator Diane Feinstein expressed concerns Barrett, a practicing Catholic, might favor overruling Roe v. Wade, telling Barrett, “the dogma lives loudly within you.”

Barrett’s Catholic beliefs and pro-life views were again raised as a concern during her recent Senate hearings. Several senators questioned Barrett’s decision to sign a 2006 open letter as she came out of church, which opposed abortion on demand and defended the right to life. Barrett also becomes the sixth Catholic currently serving on the Court, in addition to Justice Neil Gorsuch who was raised Catholic but now attends Protestant services.

Asked by several senators whether she would overrule Roe v. Wade if confirmed, Barrett cited judicial ethics and the positions of previous Supreme Court nominees who refused to commit themselves to particular outcomes. Barrett said she would “follow the law” without bias.

Justice Barrett is also mother to seven children, two of whom are adopted, and one of whom has Down syndrome. She will be the first mother of school-aged children to serve on the Court.

When nominating Justice Barrett on September 26, President Trump remarked that she is, “a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials, and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution.” Barrett promised to, “discharge the judicial oath, which requires me to administer justice without respect to persons, do equal right to the poor and rich, and faithfully and impartially discharge my duties under the United States Consitution.”

Live Action founder and president Lila Rose stated in response:

I am hopeful that Justice Amy Coney Barrett, when given the opportunity, will acknowledge the obvious: there is absolutely no right to kill children found in the Constitution. The science is crystal clear: a human life in the womb is just as human as a life outside of the womb. The Constitution states that each of us must be given equal treatment under the law, and this includes children in the womb. Abortion is the greatest civil and human rights battle of our day.

Justices have played a role in preserving or restoring the rights and dignity of oppressed people groups throughout America’s history. Overruling Roe v. Wade and acknowledging the preborn child’s Constitutional right to life would be a crucial step toward making abortion unthinkable and finally granting the preborn child the legal protection she deserves. When given the opportunity, we hope that Justice Barrett will rule as if tens of millions of children’s lives depended on it — because they do.

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