By Lenin O’Mahony
On October 26, 2020, Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed and sworn into the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Justice Barrett’s confirmation gives the Supreme Court a heavier conservative leaning, with six conservative leaning justices to the three liberal leaning judges. This change in the highest court in the nation has many Democratic Party leaders in America seriously concerned about cases involving healthcare, abortion, and LGBTQ+ issues.
Justice Barrett is just the fifth female justice to serve in the history of the Supreme Court, against the 109 total men who have served as Justices in the history of the court. She is just 48 years old, and is the mother to seven children, two of whom were adopted from Haiti, and her youngest biological child has down syndrome. Justice Barrett, along with her husband, are both practicing Catholics. Justice Barrett attended Rhodes College and Notre Dame Law School, graduating top of her class from Notre Dame, among other honors.
Throughout the Senate hearings debating Justice Barrett’s confirmation, many Democrats expressed great concern about her ability to separate her religious faith from the law and constitution. Justice Barrett however, was careful to express in her swearing in ceremony speech, that her personal beliefs and faith would not interfere with her ability to carry out her responsibilities defending and interpreting the constitution and the legality of cases that go before the court. Her insistence in being able to perform as an unbiased Justice has done little to appease many concerned citizens and members of congress.
Supporters of Justice Barrett however, were quick to celebrate her confirmation as a great victory. Many supporters had clothing, signs, and flags bearing the phrase “The Dogma Lives Loudly Within Me” a phrase initially used to critique how clearly one could see Amy Coney Barretts religious beliefs in her life. The phrase has since been embraced by the Catholic community and by supporters of ACB, and was quickly commercialized through the internet.
Throughout the entire process of making Justice Barret a member of the Supreme Court, Democrats have voiced concerns about the hypocrisy of how quickly Republicans have pushed to confirm Justice Barrett, when those same Senate Republicans blocked President Obama's Supreme Court nominee in 2016. This was at a time when President Obama had ten months left in office, however Republicans argued that the next Justice should be decided by the next president, and it would be unfair for a President in his last year of office to choose the replacement judge. Contrasted with the confirmation of Justice Barrett roughly a week from the election, it is no surprise that Democrats felt the situation was unfair.
Melanie Moyer '22,