Why Was Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court Nomination So Controversial?
Donald Trump nominated Coney Barrett following the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on September 18, 2020. Ginsburg was one of only four liberal judges on the highest court, meaning if Coney Barrett—a conservative—is confirmed, the majority would sway toward the conservative.
If confirmed, Donald Trump will have filled three conservative seats to the high court during his four-year Presidential term.
The swift nomination of Coney Barrett was also called out for its hypocrisy, given what happened in 2016 with President Barack Obama—whereby the President was made to hold off on making an official Supreme Court nomination until the Presidential election was complete. In particular, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell—who is currently advocating for Coney Barrett's nomination—was particularly vocal at the time.
Throughout the nomination process, concerns have also been raised that Coney Barrett's judgment on certain cases could be swayed towards decisions that are aligned with her religious beliefs, which includes fears over changes to Roe vs. Wade, health care and LGBTQI+ rights.
What Are Amy Coney Barret's Views?
According to the Times, Coney Barrett is described as a "textualist," meaning "one who interprets the law based on its plain words, as opposed to someone who looks to accomplish the legislature’s purpose." Former colleagues and peers have also described her an "originalist," or "a judge who interprets the Constitution according to the understanding of those who drafted and ratified it."
What Does Roe Vs. Wade Have To Do With The Nomination?
Tump's insistence to fill the court with conservative judges has left many fearing for the right to safe and legal abortions across the U.S. and whether the Supreme Court would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that affirmed the constitutional right to abortion.
When it comes to Barrett's record on abortion, the Times reported that in 2016 the judge said "the core holding" of Roe v. Wade was not likely to change, though she said that state-specific restrictions might.
Per The New York Times, Coney Barrett has already considered three laws that restrict abortions in her home state of Indiana.
When Will Amy Coney Barrett Be Confirmed?
The Senate will vote Monday, October 26, 2020, on confirming Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.