On September 26, President Trump nominated U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Besides her numerous favorable recommendations and glowing reviews from her former students, Judge Barrett is eminently qualified for the position. She currently serves as a federal appellate judge, she has a long track record of teaching law, and she has served as a law clerk at the Supreme Court.
Most importantly, Judge Barrett has a record showing her support for the rule of law: judges rule based on the laws created by the people and their elected representatives, not writing laws based on their personal subjective whims.
Barrett’s nomination hearings are scheduled to begin on October 12. She was confirmed to her current position in 2017 by a bipartisan U.S Senate vote of 55 to 43.
At 48, Judge Barrett would be the youngest justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Amy and her husband Jesse have 7 children, including two children adopted from Haiti and a son with Down syndrome.
She graduated from Rhodes College in Tennessee with an English degree, and completed her juris doctorate with highest honors from Notre Dame Law School. She served as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and D.C. Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman. She taught law at Notre Dame Law School for 15 years, and also taught law at the University of Virginia and George Washington University.
Judge Barrett has faced three abortion cases. She joined a dissent to uphold Indiana’s laws banning targeted abortions on children with disabilities and ensuring the dignified disposition of fetal remains. She joined an opinion urging the Supreme Court to reconsider Hill v. Colorado, which restricts the free speech rights of sidewalk counselors at abortion facilities. She voted for the full 7th Circuit to rehear a challenge to an Indiana law requiring parental notification before a minor girl can get an abortion after a three-judge panel found the law to be unconstitutional.
In her private life, she had served as a board member at South Bend’s Trinity School at Greenlawn, and served on the St. Joseph Catholic Church Parish’s Pastoral Council. During her 2017 confirmation hearings, her faith became the focus of ridiculous attacks, including a famous line from Senator Diane Feinstein: “The dogma lives loudly within you.”
During her confirmation announcement, Judge Barrett described her judicial philosophy as following the rule of law: “I clerked for Justice Scalia more than 20 years ago, but the lessons I learned still resonate. His judicial philosophy is mine, too. A judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policymakers, and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they might hold.”