Amy Coney Barrett by Rachel Malehorn / CC BY 3.0

Who is Amy Coney Barrett, the judge at the top of Trump’s list to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

Sep 21, 2020

By Colby Itkowitz

At the top of President Trump’s list to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court is U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a jurist in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia who fulfills nearly all criteria on conservatives’ wish list.

At 48 years old, Barrett could hold the lifetime seat for several decades. Trump’s first two nominees to the nation’s highest court, Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh, are in their 50s. Trump’s justices will potentially represent one-third of the Supreme Court for generations.

Why is she at the top of Trump’s list?

A devout Catholic who is fervently antiabortion, Barrett appeals to Trump’s conservative base. But Republicans also hope that for moderates such as Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), her gender makes her a more palatable replacement for Ginsburg, a feminist icon who spent her life fighting for gender equality.

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7 comments on “Who is Amy Coney Barrett, the judge at the top of Trump’s list to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

  • From the article above:

    Trump considered Barrett in 2018 to replace retired justice Anthony M. Kennedy, but reportedly said he was saving her for Ginsburg’s slot.

    Only a misogynistic psychopath would do that to us.

  • Hi Laurie

    Back when Barrett was nominated for the US Circuit Court, I remember George Will writing an op-ed that it was unconstitutional for her interrogators to question her religious affiliation. Basically, he was correct, but disingenuous. What needed to be made very clear to the public was the obvious conflict of interest of her published statements that the tenets of her faith would always supersede the US Constitution. Putting that idiot in the position of interpreting the Constitution is just plain stupid, and a thousand shames not only on the Republican reactionaries for wanting it, but also on her for apparently agreeing to it.

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  • Since Barrett has written plenty on the topic of devoutly Catholic judges and their obligations to their God and country, I feel no reluctance to discuss her statements. Also the obvious pandering of Trump to the Christian fanatics in this choice leads us into suspicion that the very characteristic that makes her so attractive to that bunch is what has moved her to the top of his list. Given those two points I see no reason not to oppose her on the basis of her extremist religious views.

    Would Americans accept to have a fundamentalist Muslim SC Justice? Would it be acceptable for Trump to be announcing proudly that he will nominate a woman to the SC only to find out that the woman he has in mind is a Muslim fundamentalist hijabi? What’s the difference? We need fundamentalists in the Supreme Court like we need a hole in the head.

    The Vox link above gives some explanation of just how interwoven her religious views are with her views of judicial behavior. It’s a very tight weave! A key concept is that although there is some guideline given for when an orthodox judge needs to recuse from a case, the appearance of impartiality is important and for the common folk, we could never be sure if that judge ruled on an important decision because it was legally the right thing to do or if the decision was religiously the right thing to do. There is no assumption that both are consistent.

    So if Barrett rules to overturn Wade v Roe, as she has stated that she would do, we the public, who are greatly affected by the decision, would never have any confidence that it was legally correct or theologically correct or both or neither.

    This is no way to interpret the law of this land. It’s a crap shoot at best.

    I’m disgusted at the degree to which theology, ideology and dogma have infected the government of this country.
    Completely. Disgusted.

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  • Hi Laurie.

    Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising,  that I have come across a fair few fervent conservative trump supporters,  obviously of a Protestant persuasion,   who foam at the mouth at the very idea  of  Joe Biden –  a   ‘goddam Catholic’ !!!  –  becoming  President,  on account of his supposed first loyalty being to the Vatican  rather than the US Constitution,  but apparently they have no such qualms over the preponderance of conservative Catholics on the Supreme Court.

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