U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett reacts as U.S President Donald Trump holds an event to announce her as his nominee to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on September 18, at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 26, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court in a Rose Garden press conference on Saturday. Her nomination comes following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Barrett attended and spoke at the event, accompanied by her husband Jesse and seven children. The family of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who Barrett clerked for in the 1990s, was also in attendance.

“She is a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution,” Trump said. Barrett is a member of the Chicago-based Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She was appointed in 2017 and confirmed in the Senate by a vote of 55-43. At the time of the appointment, numerous Supreme Court clerks submitted a letter supporting Barrett.

In her remarks, Barrett said she was “deeply honored” and said she would serve in the model of the late Justice Scalia. “A judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policymakers, and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they may hold.” Her confirmation would cement a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court.

Ahead of the official nomination, numerous outlets discussed Barrett’s adoption of two Haitian children. Author Ibram Kendi posted a series of tweets “challenging the idea that White parents of kids of color are inherently ‘not racist.'” Meghan McCain, co-host of “The View” and daughter of late-Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), warned Democrats not to politicize adoption in connection with Barrett’s family.

Democrats and multiple organizations centered around abortion and LGBTQ rights oppose Barret’s nomination. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden stated that Barrett is “a jurist with a written track record of disagreeing with the Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act.” Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), two of the 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, will not hold informational meetings with Barrett. The Human Rights Campaign outlined her “hostility toward LGBTQ right in her words and rulings” and said, “If she is nominated and confirmed, Barrett would work to dismantle all that Ginsburg fought for during her extraordinary career.” Many have also discussed Barrett’s association with People of Praise, a Christian group, and have suggested her beliefs could “overshadow her ability to administer unconflicted jurisprudence” on topics such as abortion or contraception.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Trump “could not have made a better decision.” Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham praised Barrett as “highly qualified in all the areas that matter – character, integrity, intellect, and judicial disposition.” Hearings will begin on Oct. 12. 

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story misspelled Amy Coney Barrett. It has been corrected.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

How Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court could affect LGBTQ rights – Vox – 9/26/2020
“Maybe things have changed so that we should change Title IX,” Barrett said during the lecture. “Maybe those arguing in favor of this kind of transgender bathroom access are right. … But it does seem to strain the text of the statute to say that Title IX demands it, so is that the kind of thing that the court should interpret the statute to update it to pick sides on this policy debate? Or should we go to our Congress?”

In Amy Coney Barrett, Trump Picks an Exacting Scholar for Supreme Court – The Daily Signal – 9/26/2020
Speaking days before the 2016 election about what impact the next president would have on the Supreme Court, Barrett declared, “People should not look to the Supreme Court as a super Legislature. They should look at the Court as an institution that interprets our laws and protects the rule of law, but doesn’t try to impose policy preferences – that’s the job of Congress and the president.” Barrett’s record gives every indication that she would do just that, and would put the law above her personal views.

Trump makes it official: Controversial Amy Coney Barrett will be his next appointee to the Supreme Court – RawStory – 9/26/2020
The left-leaning government watchdog group Accountable US was unimpressed with the reported choice. “Barrett has proven time and again that protecting businesses — not people — is her top priority,” said group president Kyle Herrig.

President Trump Nominates Amy Coney Barrett To Supreme Court – Daily Caller – 9/26/2020
The Supreme Court nominee has been frank about prioritizing her Catholic faith. “If you can keep in mind that your fundamental purpose in life is not to be a lawyer, but to know, love and serve God,” Barrett said during a 2006 commencement address to Notre Dame law students, “you truly will be a different kind of lawyer.”

It’s Official: Trump Nominates Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court – Reason – 9/26/2020
Barrett’s judicial portfolio at this point is somewhat scant, as her appointment to the Seventh Circuit came after a career as an academic at George Washington University Law School and Notre Dame Law School. Thus far, the judge’s record is a mixed bag when it comes to criminal cases. Two of her opinions are somewhat encouraging: one in which she concluded that the Second Amendment does not allow a blanket prohibition on gun ownership for those with felony records, and another in which she gutted a qualified immunity defense used by a detective who allegedly framed someone for murder.

Trump introduces Amy Coney Barrett as nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Axios – 9/26/2020
In her academic writings, public appearances and decisions as a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Barrett has staked out conservative positions on a host of issues, including the Affordable Care Act, gun control legislation and immigration, Axios’ Sam Baker reports. While she has not ruled directly on abortion, abortion-rights opponents have reason to believe she’s on their side based on her religious background and past public statements.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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