Over the weekend, President Trump announced his 3rd nominee for the Supreme Court just one day after RBG was laid to rest.
Amy Coney Barrett, a Trump-appointed judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals since 2017, has been nominated to replace Justice Ginsburg’s seat in the Supreme Court. Before becoming a judge, Barrett was a law professor at Notre Dame, her alma mater.
At 48, Barrett is a mother of seven and devout Catholic who has been noted to have a consistently conservative voting record in her 3 years as a judge, according to The Associated Press.
Barrett will be vetted before a Senate vote which will either confirm or deny the nominee. With a Republican-led Senate, Senate Majority Leader Mitchell McConnell already has the support of a majority of Republican Senators to confirm.
With less than 40 days left until the election, a rushed confirmation is not popular amongst most Americans. According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll, 57% of people polled said no one should be nominated for the Supreme Court until after the election. Only 38% agreed with the president nominating and Senate Republicans confirming before the election.
The Democrats have resorted to making an argument against Barrett by making the conversation about healthcare, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Barrett was a loud opposer of the Supreme Courts’ decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act in 2012, according to The New York Times. Many see this as a sign that Barrett could be the deciding vote in overturning the Obama-era ACA should she be confirmed before the hearings are scheduled in November.
According to The Associated Press, Barrett had many controversial opinions written in her 3 years on the Circuit Court.
On abortion, it is still unclear how Barrett would rule on laws that would restrict or limit abortions. One indicator is that President Trump vowed to only nominate pro-life judges early in his presidency. Barrett has also received praise from anti-abortion-right groups and opposition from reproductive rights advocates, according to NPR.
Another noteworthy opinion the judge had in 2019 was over a campus sexual assault case from Purdue University. The school sided with the female student who accused her boyfriend of sexual assault. Barrett criticized the university officials’ decision to side with the female student because the official, “never talked to Jane (female student)” and thus the case became a matter of “he said/she said”, according to The Associated Press.
The Senate is expected to vote on Barrett’s confirmation toward the end of October, only weeks before the election on November 3rd.