Donald Trump's Supreme Court Candidate
By Bikram Bains
Amy Coney Barret is Donald Trump's Supreme Court Candidate
After her long fight with cancer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on September 18th this year. She was a feminist icon who had fought for equality all her life. Her commitment to upholding the constitution was so strong that she showed up to court in between chemotherapy sessions for her pancreatic cancer. While most saw her death as a tragedy, some saw it as an opportunity.
Less than 48 hours after her death, Donald Trump started to push for a new Supreme Court nominee to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat. His nominee for the position is Federal Appeals Court Judge, Amy Coney Barret. As of now, Republicans have made unprecedented moves, and voted her in before the November election.
Who is Amy Coney Barret? She is a graduate from Notre Dame Law School who later went on to work under famously conservative Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia. She shared many of the same beliefs as Scalia and is known as the female version of him. Like the other justices, Barret believes that it is her duty to uphold the constitution. She interprets the words in the Constitution in a literal sense, the same way as Antonin Scalia. She also stated that she values precedents set by the Constitution, compared to previous court rulings. She is a Catholic, but has made it clear that her faith and personal opinions will not affect her decisions.
Regardless of her beliefs and interpretations, most of her rulings will ultimately be favorable for conservatives. She opposes abortion, regardless of the court precedent, because she sees it as unconstitutional. She also opposes free healthcare programs. She has also been called out for her hypocrisy by a former classmate at Notre Dame Law School, Kathleen Ley Bruinsma. In 2016 when Barack Obama tried to nominate Merrick Garland to take Antonin Scalia’s seat, Amy Coney Barret was one of the people who opposed the decision because it was too close to a presidential election. Now, she is a part of the same process she criticized four years ago. Her loyalty to a political party seems to take priority over her loyalty to the constitution. Despite what she says about her beliefs and how she will uphold the constitution, this blatant hypocrisy casts a lot of doubt on what she claims are her values.
It is not hard to see why Republicans want her in the Supreme Court. Now that they succeed, there will be a conservative majority for years to come. Given that Amy Coney Barret is relatively young, it will give Republicans control over court precedents for a long long time. Right now, the legislation that protects children’s health and women’s reproduction rights are at stake. There is not only a conflict of ideas, but of principles and how public servants will conduct themselves. Donald Trump has set a dangerous example of how political parties can manipulate the Supreme Court.