Amy Coney Barrett: Everything You Need To Know About The New Supreme Court Judge

Léonie Chao-Fong
·2 min read
Judge Amy Coney Barrett looks over at US President Donald Trump as she is sworn in to serve as an associate justice of the Supreme Court.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett looks over at US President Donald Trump as she is sworn in to serve as an associate justice of the Supreme Court.

On Monday night, Republicans in the US Senate voted to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Barrett was sworn in that evening, filling the seat left vacant by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in September.

Her confirmation marks a major political victory for Trump and the Republican Party just eight days before the presidential election on November 3.

Here’s what you need to know about the newest addition to the US Supreme Court.

Who is she?

Barrett is a newcomer to the bench, having been selected by president Trump to serve as a federal appeals court judge in Chicago three years ago.

She graduated first in her class at the University of Notre Dame’s Law School and spent much of her career as a professor there, where she was voted professor of the year multiple times.

She clerked for the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia and, like him, is an “originalist”. That means she says judges should aim to interpret the words of the US Constitution as the authors intended when they were written in 1787.

She is the mother of seven, including two adopted children from Haiti.

A devout Catholic, she has previously insisted her faith does not compromise her legal work.

What are her views?

Barrett is a conservative judge and her legal opinions and remarks on abortion and gay marriage have made her a favourite of the Christian right wing.

During her confirmation hearings earlier this month, she dodged even the most basic questions.

Barrett's legal opinions and remarks on abortion and gay marriage have made her a favourite of the religious right.
Barrett's legal opinions and remarks on abortion and gay marriage have made her a favourite of the religious right.

On the environment, she refused to say if climate change is real (it is) and claimed to have “no firm views” as she is “certainly not a scientist”. She has repeatedly insisted that she would not speak on climate change, claiming it is a political issue – as opposed to an established scientific fact.

Democrats have warned that Barrett is a threat to the Affordable Care Act and have highlighted her record of hostility to the health care law, women’s reproductive rights and LGBTQ+ rights.

Barrett has called Roe vs...

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