Hale: Barrett’s confirmation should scare us all

EllieAna Hale

Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed on Oct. 26 by a 52-48 margin, transforming the Supreme Court to a 6-3 conservative lean.

RBG’s last wish on her deathbed was for her seat to not be filled until after the presidential election on Nov. 3. 

This wish, bordering on demand, was disregarded by the White House. The Trump administration started its search and notified possible representatives for the court hours after RBG’s death. 

Barrett is the conservative reflection of RBG, standing opposite of everything that RBG fought to create for our most vulnerable communities. 

She stands in that reflection with the power to take it away. 

Barrett, who is also a devout Catholic, stated that she believes “marriage should be between a man and a woman.”

Her policies are causing America to take a hundred steps back from the progress we have made.

The quick confirmation of Barrett is hypocritical because after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died during Barack Obama’s presidency, Obama was prevented by the leaders of the Republican party from replacing the justice even though the election was 293 days away. 

Just four years later, the Republican party started pushing for a replacement 40 days out from the election. 

As frustrating as it is, Barrett on the court is a concern.

Barrett’s policies are controversial, including topics of the Affordable Care Act, Marriage Equality and Roe v. Wade. 

The 48-year-old lawyer, professor and Louisiana native is vocally anti-gay marriage equality and anti-abortion.

Barrett is a Notre Dame Law School alumna and has taught as a member of the Law School’s faculty since 2002. 

While Barrett has the education, hands-on experience is a different story. 

She only started serving as a judge in 2017. 

Barrett is the least experienced Supreme Court judge in over 30 years, according to Mother Jones Daily Newsletter. 

With a five-vote majority for conservatives, marriage equality and the LGBTQ community are scared.

In 2015, she signed onto an anti-marriage equality letter citing the “indissoluble commitment of a man and a woman” and the “significance of sexual difference and the complementarity of men and women.”

She also stated that if it was her choice, the fight for marriage equality would still be happening. 

Now onto Barrett’s conservative power in the fight for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Barrett’s presence allows the Supreme Court to eliminate the ACA, which could result in over 20 million Americans being uninsured. 

Republicans have been seeking to eliminate the ACA for years and have taken it to the Supreme Court twice, losing both cases. But now with Barrett’s confirmation swinging the court, the case may go through. 

She publicly declared her opposition to the 2012 ruling allowing the ACA to still prosper. Barrett has stated that she does not believe that the ACA is a constitutional law. 

The ACA has created pathways for black and Hispanic communities to receive the insurance they could not receive before, mandated that employers must provide mental health benefits, and protected women from being charged more on their insurance, solely because of their gender. 

Conservatives seek to take these opportunities away, and Barrett’s place on the court, only adds more ammunition to the fight. 

Now onto women’s rights.

In 2013, Barrett said that she believes that life begins at conception. She wrote that the Catholic Church’s views on prohibiting abortion are “absolute” because they “take away innocent life.” 

She has ruled against abortion rights in the two abortion cases that she has heard on the bench.

Despite being one of the few women to be appointed to the court, Barrett is by no means fighting for the rights of women. 

Barrett has ruled against environmental protections, even though environmental degradation disproportionately affects women, especially those of low income. 

Her history of legal opinions on health care, sexual assault and immigration shows she has no intention of advocating for women in vulnerable situations, but rather will uphold the Trump administration’s far-right policies that inherently harm women, especially women from less advantaged demographics.

An example of this is in the case of a 19-year-old girl who was suing the county due to being raped while pregnant multiple times by a prison guard in the county detention center, Barrett ruled in favor of and join an opinion that would reverse the lawsuit that would have awarded the girl $6.7 million dollars because their opinion found “no reasonable jury could find the sexual assaults were in the scope of his employment.”

Even now in 2020, in a sexual assault case on a college campus, Barrett wrote in an opinion of the case, “It is plausible that [school officials] chose to believe Jane because she is a woman and to disbelieve John because he is a man.”

So the victim, once again, is silenced by the system that is supposed to serve them. 

She represents a newfound, so-called conservative “feminism” that is built from harmful values that only hurt women. 

Barrett is publicly supporting and following a man, President Donald Trump, who has proven time and time again that he does not support women, the LGBTQ+, people of color, immigrants, or our most marginalized communities.

Of course we believe Barrett will follow in his footsteps.