Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. US Election 2020
26 September 2020

Trump announces Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court pick

Emily Tamkin writes: President Donald Trump has announced his nominee to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Despite Ginsburg's dying wish that the seat not be filled until after inauguration, and more to the point despite the fact that Senate Republicans refused to give President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, a hearing with over 200 days to go before the election, Trump has nominated Amy Coney Barrett. Barrett is a federal appellate judge and Notre Dame law professor. She has referred to abortion as "always immoral" and has an anti-abortion judicial record and is a vocal opponent of the American Care Act, or "Obamacare," the very existence of which could be decided by the Supreme Court this fall. Some Republicans, like Senator Marco Rubio, have painted critisim of her as anti-Catholic, despite the fact that Democratic nominee, Vice President Joe Biden, is himself Catholic, as are five justices currently on the court (one, Neil Gorsuch, is now Episcopalian but was raised Catholic). It is true, though, that there has been some press focus on the fac that Barrett is a member of the group People of Praise, in which married women count their husbands as their "heads," or spiritual advisors. But so, too, has there been some focus on what Barrett said about Merrick Garland back in 2016, when she argued that Obama filling the late conservative Antonin Scalia's seat in an election year could "dramatically flip the balance of power" on the court. Four years later, the same can now be said not by Barrett, but of her. 

By Emily Tamkin

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy