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Who is Amy Connie Barrett, a possible choice for Trump’s Supreme Court? : NPR

Judge Amy Connie Barrett, filmed in 2018, is considered a favorite to replace the late Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the Supreme Court.

Rachel Malehorn, rachelmalehorn.smugmug.com via AP

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Rachel Malehorn, rachelmalehorn.smugmug.com via AP

Judge Amy Connie Barrett, filmed in 2018, is considered a favorite to replace the late Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the Supreme Court.

Rachel Malehorn, rachelmalehorn.smugmug.com via AP

Amy Connie Barrett is considered the leading candidate to succeed Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg in the US Supreme Court.

The 48-year-old judge of the 7th District Court of Appeals in Chicago is a favorite among social conservatives. They and others on the right view the record of the mother of seven as anti-abortion rights and hostile to the Affordable Care Act. If nominated and confirmed, she will be the youngest judge in the Supreme Court and could help reshape the law and society for future generations.

When Judge Anthony Kennedy stepped down in 2018, President Trump passed over Barrett, signaling then Judge Brett Cavanaugh. At the time, Trump told Barrett’s supporters that he was “saving” her to fill the Ginsburg seat if justice was withdrawn or she died, sources said.

Behind the scenes, however, Barrett’s interview with Trump did not go very well at the time, according to sources close to the trial, but who are not allowed to speak in public. She had conjunctivitis, had to wear dark glasses during the interview, and “was not at her best,” as one source put it.

But this week, Barrett’s interview seems to have gone much better. In addition, according to these sources, she has the support of Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Who sees her as a judge with clearly proven conservative experience.

So who is Barrett and what kind of judge would she be?

Raised in Metairie, La., A suburb of New Orleans, Barrett’s father, Mike, is a Shell Oil lawyer and her mother is a homeless mother. Barrett attends St. Mary’s Dominican High School for girls, then graduated with honors from Rhodes College, a Presbyterian-affiliated school in Tennessee, followed by graduation, with the highest praise, from Notre Dame Law School.

She is an employee of the late Conservative judge Antonin Scalia, and during her tenure she was called “Conator” by fellow officials “for destroying fragile legal arguments.” Chicago Tribune reports.

Barrett then briefly practiced law, then taught for 15 years at Notre Dame Law School in South Bend, Indiana.

She is married to Jesse Barrett, a former prosecutor who now runs a private practice, and the couple has seven children, one with Down Syndrome and two adopted by Haiti. They live in South Bend, and she travels to Chicago – almost an hour and 45 minutes – where the appellate court sits.

Barrett has been a federal judge for three years. She has written about 100 opinions and “several candid opinions in which Barrett shows his clear and consistent propensity for conservatism,” the Associated Press reported in its court records.

From guns and on-campus sexual violence to health care and abortion rights, Barrett has proven to be a conservative lawyer and legal thinker in her decisions and academic work.

“Dogma lives noisily in you”

Barrett’s hearing for the Court of Appeal in 2017 provoked hackers from both the right and the left.

The left saw Barrett as a socially conservative mirror image of Scalia, known for her conservative approach to constitutional interpretation and passionate disagreement with abortion and gay rights decisions on the Supreme Court. Barrett, like Scalia, is seen as an “originalist” or a “textualist.” This is a philosophy that strictly examines the text of the constitution or statute and tries to apply the original intention of the creators.

In particular, Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein infuriated Republicans when he marked a list of the nominees for the faith and law nominees.

“Dogma lives loudly in you and it’s worrying,” Feinstein told the nominee.

Barrett replied, “If you ask if I take my Catholic faith seriously, I do, although I would stress that my personal church affiliation or my religious faith would not affect the performance of my duties as a judge.”

Barrett is a member of the particularly conservative Christian religious group People of Praise. Newsweek reports that the group “teaches that spouses should take power as head of the household.” (Her parents are also members, and her father was the group’s southern head coordinator.)

The New York Times reports that “Praise People” grew out of the Catholic charismatic renewal movement, which began in the late 1960s and adopted Pentecostal practices such as tongues, belief in prophecy, and divine healing. “

Republicans accused Feinstein of the issue of anti-Catholic bias, and Barrett was confirmed by 55 to 43 votes, with three Democrats voting in favor of the confirmation and two not.

If nominated and confirmed for the Supreme Court, Barrett will be the sixth Catholic judge. All but Sonia Sotomayor were nominated by Republican presidents. The seventh, Justice Neil Gorsuh, is an educated Catholic, but now defines himself as a bishop. Two other judges, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan, are Jewish.

She was critical of Rowe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court’s 1973 abortion ruling, but in 2016 she suggested that the court would most likely carve out the ruling, leaving the basic right to abortion but allowing broad states to make abortion difficult.

“I don’t think the main case The deer the basic view that women have the right to abortion, I don’t think that would change, “Barrett said during a discussion at Jacksonville University.” But I think the question of whether people can have abortions at a very late date, you know how many restrictions can be placed on clinics, I think that will change. “


However, this was before the Trump election and the composition of the court moved more sharply to the right, making a complete turn of Deer more plausible.

In the same way, the future of Obamacare can be set with Barrett’s nomination. The court must hear a third challenge to the law a week after the election. Twice before the court upheld much of the law, but that could change now, with Barrett’s voice in the lead.

In fact, she criticized the motives of Chief Justice John Roberts in support of the Affordable Care Act.

“Chief Justice Roberts pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the law,” Barrett wrote in 2017. “He interprets the penalty imposed on people without health insurance as a tax that allows him to maintain the law as a valid exercise. of the tax authority; if he had treated the payment as the law does — as a punishment — he would have had to invalidate the status, as it is outside the commercial power of Congress. “

A precedent

In his academic work, Barrett wrote contemptuously of the doctrine of respecting the precedents of the Supreme Court, known as watch resolutely.

“I tend to agree with those who say that the duty of justice is to the Constitution and that it is thus more legitimate for it to apply its best understanding of the Constitution, rather than a precedent which it clearly thinks is contrary to her, “she wrote in a 2013 review article.

The sun rose behind the Supreme Court in Washington on Wednesday.

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Patrick Semansky / AP

The sun rose behind the Supreme Court in Washington on Wednesday.

Patrick Semansky / AP


While on the 7th chain, Barrett wrote that the Second Amendment did not necessarily prohibit those convicted of crimes from owning a pistol. She declared that the Wisconsin law, which forbids anyone convicted of a crime, even if not convicted of a violent crime, is unconstitutional.

“[L]egislatures have the power to prohibit dangerous people from owning weapons. But this power extends only to people who are dangerous, “Barrett wrote in a 37-page disagreement.

Her reliance on originalism also came a few lines later: “In 1791 – and for more than a century later – the legislature disqualified categories of people from the right to bear arms only when they deemed it necessary to protect the public safety. “

Sexual violence on campus

In 2019, Barrett wrote an opinion on a case of sexual violence in college, Doe v. Purdue University, “which allowed a student accused of sexual violence to sue for alleged violations of the 14th Amendment and Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments,” the American Bar Association wrote.


Barrett disagreed with a 7th-chain decision that blocked the Trump administration’s ability to apply the “public prosecution rule” in Illinois. The change in the rule in this rule “adds barriers for immigrants seeking green cards if they rely on public benefits, food stamps or housing vouchers,” the Courthouse News Service reported.

Barrett writes that the Ministry of National Security’s definition is not “unreasonable”, especially given that “the text of the current statute … was amended in 1996 to increase the risk of setting the public fee.”

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