Written by Daniel Maloney (News Writer)
With the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Donald Trump has nominated Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative Christian, who is on the record as being extremely anti-abortion, as the next justice. Her confirmation would be a massive win in the eyes of conservatives and anti-abortion activists around the nation, and could easily lead to our current abortion laws being revisited, with a 6-3 conservative majority in the court. Her nomination has started a race to get her confirmed into the court with less than a month until the election. Although in recent times, confirming a justice has taken around 70 days, meaning the senate republicans will have to do this extremely quickly.
Amy Barrett is 48 years old and has previously served on the Court of Appeals, her age would make her the youngest member of the court if confirmed, giving her the ability to shape an entire generation of law. Her strong views against abortion and pro religious rulings made her a great choice for President Trump and a favorite of many Republican politicians. In 2006, Barrett signed a local newspaper in her hometown of South Bend, Indiana that read “It’s time to put an end to the barbaric legacy of Roe v. Wade.” Many other times she has mentioned that she is open to revisiting Roe v. Wade, a 1973 landmark decision by the Supreme Court that ruled the Constitution protects a woman’s right to an abortion. If she is confirmed, there would be a 6-3 majority of conservatives, meaning that they more or less have the power to allow and not allow whatever they want, and currently remove the rights of abortion under Roe v. Wade, possibly affecting generations. Along with her views on abortion, she also opposes the Affordable Care Act, which over 20 million people are covered under, which now also could easily be abolished.
Although for many liberal-leaning people this may seem like a horrible situation, not all hope should be lost. Of the three oldest justices in the court, Breyer (82), Samuel Alito (70), and Clarence Thomas (72), both Alito and Thomas are conservative. This would mean that, if Joe Biden is elected in the upcoming election, they may retire during his term and be replaced with liberal justices. But, if President Trump is reelected, the opposite may happen.
Amy Barrett is not yet on the Supreme Court because first, the Senate Judiciary Committee must check the nominee’s background, and do a hearing. After this, the committee votes, but even if the committee opposes the nominee, they will still send it to the senate, with the recommendation that it is rejected. After this, the entire Senate debates if the person should be voted in, followed by a 51-majority vote. Republicans outnumber Democrats in the senate 53-47, but two Republicans have said they would not vote to confirm her. Additionally, with the recent cases of coronavirus in the federal government, at least two Republican senators tested positive for the virus, meaning that they may be absent for the vote. More senators may also contract the disease, meaning that they also may be absent. This would lead to at least a 49-51 vote in favor of the Democrats. This is all assuming that all Democratic senators vote to not confirm her. This is very likely out of anger due it being less than a month before an election, and that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that 10 months before an election, the next President should get to choose, which is what happened when Obama was in office and nominated Merrick Garland.