Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court

Judge Amy Coney Barrett speaks after President Donald Trump announced Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Madison Bailey, Correspondent

President Donald Trump officially nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett for Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court on Saturday, Sept. 26. 

The nomination is to fill a vacancy following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who served on the Supreme Court for 27 years. Barrett currently serves as a circuit judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She was nominated by Trump for this position in 2017.

Barrett’s nomination comes with stark opposition from Senate Democrats, who note that GOP senators opposed President Barack Obama’s 2016 nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, citing an election year.

“By all rights, by every modicum of decency and honor, Leader McConnell and the Republican Senate majority have no right to fill it, no right,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.

Barrett graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis in 1994. She then pursued a law degree at the University of Notre Dame Law School on a full scholarship, where she graduated first in her class in 1997. 

She worked as a clerk for Judge Laurence Silberman of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit from 1997 to 1998 as well as Judge Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court from 1998 to 1999, who served as Barrett’s mentor. She also practiced law at Miller, Cassidy, Larroca, and Lewin as well as Baker Botts in Washington D.C. for a couple of years.

Judge Barrett eventually returned to her alma mater in 2002 and taught for fifteen years. She was officially recognized as a Professor of Law in 2010 and was a recipient of the “Distinguished Professor of the Year” award at Notre Dame on three separate occasions. 

She also served on the Advisory Committee for the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure from 2010-2016 and held the Diane and M.O. Research Chair of Law from 2014-2017.

Barrett emphasizes that her personal life also holds tremendous value. She married Jesse Barrett, who is also an alumnus of Notre Dame Law School, in 1999. Since then, they have added seven children to their family: two are adopted from Haiti, and their youngest son has been diagnosed with Down syndrome.

“Law and order is the foundation of the American system of justice,” said Trump. “No matter the issue, no matter the case before her, I am supremely confident that Judge Barrett will issue rulings based solely upon a fair reading of the law. She will defend the sacred principle of equal justice for citizens of every race, color, religion and creed.”

He also acknowledges that, if confirmed, 48-year-old Barrett will be “the first mother of school-aged children ever to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Judge Barrett also spoke at the official nomination announcement and honored the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

“Should I be confirmed, I will be mindful of who come before me,” said Barrett. “Justice Ginsburg began her career at a time when women were not welcome in the legal profession. But she not only broke glass ceilings, she smashed them. For that, she has won the admiration of women across the country and, indeed, all over the world.”

She addressed the prospect of her confirmation as a Supreme Court Justice and closed by saying, “If confirmed, I would not assume [the role of Supreme Court Justice] for the sake of those in my own circle, and certainly not for my own sake. I would assume this role to serve you. I would discharge the judicial oath, which requires me to administer justice without respect to persons, do equal right to the poor and rich, and faithfully and impartially discharge my duties under the United States Constitution.”

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