By Alex Kelly, Staff Writer
Image Source: NYPost. This article was originally published in our September-October 2020 magazine, which you can view here.
On November 27th, 2020, Judge Amy Coney Barrett succeeded the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. From the time of her nomination by President Trump to the completely partisan confirmation vote, however, a colossal battle raged in the Senate, all in the midst of this Presidential Election year.
President Trump and Judge Amy Coney Barrett took time to pay homage to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at Barrett’s first press conference, with the president saying, “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a legal giant and a pioneer for women,” and “her extraordinary life and legacy will inspire Americans for generations to come”. Judge Barrett honored the late Justice in her remarks; “The flag of the United States is still flying at half-staff in memory of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to mark the end of a great American life. 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”.
Amy Coney Barrett truly is a remarkable woman with credentials second to none. A graduate of Rhodes College and the Law School of Notre Dame, where she earned a full academic scholarship, served as the executive editor of the law review, graduated first in her class, and was honored with the law schools award for best record of scholarship. Following graduation from law school, she served as a clerk on the Supreme Court for Justice Antonin Scalia. To the excitement of many on the right, Barrett is often viewed as the heir to the conservative superstar Antonin Scalia, who she has previously stated to share a similar interpretation of the Constitution with, saying “his judicial philosophy is mine, too.” Before nomination to the 7th Circuit United States Court of Appeals in 2017, Barrett spent over 15 years as a professor at the Notre Dame Law School earning the title distinguished professor of the year three times. Noah Feldman, Harvard Law Professor and Democrat Impeachment Witness, captured her best in an Op-ed for Bloomberg in which he wrote “Regardless of what you or I may think of the circumstances of this nomination, Barrett is highly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. I disagree with much of her judicial philosophy and expect to disagree with many, maybe even most of her future votes and opinions. Yet despite this disagreement, I know her to be a brilliant and conscientious lawyer who will analyze and decide cases in good faith, applying the jurisprudential principles to which she is committed. Those are the basic criteria for being a good justice. Barrett meets and exceeds them”. Barrett is also awe-inspiring outside of her profession as a devoted mother of seven. Among her seven kids includes two children from Haiti who she graciously opened her home to and a youngest child with special needs. She is a devout Roman Catholic and has affiliation with the religious group People of Praise, which somehow became a point of scrutiny during the looming Senate hearings. Only in our current political climate could religious scruples be a source of contempt, it seems.
Despite the integrity, merit, and genuineness shown by Barrett, the ‘woke’ Left wasted no time before launching character assassinations on the nominee. Among reasons for the attacks on Barrett includes her willingness to accept the nomination under “these” circumstances, her faith, her family, her relationship with the Vatican, and her views, which they say are extreme. Is this not the same Left that attacked and attempted to cancel leftist JK Rowling for saying “If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased”— essentially saying sex is real and men who transition to women cannot menstruate. Really controversial stuff, right?
In a 2017 hearing for the Catholic nominee Senator Diane Feinstein launched an ideological attack on her faith saying, “The dogma lives loudly in you,” after learning that Barrett is a faithful Catholic and that her faith is not just a ploy to win over a coalition of voters. Bill Maher, liberal talk show host, later echoed similar sentiments when he said “well, we’ll be saying this name a lot I’m sure because she’s a f***ing nut…[she’s] Catholic, really Catholic, I mean really, really Catholic, like speaking in tongues. Like she doesn’t believe in condoms.” They can’t seem to grasp the idea that some people believe this whole Jesus thing. This showing of religious bigotry laid the groundwork for what we saw run rampant in the media and across social media following her nomination.
Ibram Kendi, author and critical race theory vanguard, took to Twitter to accuse Barrett of colonialization. You read that right, colonialization. Shortly before the announcement of Trump’s nomination, Ibram Kendi wrote “Some White colonizers ‘adopted’ Black children. They ‘civilized’ these ‘savage’ children in the ‘superior’ ways of White people, while using them as props in their lifelong pictures of denial, while cutting the biological parents of these children out of the picture of humanity”. This in an attempt to frame Amy Coney Barrett, who legally adopted two children from Haiti following a devastating earthquake, as a white supremacist who uses her two black children props for her plot to propel the white race. I don’t know, but just maybe race is irrelevant when it comes to the adoption and love of another human being. Historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat later chimed in on Kendi’s tweet, writing “Trump takes migrant kids for adoption by Evangelicals”. Ben-Ghiat unsurprisingly failed to provide any evidence for this claim.
Among all the attacks on her family, one has been particularly repulsive. Journalist Christine Grimaldi accused Barret of using her child with Down syndrome to score political points in a move that was applauded by many on the Left throughout social media, saying “[Amy Coney Barrett] … using her child with Down syndrome to score political points isn’t surprising, but it’s no less appalling.” This is a point that would not resonate well with many voters outside of the hyper partisans. United States mothers abort nearly seventy percent of pregnancies following a Down syndrome diagnosis. A woman who raises and loves her child the same despite their differences should be lauded for their character and left out of the mouth of political hacks attempting to score points.
Newsweek, The New Yorker, and Reuters, three journalistic beauties, ran articles falsely claiming that Amy Coney Barrett’s Catholicism and affiliation with People of Praise were the inspiration for The Handmaid’s Tale, a dystopian novel written for ultra-progressive feminist about the subjection of women in a totalitarian state. The author of the novel, Margaret Atwood, later confirmed the book was not about the group People of Praise, saying “It wasn’t them.” I have not read the novel, but if it’s about an incredibly successful woman who graduated top of her class in law school, earned clerkships with the great Justice Antonin Scalia, become a highly- respected law professor and judge, and then packs her seven children into a minivan to drive them to a ceremony where she will be nominated to the highest court in the land, I will definitely be picking it up next time I pass a Books-A-Million.
Ultimately, the Left’s reaction to Amy Coney Barrett should remind each of us of the treatments of many other conservative icons, including Governor Sarah Palin, President Ronald Reagan, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who dared to serve as fundamental threats to liberal orthodoxy.
In the coming week, we are going to be in the fight of our lives to preserve conservatism and the values that hold us together. This month has been characterized by tight election races, consequential battles in the Senate, presidential debates, and hyper-partisan election-year politics. Republicans in Congress and the White House find themselves in a situation that the Republican establishment has feared for the last thirty years, and the conservative voters have been desperate for.
As a final point, I want to remind the new Justice’s detractors that Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the legal giant Barrett is replacing, was a proud member of the Jewish faith and publicly stated that her religion guided her as a justice. Why should we view the faith of Barrett any differently? Attacking Amy Coney Barrett on her faith as some disqualifying factor when nearly seventy percent of Americans self-identify as Christians seems counterintuitive. Senate Democrats were hardly careful in the hearings and seemed to enjoy alienating potential voters with their religious intolerance. But who knows, maybe they were listening to Joe Biden when he said, “We can only re-elect Donald Trump.”
Alex Kelly is a Staff Writer studying Philosophy and Public Policy from Kings Mountain, NC.