Following the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it is now up to President Donald J. Trump to nominate a justice to fill her seat.
Trump has said he will be announcing his nomination by the end of the week.
Near the top of the president’s list of potential nominees is Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
Here are the first four facts you need to know about her:
The Next Scalia
Barrett clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia after graduating from Notre Dame Law School, according to Politico.
Like Scalia, Barrett is an originalist who views the Constitution as a document that must be read according to its original meaning.
According to her, treating the Constitution as a living document open to new interpretations over time takes away all of its powers and protections.
“In some respects we should look at that [inflexibility] as a good thing. … It’s a floor, we don’t want to go below this,” she said, according to The Observer, Notre Dame’s student newspaper.
“We don’t want an entirely flexible Constitution because then we would have no constitutional protection at all.”
Barrett made it known that she believes life begins at conception during a lecture series at Notre Dame, according to a Notre Dame Magazine article from 2013.
During the lecture, Barrett first shared her personal pro-life convictions before calling Roe v. Wade into question.
Liberal activists and politicians are overwhelmingly concerned that Barrett would be the final straw leading to the eventual overturning of the landmark 1973 decision.
Barrett has noted that the argument over abortion has now shifted from whether a woman has a right to an abortion to whether the state has a right to publicly fund abortions.
“I think it is very unlikely at this point that the court is going to overturn Roe, or Roe as curbed by [Planned Parenthood v.] Casey. The fundamental element, that the woman has a right to choose abortion, will probably stand,” Barrett said, according to The Observer.
“The controversy right now is about funding. It’s a question of whether abortions will be publicly or privately funded.”
Barrett is praised by conservatives and derided by liberals for her devout Catholic faith.
In her own words, however, her personal religious faith has nothing to do with her judgment in a courtroom.
I agree with pretty much every word of this answer from Barrett on this question: pic.twitter.com/EYx9z4A4wV
— Michael Wear (@MichaelRWear) September 21, 2020
When asked what role the faith of a nominee should play in the confirmation process, Barrett replied “none” according to a transcript of her answer tweeted out by political strategist Michael Wear.
“I think that when you step back and you think about the debate about whether someone’s religion has any bearing on their fitness for office, it seems to me that the premise of that question is that people of faith would have a uniquely difficult time separating out their moral commitments from their obligation to apply the law,” Barrett added.
“And I think people of faith should reject that premise … most people have moral convictions, whether or not they come from faith. People who have no faith, people who are not religious, have deeply held moral convictions. And it is just as important for those people to be sure … to set aside personal moral convictions and personal preferences and follow the law.”
48 Years Old
Born on Jan. 28, 1972, Barrett is only 48 years old.
If she is nominated and confirmed, that would make Barrett the youngest justice currently serving on the Supreme Court.
That also means that if she is chosen to replace Ginsburg, Barrett would likely remain on the bench for several decades yet to come.
By all accounts, Amy Coney Barrett’s age, beliefs and experience make her a prime candidate for SCOTUS consideration.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.