Who is Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court?

“Barrett is a staunch Catholic, a favorite of the religious right, and a former law clerk to conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. Her judicial record is fairly thin, owing to the fact that she’s only been a judge for about three years, but that short record suggests she’ll be a reliable conservative if confirmed to the Supreme Court.

In one of her most revealing opinions, Barrett took an expansive view of the Second Amendment — dissenting to the right of two colleagues who were appointed by President Ronald Reagan.

Before joining the federal bench, Barrett was a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, and she frequently weighed in on many of the cultural fights that animate religious conservatism.

In a 2013 speech on Roe v. Wade, Barrett reportedly stated that life begins at conception — a common view among abortion opponents. She signed a 2012 statement claiming that an Obama administration policy requiring employee health plans to cover contraception was “a grave violation of religious freedom and cannot stand.” She also signed a 2015 statement to Catholic bishops endorsing the church’s conservative views on abortion, sexuality, and marriage.

And in a 2017 book review, Barrett seemed to criticize two Supreme Court decisions that largely upheld Obamacare against partisan attacks — suggesting that she is likely to vote to undercut the Affordable Care Act and potentially strip health care from millions of Americans in the process.

Barrett’s views are hardly atypical of a Trump appointee to the federal bench. And her professional credentials, while impressive, are shared by many other sitting judges. It’s likely that she rose to the top of Trump’s Supreme Court shortlist not because her record sets her apart from a dozen or more staunch conservatives on the federal bench, but because of an effort by Democrats to impugn Barrett’s fitness for the bench when she was originally nominated to the Seventh Circuit.

That botched effort allowed religious conservatives to paint Barrett as a persecuted martyr, and means that Trump’s choice of Barrett could double as an attempt to stoke resentment among Christian conservative voters shortly before the election.” 


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