Will Amy Coney Barrett help us or destroy us?

Jasmine Rossiter, News Feature

On Monday, Oct. 26, Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed as the United States’ new Supreme Court Justice, nominated by President Donald Trump after former Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s death. 

The liberal-leaning Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who fought for gender equality, women’s rights, and the LGBTQ+ community from 1993-2020, passed away from metastatic pancreatic cancer complications on Sept. 18. 

I think that Barrett’s confirmation was a great thing.

— Christina Berghian

Amy Coney Barrett (ACB) self-identifies as a religious conservative and devout Catholic. Before her confirmation, she was a circuit judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit from 2017-2020. 

During her confirmation hearing for that position in September 2017, she clarified that she is a “faithful Catholic.” 

“My personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear on the discharge of my duties as a judge,” she stressed at that hearing.

Barrett has not made a public statement regarding her plans on abortion; however, President Trump vowed to appoint justices ready to overturn Roe v. Wade. Those who lobby for abortion rights fear that her gears will shift against the landmark 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade that made abortion legal.

An article titled “I Was a Student of Amy Coney Barrett. She Isn’t an LGBTQ Ally” written by Katelyn Ringrose speaks out about Barrettʻs past as a professor at Notre Dame.

“I would note that Professor Barrett refused numerous opportunities to support the LGBTQ+ students of Notre Dame,” Ringrose expresses. 

The article gives multiple examples of when Barrett could have spoken out and stood up for LGBTQ+ rights while at Notre Dame but decided not to. 

The Supreme Court heard arguments in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 4, where Barrett was present to share her thoughts. The case concerned whether faith-based child welfare agencies can refuse to work with same-sex couples and other people they believe violate their religious beliefs.  

I would note that Professor Barrett refused numerous opportunities to support the LGBTQ+ students of Notre Dame.

— Katelyn Ringrose

After this event, Barrett failed to express her thoughts on the issue; however, she and many others shared a lack of interest and unenthusiastic opinions on the topic of Employment Division v. Smith which was also brought up at the hearing. 

GenZ has become extremely powerful as they continue to stay informed about current issues that affect their lives.

 “I have liberal views, but I will respect anyone else’s opinion even if I disagree, but this isn’t something I can respect,” Starr Asuncion(12) expresses. “Barrett’s views are known to be based off her religion. She has left open the possibility for a woman to be sentenced to death for getting an abortion, once ruled a cop wasn’t responsible for a black teenagers death because ‘breathing isn’t a constitutional right,’ and served as a trustee at an anti-LGBTQ school that banned gay teachers and kids with same-sex parents.”

Barrett is new to the Supreme Court, and maybe there is room for change; however, her actions up to this point have many people questioning her position. 

“I have concerns on what her presence on the court will mean for our fragile society today, for adults, children, minorities, and those of the LGBTQ+ community. I fear the rights that they were granted will be ripped out of their hands with a conservative grip,” Asuncion states. 

Others, however, have faith in Barrett and believe she was an appropriate nominee to our country’s highest court.

“I think that Barrett’s confirmation was a great thing,” Christina Berghian (10) states. “We need some new ideas in our government and someone who will make good laws for our new generation to keep things in order.”

Will Barrett continue to fight for equality, women’s rights, and the LGBTQ+ community or take a different approach, contrary to everything Ginsberg fought for?