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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Amy Coney Barrett’s past sets her up to be a great Supreme Court Justice

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Amy Coney Barrett

Recently, President Donald Trump appointed Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States. This decision was met with much controversy as President Trump is in the last year of his term. Many Democrats have wished Trump would wait until after the election to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice. Due to this controversy, when Trump decided to appoint a Supreme Court Justice against the will of the Democrats, it took away much from the discussion of who exactly this new Supreme Court Justice is. 

Amy Coney Barrett was born in New Orleans, LA, in 1972 and is the oldest of her seven siblings. Her age will make her five years younger than Neil Gorsuch, who is currently the youngest member of the Supreme Court. Barrett also has seven children of her own, two of which were adopted from Haiti. Being the strong family person that she is will no doubt play a role in how she views the cases that will be brought to the Supreme Court.

Barrett’s professional career started back in 1997 when she graduated from the University of Notre Dame’s Law School. One of her first jobs in law was being a clerk for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Eventually, after working as a lawyer for six years, Barrett decided to become a law professor at her alma mater, Notre Dame. It was during this time she began raising her family, having already been married to her husband, Jesse M. Barrett, for some time. 

In 2017, Barrett left her job as a professor of law at Notre Dame to become a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit. She was nominated by the same president who would later appoint her to the Supreme Court of the U.S., Donald Trump. This nomination was a big step in her judicial career as it made her well known in certain political circles all over the country.

During her time on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Barrett decided more criminal cases than any other type of case. She was often referred to as a pro-business judge, due to her siding with a variety of businesses in many of her cases. Whether she will help or hurt businesses is a matter of ideological opinion. I tend to believe she will help small businesses as well as big companies, which would increase their profit margins. Increasing profit margins for a wide-range of companies is good news for supply-side economists who think increasing business profits is the way to increase the standard of living in a society.

Barrett often describes herself as an originalist and this term may be new to some people. Basically, originalism is described as interpreting the Constitution as it was intended by the founding fathers at the time it was written. There is no set opposing ideology to originalism, but the liberal opposition to this ideology has often been dubbed living constitutionalism. This liberal ideology basically means the Constitution evolves, and that it is up to the justices to update rulings with the current times. 

After learning about the life, court rulings and ideology of Barrett, only one question remains: Will she be a good Supreme Court Justice? I believe the answer is yes. As a lifelong conservative, Barrett represents my core values and principles. And although I am sure I disagree with some of her political views, I also believe that with her core principles she will not do anything that will inherently destroy the values of our great country. 

It is important to remember the Supreme Court is not a legislative body. Moreover, we should not judge the justices on the Court the same way we would vote for a senator or president. The justices are simply there to make sure the actions of the other two branches of government are constitutional. Therefore, when we discuss what we like and hate about Barrett, we do not need to know what her policy views are, merely what she thinks is constitutional. Hence why her ideology of originalism is so extremely important.

I am thrilled with the nomination of Barrett. She is a classic originalist, and I strongly agree with that ideology. As a strong family woman with a seemingly conservative upbringing, I believe that she will make a positive contribution to the Supreme Court of the United States. Whether that be through her rulings on key issues, or the amount of knowledge that she will bring to the other justices that sit on the Supreme Court.

Bryce Robinson is a business administration sophomore and opinion writer for The Battalion.

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