What did I learn from watching Amy Conan Barrett’s confirmation hearing? I learned that Barrett can’t answer questions about crucial issues that are going on today. Her silence on important issues is alarming, as all these human rights laws are pivotal in the lives of those who live in the USA. People’s lives are at stake, and her silence on such grave matters, because she doesn’t have an “agenda,” is ridiculous. This sends a message that Barrett does not care about the American people as she doesn’t view things like healthcare, LGBTQIA+ rights, reproduction rights, and climate change as human rights since she won’t respond to and avoids questions surrounding them. These issues should be addressed, and not silenced, especially from a potential Supreme Court Justice. This woman isn’t capable of taking over Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat at the Supreme Court because Barrett wants to dismantle everything Ginsburg worked so hard for in her 27 years as a Supreme Court Justice.
The question and answer portion of the hearing was a total of 12 hours, and Barrett barely answered any of the questions the Democratic Senators threw at her during this period. Instead, she repeatedly downplayed her history as a conservative in all of her legal stances and personal statements by saying that she may view things differently, but it won’t affect her views as a judge. “I have not made any commitments or deals or anything like that;” Barrett flat out lied, as she has let her conservative Catholic views get in the way of her rulings, as she has a clear anti-abortion record.
Barret worked for three years on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals; she has already dealt with two cases surrounding abortion, and has ruled in both cases in favor of restricting bodily autonomy. As well, Barrett has signed an ad at the University of Notre Dame as she is a part of the “Faculty for Life” there, claiming that the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade was “infamous.” Not to mention, Barrett ruled in favor of the law that would require doctors to contact parents of those who have had an abortion and has also expressed that she agrees with the law in Indiana that mandates funerals or cremation for aborted fetuses and zygotes. My fear is that if Barrett does somehow make it into the Supreme Court, she will take away rights from so many people, examples being the right of gay marriage, healthcare, and abortion.
Barrett’s refusal to comment on important matters is a very old move that Supreme Court nominees use in order to avoid giving straightforward answers, but she also deflected most of her answers to questions the Democrats asked and it made her standout, in a negative way. It also doesn’t help that President Trump has clearly stated how Barrett should rule if she were to make it into the Supreme Court by Election Day. Trump is “counting” the courts to “look at the ballots” and “do the right thing,” and also abolish the Affordable Care Act.
Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware exclaimed that he is concerned about whether Barrett gets into the Supreme Court, because Coons thinks that Barrett believes the “Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.” This concerns me as a U.S. citizen because I depend on the Affordable Care Act as a 20-year-old college student. Being under the age of 26, I am able to be under my parent’s insurance; without it, I have no healthcare coverage. This would be horrible not just for me, but for other people my age too, because we don’t have the money to pay insurance providers. This is why Amy Coney Barrett shouldn’t be put into the Supreme Court; it would give Republicans and President Trump the upper hand, as they would have the majority in the Supreme Court. I know they wouldn’t just stop at the Affordable Care Act. They would strike against LGBTQIA+ rights, reproduction rights, and climate change too.
Barrett claims that her views as a judge are rooted in the text of the constitution, but so many things that are implemented today as rights are not in the constitution. For one, LGBTQIA+ rights are not included, which gives me the impression that Barrett is determined to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 Supreme Court decision that protects gay marriage in all 50 states. Only three members who ruled to protect gay marriage are still on the Supreme Court. If Barrett were to become a Justice of the Supreme Court, it would be terrifying because she would be part of the majority of Justices that want to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges. To add, Barret used the term “sexual preference” to describe the LGBTQIA+ community; that is extremely offensive, as it implies that sexuality is a choice when it is not. With Barrett refusing to respond to questions about whether or not she would overturn the Obergefell v. Hodges, her silence says it all.
With Amy Coney Barrett up for nomination, it scares me because it is likely that so many people will have their rights taken from them. Human rights should not be up for discussion at the Supreme Court, especially by the majority of conservatives, a majority that represents a minority of Americans, that want to take them away. Her silence shows how she will rule, which is with her biased, religious, conservative values. It actually frightens me, thinking about if Barrett were to be able to become a justice before election day like President Trump wants because he will end up having someone in the courts that will support every decision he makes. With this in mind, our rights would be taken away at the snap of the Supreme Court’s fingers.
Feature Image: Sage Amdahl / Quaker Campus