The issue with Amy Coney-Barrett

Why Coney-Barrett should not be a Supreme Court Justice

The issue with Amy Coney-Barrett

Haley Shock, Reporter

On October 26, 2020, the Senate confirmed Amy Coney-Barrett a seat on the Supreme Court with a vote of 52-48. 38 days prior to Coney-Barrett’s victory in taking the seat, Ruth Bader-Ginsburg died after opening so many doors for women, people in the LGBTQ+ community, and many other minorities.

Coney-Barrett walked through that open door, slammed it closed, and is now at Home Depot buying padlocks to keep that door closed.

A Brief History of RBG  

Ruth Bader-Ginsberg began her time as a Justice on the Supreme Court in 1993 as a Democrat, with an overwhelming approval from the Senate, 96-3. In 2013 RBG became the first ever Supreme Court Justice to officiate a same-sex marriage ceremony. She also believed that the Equal Rights Amendment, or ERA, should be officially added to the Constitution, which she fought for for years. As well as her beliefs, RBG followed Judaism her entire life, which also made her the first female Jewish judge.

A Brief History of Amy Coney-Barrett

Coney-Barrett is quite the opposite of Bader-Ginsberg, being raised Catholic and still following that faith, Coney-Barrett is part of the Republican party and shares a lot of similar views as President Donald Trump. She is in favor of making abortion illegal, in many cases saying that it is against her religion to get an abortion or be in favor of them. Although she has never clearly stated what her stance would be on support of the LGBTQ+ community if put onto the Supreme Court,

through her career she has said many things that can give us an idea of what her stance is. In 2015, Barrett signed a letter titled “Letter to Synod Fathers from Catholic Women” sent to Catholic bishops to highlight the loyalty and “inclusive presence” of women in the Church.  It suggests that marriage and sexuality should be between a man and a woman.

The main issue with Amy Coney-Barrett becoming a Justice

For many Justices, being a member of the Supreme Court can be a lifetime position, you can enter in your forties and stay there for multiple decades to come, being in one of the highest positions of power in our country. Considering the great power someone in this position holds for that great time, the decision made by the president and senate to add them to the court should be thoroughly thought through, debated, and take multiple months to go through every little detail that goes into this decision. 


For a while, everyone agreed on this. According to New York Times, four years ago, during former President Barack Obama’s last year in office, senate Republicans refused to accept Obama’s nomination to fill an open seat on the court 237 days before election day, saying they should wait to allow the new president to fill the position. Now Trump nominated Coney-Barrett a mere 38 days before election day, and it has barely been disputed whether they should allow a man who will be kicked out of office in a few days choose someone for a high power, life time position in the government. 

What makes Trump’s situation so much more different than Obama’s situation four years ago? Well, former President Trump knew that his time in office could very possibly be ending very soon, despite his seemingly endless boasting. During his four year presidency, before RBG’s death, he had appointed two people, Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh, making 5/9 of the Justices nominated by Republican presidents. Then, after RBG’s death in October, Trump saw his chance to secure a lead in Republican Justices and took it, pushing for Coney-Barrett to fill the empty seat before Election Day on November 3. 

Should Coney-Barrett be allowed to keep the position that was prematurely given to her despite the possibility of Trump losing his re-election mere days after appointing her to the court? The Constitution states that Justices “shall hold their Offices during good Behavior.” This means that the Justices hold office as long as they choose and can only be removed from office by impeachment. Which means that unless everyone finds the grounds on which she was put on the court to be unlawful or not following conduct, she cannot be removed from office.

What does Coney-Barrett being a Justice mean for women?

Along with many of her fellow conservatives, Coney-Barrett is pro-life, which is influenced by her religion as a Catholic, believing the value of a human life from conception cannot be taken while in the womb. Coney-Barrett will undoubtedly make great strides against abortion, working to make it illegal in every state. Currently, abortion is technically legal in all states and territories of the United States, but despite its legality, some states have laws called “trigger laws”. Trigger laws, while not actually stating abortion is illegal, do say that if certain key changes occur in circumstances, they can prevent an abortion from happening. Many states trigger laws would state that unless they are medically necessary for the safety of the mother’s life, abortion is illegal.

Which means that any other reason the woman presents for getting an abortion would not be considered grounds for an abortion, despite the severity of the reasoning. According to research done by Guttmacher Institute, a pro-choice research organization, a poll done in 2004 showed that 73% of women polled said that one of their biggest reasons for getting an abortion was that they simply could not afford having a child. Then 38% said that it would dramatically interfere with their career or education. 

Some say that they cannot afford to go on maternity leave from their current jobs, or having a baby as a student would force them to quit school to become a working mother. Having to juggle school, work, and a baby can be a stressful, mostly achievable goal, so, many are forced to cut one of the components out of their life to make it easier to care for their child. Most of the time, parents do not have the funds to go without work, so the majority of the time, they will quit school.

The copious amounts of student moms forced to leave school to care for their child leads to less women in higher paying positions, and more to living in poverty because they didn’t have the schooling required to get a high paying job. Of the people interviewed by Guttmacher Institute, two-thirds were living below the 200% of the federal poverty level, with half at or below the poverty line. 

If abortion was made illegal, like people like Amy Coney-Barrett are fighting for, poverty rates would undoubtedly shoot through the roof as more women are forced to take low paying jobs to care for their child, and more and more women would be forced to quit their pursuit of higher education, making the amount of women in high positions of power in the world even lower than it already is. 

With Coney-Barrett on the Supreme Court, conservative pro-lifers have taken a huge lead of 6-3, which creates the chance of abortion becoming illegal even higher, and the chance of women everywhere becoming powerful, even lower. 

The bottom line

There are many issues with Amy Coney-Barrett and whether or not she should even be allowed to take a seat as a Justice on the Supreme Court, from her strides against the LGBTQ+ community, to her beliefs against women having control over their bodies and lives.