What do Amy Coney Barrett and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg have in common? They are both women. That seems to be where their similarities end.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died last week after a long battle with cancer. She served as seat to the Supreme Court from 1993 until 2020. During her tenure as a Supreme Court Justice, Ginsburg passed monumental bills to ensure rights for underrepresented groups, including women and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
She took part in United States v. Virginia, arguing for gender equality as a constitutional right, and striking down Virginia Military Institute’s male-only admissions policy. In Obergefell v. Hodges, Ginsburg helped grant same-sex couples the right to marry in all 50 states. In Olmstead v. LC, Ginsburg wrote the majority opinion to reinforce the rights that the disabled community needs to be granted.
Ginsburg’s work is part of the reason that women can own a home or a bank account without a man’s signature, and part of the reason that women have choice over their bodies.
Ginsburg had one last dying wish, to not have her seat filled until there was a new president in office. Not even a week after she took her last breath, President Donald Trump started the search for someone to fill her seat.
Trump has nominated Amy Coney Barrett from Chicago to assume Bader Ginsburg’s position. This decision alarms many, as Barrett is a right-wing Republican who uses her Catholic views to lead her legislative choices. Amy Coney Barrett will likely undo Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy. In 2006, she tried to overturn Roe v. Wade, and she will probably try again.
Guilford alum Lizzy Kapuscinski ‘20 shared their view on the new justice.
“I’m very worried about the lasting effects of her nomination on the Supreme Court for decades,” said Kapuscinski. “With healthcare, reproductive rights, and DACA on the line I’m genuinely scared to see how the Supreme Court would rule on cases with her sitting on the court.”
During the 2020 presidential debate, Chris Wallace asked the presidential candidates to state their opinions on Barrett’s nomination.
Trump said in regards to Barrett, “good in every way, good in every way. Some of her endorsers are top liberal people. I think she will be outstanding and as good as anyone that has ever served.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden also shared his thoughts on Barrett’s appointment.
“The American people have the right to vote. What is at stake here, she wants to get rid of the Affordable Care Act,” Biden said.
Many seem to be blinded by the fact that she is a woman, thinking that her gender makes her a good fit for the position, but Political Science Professor Maria Rosales emphasized the importance of her policies.
“Representation matters–more people are likely to be able to imagine themselves as future judges if they see more women on the highest court,” Rosales stated. “But even more than representation, the effects of policies matter. If her positions don’t change, Barrett’s decisions are likely to undermine policies that have allowed some movement toward greater equity.”
Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment to the new Supreme Court seat is a disgrace. The United States is in a time of crisis. Health is more important now than ever before. Amy Coney Barrett will be the reason that many communities of people lose their rights to healthcare. This is yet another choice made during the Trump campaign that will negatively affect the American people.