Amy Barrett Coney was a law professor and judge on an appeals court before she was elected to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2020.
Who is Amy Barrett Coney?
Amy Barrett Coney was one of the best students at Notre Dame Law School. She later became a well-known professor at her old school. Following three years on the seat for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, President Trump designated the moderate appointed authority to supplant Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. High Court in September 2020. The Senate agreed that she should be on the Supreme Court in October 2020.
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Amy Barrett Coney was born Amy Vivian Coney in New Orleans, Louisiana, on January 28, 1972. She was the oldest of seven kids. Mike, her father, was a lawyer for Shell Oil, and Linda, her mother, was a French teacher.
The future judge grew up in the suburb of Old Metairie. Amy Barrett Coney went to St. Catherine of Siena for elementary school and St. Mary’s Dominican for high school, where she was named vice president of her class.
Amy Barrett Coney joined Phi Beta Kappa when he went to Rhodes College in Tennessee. In 1994, he got a B.A. in English literature with the highest grade possible, magna cum laude. Then, in 1997, she got her law degree with honours from Notre Dame Law School. There, she won the Hoynes Prize for being the best student in her class and was the executive editor of the Notre Dame Law Review.
Early Years in Law:
After Amy Barrett Coney graduated, Barrett worked as a law clerk for Judge Laurence Silberman of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. A year later, he did the same thing for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who is known as a conservative icon.
Prestigious Law Firm:
Amy Barrett Coney joined the prestigious law firm Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin in Washington, D.C., in 1999. In 2001, he switched to teaching at George Washington University Law School as the John M. Olin Fellow at Law.
Professor of Law at Notre Dame:
Amy Barrett Coney went back to Notre Dame Law School in 2002 as an assistant professor. She eventually became a full-time professor known for her expertise in federal courts, constitutional law, and the interpretation of laws. She was named Distinguished Professor of the Year three times, and from 2014 to 2017 she was the Diane and M.O. Miller Research Chair of Law.
During her time as a law professor, Barrett lived in South Bend, Indiana. She joined the board at South Bend’s Trinity School at Green lawn and was known as a big Notre Dame Football fan.
Grave Violation of Religious Freedom:
Barrett’s strong Catholic and conservative beliefs also started to make her known across the country during these years. In 2012, she signed a statement that said President Barack Obama’s requirement that contraceptives be covered by health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a “grave violation of religious freedom.” After three years later, she signed a letter to Catholic Bishops that praised “the value of human life from conception to natural death” and “the family built on the unbreakable commitment of a man and a woman.”
Barrett again disagreed the next year when Cook County v. Wolf upheld the blocking of Trump’s “public charge” rule, which made it hard for immigrants who depended on public assistance to get green cards. Barrett said that the administration’s position was “not unreasonable,” and he insisted that the courts were “not the place” to settle policy disputes that were controversial.
Also, the judge has said what she thinks about important legal and political issues in her writing and speeches.
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals:
In May 2017, President Trump chose Barrett to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which includes Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. During the confirmation hearing in September, Democrats tried to find out if the nominee’s religious beliefs would affect her too much. At one point, California Senator Diane Feinstein said, “The dogma lives loudly within you.”
Approved by a Vote:
Barrett was finally approved by a vote of 55-43 in October 2017. Three Democrats, Tim Kaine, Joe Manchin, and Joe Donnelly, voted with the Republicans to support Barrett.
Thoughts and Explanations:
In the time of her three years on the Seventh Circuit bench, Judge Barrett wrote about 100 opinions that boosted her reputation as a textualist and originalist like her mentor, Scalia:
Right to the Second Amendment:
In the 2019 case Kanter v. Barr, Barrett was the only judge to disagree with the decision that a man convicted of a white-collar crime could not own a gun. She wrote, “Founding legislatures did not take away felons’ right to bear arms just because they were felons.”
Do Not Know Yet:
Amy Barrett Coney said in a 2013 law review article that she didn’t have to follow the doctrine of stare decisis, which says that courts should follow the decisions made in similar cases. “I tend to agree with those who say that a justice’s duty is to the Constitution and that it is therefore more legitimate for her to enforce her best understanding of the Constitution rather than a precedent she thinks is clearly in conflict with it,” she wrote.
Amy Barrett Coney view of “stare decisis” has made her critics think she wants to overturn the 1973 Roe. Wade decision that legalised abortion. The pro-life judge has talked at length about how complicated the topic is, from whether it’s a good idea to let non-elected judges decide the issue to how to stop the government from paying for abortions. However, in a lecture in 2013, she said it was unlikely that the landmark ruling would be overturned.
Act on Affordable Care:
In an article from 2017, Amy Barrett Coney criticized Chief Justice John Roberts for upholding the Affordable Care Act by calling the fine for not having health insurance a tax. “To save the Affordable Care Act, Chief Justice Roberts made it mean things that didn’t make sense,” she wrote.
Choosing and Putting People on the Supreme Court:
On September 26, 2020, President Trump nominated Barrett to replace liberal trailblazer Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court. He called Barrett a “woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials, and unwavering loyalty to the Constitution.”
Nomination for Supreme Court:
After Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, this was Trump’s third nomination to the Supreme Court. The choice added to the tension between the president and his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, in an already heated election year. Four years ago, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to hold hearings for Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland. He said that the public should have a say in who the next president is, so he didn’t want to hold hearings. This time, though, McConnell and his fellow Republicans started the confirmation process just a few weeks before the election.
Senate Judiciary Committee:
On October 22, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to move Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court forward. On October 26, she was confirmed by a 52-48 vote, making the conservative majority on the court even stronger. Clarence Thomas took her oath of office.
Family and Husband:
Amy Barrett Coney and her husband, Jesse, who also went to Notre Dame and used to be a federal prosecutor, have seven children. Two of their kids are from Haiti, and their youngest has Down syndrome.
Groups and Individuals:
Amy Barrett Coney has been a part of the Federalist Society, the American Law Institute, and the Notre Dame group Faculty for Life, which is against abortion. She and her husband are also said to be members of People of Praise, a Christian group whose members make a “covenant” of loyalty for life and look to spiritual advisors for help in making personal decisions.