Supreme Court candidate Amy Coney Barrett’s judicial record is not long, but she has already instilled fear in Democrats that women will soon be stripped of their legal right to abortion.
As the date of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court decision creeps closer, the public seeks to determine how a newcomer to the federal bench could potentially affect a decision to preserve or overturn the court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision giving women the right to have an abortion.
Opponents fear that Coney Barrett, a former University of Notre Dame professor, will bring her faith into the courtroom and threaten to overturn Roe v. Wade. Fears have heightened after Trump narrowed his choices down to Coney Barrett along with Judges Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
Democrats might not have reason to quake in their boots, however, as Coney Barrett has indicated she doesn’t expect Roe v. Wade will be overturned.
“I think it is very unlikely at this point that the court is going to overturn Roe,” Coney Barrett said in 2013. “The fundamental element, that the woman has a right to choose abortion, will probably stand.”
Her comments precede Trump’s indication during the 2016 campaign that he would seek to see the legal right to abortion overturned during his tenure in the White House. He said in a Sunday interview that abortion might soon “end up with states.” (RELATED: Trump Doubles Down On Roe V Wade — Abortion May Soon ‘End Up With States’)
Coney Barrett has also staunchly defended her ability to leave her faith out of the courtroom.
“I see no conflict between having a sincerely held faith and duties as a judge,” Coney Barrett testified during her confirmation hearing. “I would never impose my own personal convictions upon the law.”
Colleagues and fellow clerks have defended Coney Barrett as a solid choice for the Supreme Court.
“She was very, very smart. Not at all ideological,” said Boston University law professor Jay Wexler. Wexler clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg alongside Coney Barrett, according to the Chicago Tribune. “I take her at her word that she will try as hard as anyone can to bracket the views she has as she decides cases.”
Coney Barrett served as a law clerk to the late Justice Antonin Scalia before joining Notre Dame faculty as a law professor. She was appointed to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017. Despite her lack of extended judicial experience, sources have compared Coney Barrett to Justice Elena Kagan for her rigorous thinking and expertise on legal technicalities. Kagan and Coney Barrett do not align ideologically.
The president will announce his Supreme Court nominee on Monday.
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