Politics

Of The 88 Notre Dame ‘Colleagues’ Who Signed Letter Criticizing Barrett, There Are 4 Gender Studies Profs, 4 ‘Peace Studies’ Profs, 7 Librarians… And No Lawyers

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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Eighty-eight faculty members at the University of Notre Dame signed a letter criticizing their “colleague,” Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, though none of these faculty members are from Notre Dame’s Law School.

The letter calls on Barrett to halt her confirmation process until after the election, acknowledging that doing so might ultimately deprive Barrett of the Supreme Court vacancy. (RELATED: Barrett Addresses Attacks On Her Adopted Children From Haiti)

“We’re asking a lot, we know,” the Notre Dame faculty letter said.

“Should Vice-President Biden be elected, your seat on the court will almost certainly be lost. That would be painful, surely. Yet there is much to be gained in risking your seat. You would earn the respect of fair-minded people everywhere. You would provide a model of civic selflessness. And you might well inspire Americans of different beliefs toward a renewed commitment to the common good.”

None of the faculty members who signed the letter were from the University of Notre Dame Law School.

Four of those on the list were gender studies professors, five were peace studies professors, nine specialized in English, and seven specialized in Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Libraries.

Leaders at the University of Notre Dame have previously praised Barrett and expressed support for her confirmation.

“She is a person of the utmost integrity who, as a jurist, acts first and foremost in accord with the law,” Notre Dame President John Jenkins said in a statement. “I join her colleagues in the Law School and across the campus in congratulating her on the nomination, and wish her and her family well through what has become, sadly, a personally bruising confirmation process.”

“Judge Amy Coney Barrett is an absolutely brilliant legal scholar and jurist,” Joseph A. Matson Dean of the Law School Marcus Cole said in a statement following Barrett’s nomination. “She is also one of the most popular teachers we have ever had here at Notre Dame Law School. Judge Barrett is incredibly generous with her time and wisdom while mentoring her students.”

The Notre Dame faculty letter came after over 50 law professors sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee Friday praising Barrett’s qualifications as “stellar” and expressing support for her confirmation. (RELATED: Barrett Could Do ‘Enduring, Explosive Damage’ On Supreme Court, Dem Senator Says)

“Although we have differing perspectives on the methods and conclusions in her scholarship, we all agree that her contributions are rigorous, fair-minded, respectful, and constructive,” the professors wrote in their letter.

“Her work demonstrates a thorough understanding of the issues and challenges that federal courts confront.”

Barrett’s confirmation hearings kicked off Monday morning and continued throughout Tuesday and Wednesday. Democratic senators asked Barrett to discuss her opinions on a variety of political issues, including Obamacare, abortion, and same-sex marriage.

Barrett declined to indicate how she would judge issues that come before the Supreme Court.

“I have no mission and no agenda,” she said, regarding whether she would follow President Donald Trump’s wishes and overturn Obamacare. “Judges don’t have campaign promises.”

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