Amy Coney Barrett: the threat to human rights


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Amy Coney Barrett, the judge replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Amy Coney Barret, the new Supreme Court justice replacing late Justice Ginsburg poses a threat to American democracy and civil liberties.

Barrett’s past rulings indicate that she cannot be an inclusive or objective judge, towards people of minority religions, races, and sexual identities.

At the beginning of her career as a judge on the Seventh Circuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against AutoZone for segregating its workplaces by race. Barrett voted against accepting this case at the appellate level. Her vote asserts that she agrees with the lower court decision to uphold a racist practice that violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Justice Barrett apparently accepts, against historic legal precedent, that ‘‘separate but equal’ can exist.

On the second day of Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., asked Judge Barrett to define the meaning of originalism, which appears to be wedded to her self-image as a judge.

“In English that means that I interpret the Constitution as a law,” she said in response, “and that I interpret its text as text, and I understand it to have the meaning that it had at the time people ratified it. So that meaning doesn’t change over time and it’s not up to me to update it or infuse my own policy views into it.”

This statement presents hypocrisy, as Justice Barrett holds a distinctly Catholic view, which has certainly influenced her rulings.

In a 1988 Law review article, Barrett wrote, “Judges cannot-nor should they try to-align our legal system with the Church’s moral teaching whenever the two diverge. They should, however, conform their own behavior to the Church’s standard. Perhaps their good example will have some effect.”

If Judges are the instruments of the court’s decision making, and their own behavior, according to Barrett, should conform to the church’s standards, then they are, in fact, aligning the legal system with the church’s moral teaching. By failing to exclude religious morals from the rulings in her cases, Barrett is contributing to the erosion of the separation of Church and State, thereby, infringing upon First Amendment Rights. This is no surprise, since, the so-called originalist, failed to name all five freedoms the First Amendment grants: freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly, and protest.

Additionally, Barrett has been open in her condemnation of a woman’s right to choose and rights for the LGBTQ+ community, demonstrating her inability to be an objective judge for all people, not only those she tolerates.

In a case involving prisoners who were injured and terrorized by guards shooting buckshot above their heads, as a means of keeping order, Barrett ruled against the prisoners’ right to file a lawsuit. Barrett opposed the majority of the ruling, choosing to disregard the prisoner’s 8th Amendment rights, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. Moreover, she denied the legal precedent which deemed that “the right of access to the courts is an aspect of the First Amendment right to petition the Government for redress of grievances,” as ruled by the Supreme Court in Bill Johnson’s Restaurants, Inc. v. NLRB in 1983.