Upholding the integrity of the Constitution

William Baik, Staff Writer

Judge Amy Coney Barrett was met with a wave of criticism following her nomination. Her strong Catholic faith and views opposite Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg caught fire on social media. However, there is much irony in criticizing Barrett purely for most of her viewpoints, as her consistent track record means that Barrett meets the qualifications to be a credible Supreme Court member.

Barrett approaches judging through a rigid adherence to the Constitution. In due part to her clerkship under former Justice Antonin Scalia, her rulings rarely stray from what is prescribed in the Constitution, evident in her short career in the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Her dissenting opinion on Kanter v. Barr, for instance, consisted of a 37-page paper detailing the intentions of the Founding Fathers in the ownership of a gun. Though it is possible that this unwillingness to shift with the times is a fallacy in Barrett’s judging, stricter judges are necessary to put a threshold on how far government powers can expand.

This is especially true in an age where progressivism, or social reform, has emerged at the centerpoint of politics. Questioning the extent of our civil liberties are vital towards a healthy democracy, but deciding where the boundaries lay for Congress’ policies remains ambiguous due to how the majority inevitably fluctuates over time. It is impossible to assert that Barrett’s addition will suppress progress entirely or that her future actions would substantially impact social reform.

Conservatives will hold a 6-3 majority over the Supreme Court if Barrett is confirmed by the Senate, giving opportunities to overturn landmark cases. Roe v. Wade is the primary case of concern, as its precedent on the federal legality of abortion could be flipped with Barrett’s personal opposition to abortion. Barrett also states Roe v. Wade is not “super-precedent” as per her confirmation hearings, meaning that the case is debated enough to question if its original decision should stand. The pro-choice, pro-life debate remains a deeply contentious point, but supporters of the pro-life movement will find Barrett’s nomination appealing.

A judicial confirmation on the horizon encourages Republican voters in swing states to participate in the upcoming election. The possibilities she presents in overturning cases in favor of a conservative-leaning population may likely spur voters to cast their ballots. These votes look to be particularly important considering President Donald Trump’s 16-point deficit to Joe Biden as per CNN’s poll conducted from Oct. 1-4. The Senate’s final confirmation vote is expected to be around Oct. 26, days before Election Day; her nomination could end up altering the election outcome.

People are often threatened by the prospect of ideas that do not align with their own. Barrett’s stance on several hot topics may perturb those with opposing views, but her consistency and assertiveness will ensure that she retains the integrity of the Constitution while serving on the Supreme Court.