New Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett tilts the court to the right


Created by Evelyn Gudino using Canva

This infographic provides important details about Judge Barrett’s life, education and career.

Imagine a world where you cannot make decisions over your own body. This, among many other concerns, is a real fear for some due to the Supreme Court Justice who has been confirmed, Justice Amy Coney Barrett. The highest court of the land now leans conservative: six to three. 

Barret’s nomination and subsequent confirmation raised many eyebrows across the nation. There were those who said it was the president’s right to nominate and fill the vacant seat in the Supreme Court while there were others who thought we should have waited until after the election was over.

When asked about the haste at which Barrett was confirmed, U.S. History teacher Rafael Ramos stated, “If we are just going to go strict interpretation of the law then they have the right to do it, the only reason that I was against it was because of the way that the Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, how they had behaved towards Obama because Obama was almost in the same exact same position and they totally blocked him and prevented him from his constitutional right.”

What Ramos says resonates with many across the nation because people can see the double standard the Republican-controlled Senate had with Obama whose nomination was blocked for almost eight months before the election four years ago and Trump whose nomination was pushed through 38 days before the election.

“I opposed it just because of how they treated Obama and clearly it’s a power grab.” 

When discussing Barrett’s age, 48, and the fact that Supreme Court Justices serve life terms Ramos said, “in a true democracy, there has to be term limits. It’s ridiculous that nine people can decide, or the decision of nine people can impact over 300 million people, so I think there needs to be more justices, I think they need to expand the court, and the number has changed. The constitution doesn’t say it has to be nine.”

Junior Lillian Le was also asked about the prospect of Barrett having the potential to serve three decades on the highest court of the land.

“In some ways, it can be good but it’s also kind of scary to know that when someone receives that power there is no way to take it from them.” 

That fear is one that many people have when it is taken into account that Barrett is a self-proclaimed originalist

Ramos stated, “This whole interpretation of the constitution, you have people that are the originalists or have the strict interpretation and then people that have the loose interpretation. It’s concerning because when the constitution was written look at what life was like back then. Life has completely changed so you cannot have a strict interpretation of it you have to have a loose interpretation.”

Sticking to the letter of the law that was written over 200 years ago is not the only worrisome factor; her vocal religious beliefs have come into question too.

Ramos said, “Her religious beliefs are concerning because she is in a political position, and in the United States, we have a separation of church and state. Your religious beliefs should not impact the political decisions and choices that you are going to make. That’s in theory, that’s not what actually happens.”

“It’s concerning when it comes to people applying their religious beliefs in many different aspects but the big one is LGBTQ rights, right, because people are like ‘well my religion tells me that the gay lifestyle, the gay life, and gay people it’s a sin’ so that’s concerning if you’re LGBTQ you know because we think we’ve already progressed and marriage equality but there’s been times in our country’s history, and we saw it with Trump, where we thought we had moved ahead and then we moved backward on social issues. And so if I was part of the gay community or an advocate for the gay community, which I am, I support gay marriage and gay rights it’s concerning because if she applies her very strict religious beliefs then she is going to rule against marriage equality or expanding rights for gay Americans. Same thing with abortion right we know how people that are very religious how they feel about abortion and so again if they take that and apply it or she applies it to how she rules then it’s possible that they can undo Roe v. Wade.” 

Le said, “She tends to be more religious and as a society, we are becoming more accepting. As a Catholic, while I understand some of her views, I don’t agree with her and I don’t think she should let her faith rule her decision.”

One glimmer of hope for progressive Americans is that the country is getting younger and people are standing up for equality more and more with each passing day. 

Ramos said, “It’s going to be very interesting because I think if they go and they undo marriage equality and they undo Roe v. Wade, they are going to pay hell for it. People are not going to take it. I think we are going to see protests in the streets and that will put pressure on them to kind of reverse the way they have gone.”