Like any trained litigator, Justice Amy Coney Barrett twirled through the minefield of questions Senate Democrats laid for her. Aided by conservatives touting her resume, the Supreme Court nominee finished her hearings having discussed nothing of great import.
Of course, she testified to all questions she was asked, responding in an eloquent manner. But could the populous see the tilt of the court in her answers? Do any of us really know what Amy Coney Barrett will do to precious cases? No.
With her confirmation this week, the question for many, including the many of us college students, is what will a third President Donald Trump SCOTUS member mean for the average person?
Unfortunately, Justice Barrett refused to give much of a glimpse into the future of the nation this past week.
The newly appointed justice was grilled on a number of topics, from the Affordable Care Act to reproductive health, yet she hit back with tight non-answers that left limited room for further probity. This was evident in Barrett’s equivocation on the ACA; wherein she claimed to have no animosity toward or have an agenda for.
Well if the nominee fails to shed light on the effects of her being granted the power of judicial review, then we have to look to the praises that have been heaped upon her by her proponents in the Senate.
While it is true that justices do not always reflect the political leanings to the letter of the party or individual who appointed them, but the nature of Senate approval and presidential nomination politicizes the court. Whether or not Barrett is truly a staunch conservative is not what is held in the public eye, because that would be the obnoxious theater surrounding placing her on the bench.
With several landmark cases and precedents up for review in the near future, many are terrified of a super majority of conservative justices. The country could take a drastic shift in the liberties it protects for its citizens. The key word: “could.”
Where does this leave us college students, some societally intrigued and others without a care for who even the president is? It is at least important to know the facts of the matter and create an opinion, and to do that through the smokescreen Barrett has placed around her leanings is most challenging.
If one is to believe those republicans who laud her for her stances as pro-life and anti Obama-era legislations, then the logical step would be to draft a political view accordingly. The question then becomes whether or not we can believe the senators’ praises.
Justice Barrett certainly did nothing to stop the stream of exaltations to her historic stances, leaving one with the notion that House Judiciary conservatives pegged her for what she believes.
With this assumption set, it becomes clear why understanding the Judiciary system is so important. There is so much at stake, no matter your politics this means something.
With a case in circulation that has been drafted to challenge “Obamacare,” the Supreme Court has the power to do what Senate republicans could not, kill healthcare in order to remake it in their image.
Not only healthcare, but reproductive rights are also on the table. Several southern states have drafted legislation intended to overturn the historic 1973 Roe versus Wade case, making abortion legal in the United States.
Even the memo published by Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito calling for an overturning of the 2015 Obergefell versus Hodges decision allowing for gay marriage, calls into question the legal future for said right to marry.
And there are an innumerable number of cases that could come before the supreme court, and we don’t know what Barrett intends to do with them. That is scary.
That fear often boils into anger in the hearts of many college students, but it is important to remain calm and informed. Whether or not these things will happen is not for me to say, but these things matter and we should care.