Since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Donald Trump has been rushing to fill her empty seat. Despite acting like he is empathetic of her passing, Trump’s merchandise page had a shirt available less than 24 hours after her death that read, “Fill that seat.”
Trump’s nominee is none other than Amy Coney Barrett, a federal justice who has worked on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals since 2017. Despite being qualified for the role of Supreme Court justice, she lacks years of judicial experience, in addition to having a questionable background in legal decisions.
Justice Amy Coney Barrett is, what I like to call, a conservative’s wet dream. She communicates the conservative platitude of following tradition and faith, despite the separation of church and state. In her speech given upon accepting her nomination from President Trump at the White House, she praised her staunchly anti-LGBTQ+ mentor and former Supreme Court justice, Antonin Scalia.
According to Pink News, Scalia was a strong dissenter on LGBTQ+ equality. And yes, he was one of the four justices who voted against legalizing same-sex marriage in 2015. He even tried to compare laws against bestiality and incest to laws against homosexuality, claiming that if people believe homosexuality is “immoral” then the same pretense exists for laws against homosexual sex.
If it wasn’t already obvious that Justice Barrett is obnoxiously Roman Catholic, she has been criticized for this behavior as well. In her confirmation hearing to become a U.S. circuit judge, many Democratic senators questioned her ability to place her beliefs out of the question when it came to issues of abortion and LGBTQ+ rights. It is important to realize young women’s reproductive rights are on the table, and not having access to safe abortions will only endanger lives, rather than protect lives. Sen. Feinstein said, “The dogma lives loudly within you,” before going on to say that this is a concern for human rights issues in the U.S. as a whole.
While it is the duty of the president to fill the seat of Supreme Court justice, it is not the right time for this to occur. With an election less than a month away, the decision should be given to the people, especially young people whose rights are at stake.
If Amy Coney Barrett is made a Supreme Court justice, the Supreme Court will have a 6-3 conservative majority. With her problematic statements and lack of support towards minority communities, it is safe to say that Amy Coney Barrett being selected to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg means negative repercussions for multiple minority sections in our society, affecting not just college campuses like our own, but the country as a whole. Our country will only go backward instead of progressing forward.
This isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue anymore. Instead, I ask of you: When has a country moving backward ever been a good thing? It is also quite hypocritical for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to rush Barrett’s nomination and support it when, in 2016, there was a similar situation. When Justice Scalia passed, President Barack Obama pointed to Merrick Garland to fill his seat. According to NPR, Mitch McConnell declared any appointment by the current president to be null and void.
In the words of Mitch McConnell, “The American people should have a say in the court's direction. It is a president's constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court justice, and it is the Senate's constitutional right to act as a check on the president and withhold its consent."
As Americans, it is our right to demand this nomination be made by the next president, and as the next generation, we deserve the right to have a say in this monumental decision. Justice Amy Coney Barrett, your “dogma” will not be accepted by the American people.