When we lost Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we knew there was absolutely no way that Trump’s female Supreme Court pick to replace her could possibly measure up. But, somehow, Judge Amy Coney Barrett is even more disappointing than we anticipated
If confirmed, Judge Barrett will be the fifth woman to ever serve on the U.S. Supreme Court in its more than 200-year history. She will join the likes of Judge Ginsburg, Judge Sandra Day O’Connor, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, and Judge Elena Kagan. However, based on her personal values and ruling history, she cannot be compared to any of them.
In fact, she can only be compared to a quintessential conservative old white man.
Of course, Judge Barrett will not be the first conservative female justice to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge O’Connor was right-leaning and typically voted in line with her party. She wasn’t exactly a trailblazer for women’s rights, but when she was presented with the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade, she didn’t.
Admittedly, she made the process to get an abortion harder, but she did not take away a woman’s right to choose. We cannot so much as even hope for the same type of ruling from Judge Barrett.
Roe v. Wade is only one of the many things women need to be worried about with Judge Barrett serving on the court. If her personal beliefs impact her decision-making, IVF treatment and access to contraception are also at risk, especially if she has the opportunity to overturn the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).
Judge Amy Coney Barrett will not be sitting on that court fighting to smash the patriarchy, she will be giving it an extra hand.
None of this is to say that she isn’t intelligent, that she hasn’t worked hard to get where she is, or that she isn’t technically qualified for the position.
As a woman (and as a woman raising two girls), I love seeing female leaders because they did it, they actually beat the system and succeeded despite everything working against them. Judge Barrett did succeed, but she succeeded by playing the GOP’s game. She earned her spot on the US Supreme Court while essentially accepting “a woman’s place” in a patriarchal society.
Throughout her hearings, Judge Barrett has refused to say how she’d rule on certain cases. This isn’t uncommon, as justices don’t like to speak in terms of hypotheticals. But, for some reason, it doesn’t feel like she’s demonstrating her impartiality or composure, it feels like she’s unofficially confirming all of our worst fears. Her desire to appear neutral is, in reality, an admission to rule in favor of the GOP and against women’s rights.
She is not the kind of woman who should be sitting in the country’s highest court. We can only hope that the Democrats will somehow prevent the confirmation of Judge Barrett and can then select their own nominee when/if we win the 2020 election.