September 26, 2020

Amy Coney Barrett: Meet President Trump’s Third Supreme Court Nominee

Key Takeaways:

  • Judge Barrett is an exceptionally well-qualified Supreme Court nominee

    • Barrett currently serves as a judge on the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, having been confirmed with bipartisan support in 2017

    • Barrett has a stellar academic record, graduating magna cum laude from Rhodes College and summa cum laude and first in her class from Notre Dame Law School

    • Barrett has sterling legal credentials, having clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and renowned Circuit Court Judge Laurence Silberman

    • Barrett was rated “well qualified” by the American Bar Association during her 2017 Circuit Court confirmation

    • Barrett has been a Professor at Notre Dame Law School since 2002 and has also taught law at the University of Virginia and George Washington University

  • Judge Barrett has received universal acclaim from the legal community, her colleagues, and her students

  • Barrett is a woman of faith and character, and she is an historic nominee

    • Barrett is a working mother of seven, including two adopted children from Haiti and one child with special needs

    • Barrett is a devout Catholic, and is actively involved in her community and her church

    • Barrett would be only the fifth woman to serve on the Supreme Court, and she would become the only mother currently on the Court

JUDGE BARRETT HAS LED A VERY SCUCCESSFUL AND ACCOMPLISHED LEGAL CAREER

A Sterling Academic Record

Judge Barrett Graduated Magna Cum Laude From Rhodes College. (“Hon. Amy Coney Barrett,” University Of Notre Dame Law School, Accessed 9/19/20)

  • Judge Barrett Was Chosen By Rhodes College Faculty As The Most Outstanding Graduate In The College’s English Department, Was Elected To The Honor Council, And Was Inducted Into The Rhodes Student Hall Of Fame. (“Hon. Amy Coney Barrett,” University Of Notre Dame, Accessed 9/19/20; “Rhodes College Alumna Amy Coney Barrett '94 On Shortlist For Supreme Court,” Rhodes College, 6/28/18)

Judge Barrett Graduated First In Her Class, Summa Cum Laude From Notre Dame Law School. (Amy Coney Barrett, Committee On The Judiciary, U.S. Senate, Questionnaire For Judicial Nominees, 9/6/17, p. 1; Amy Howe, “Potential Nominee Profile: Amy Coney Barrett,” SCOTUSblog, 7/4/18; Jonathan H. Adler, Richard Albert, et al., Letter To The Honorable Charles Grassley And The Honorable Dianne Feinstein, 5/19/17)

  • Barrett Attended Notre Dame Law School On A Full-Tuition Fellowship And Won The Hoynes Prize, Given To The Graduate With The Best Academic Record. (Amy Howe, “Potential Nominee Profile: Amy Coney Barrett,” SCOTUSblog, 7/4/18; “Hon. Amy Coney Barrett,” University Of Notre Dame, Accessed 9/19/20)

  • Barrett Served As Executive Editor Of The Notre Dame Law Review. (“Hon. Amy Coney Barrett,” University Of Notre Dame, Accessed 9/19/20)

Prestigious Clerkships

Judge Barrett Clerked For Judge Laurence H. Silberman Of The U.S. Court Of Appeals For The D.C. Circuit, And Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. (“Hon. Amy Coney Barrett,” University Of Notre Dame, Accessed 9/19/20; “Hon. Amy Coney Barrett,” University Of Notre Dame, Accessed 9/19/20)

Previously Confirmed With Bipartisan Support And The Support Of Every Republican Senator

In October 2017, Judge Barrett Was Confirmed 55-43 As A U.S. Circuit Court Judge For The Seventh Circuit.  (PN369, Roll Call Vote #255, Confirmed 55-43, 10/31/17)

  • Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), And Joe Donnelly Voted To Confirm Barrett, Along With Every Senate Republican. (PN369, Roll Call Vote #255, Confirmed 55-43, 10/31/17)

“Well Qualified” According To The American Bar Association

The American Bar Association Rated Judge Barrett As “Well Qualified” When She Was Nominated As A Circuit Court Judge. (American Bar Association, 12/13/18)

Two Decades As A Highly-Regarded Law Professor

Judge Barrett Has Been A Professor At Notre Dame Law School Since 2002. (“Hon. Amy Coney Barrett,” University Of Notre Dame, Accessed 9/19/20)

  • “Judge Barrett Teaches And Researches In The Area Of Federal Courts, Constitutional Law, And Statutory Interpretation.” (“Hon. Amy Coney Barrett,” University Of Notre Dame, Accessed 9/19/20)

  • Judge Barrett Was Selected As “Distinguished Professor Of The Year” By Three Graduating Classes. (“Hon. Amy Coney Barrett,” University Of Notre Dame, Accessed 9/19/20)

  • Judge Barrett Was An Assistant Professor Of Law From 2002 To 2006, An Associate Professor Of Law From 2006 To 2008, An Associate Professor Of Law (With Tenure) From 2008 To 2010, And A Professor Of Law From 2010 To Present. (Amy Coney Barrett, Curriculum Vitae, Accessed 9/24/20)

Judge Barrett Served As A Visiting Associate Professor And John M. Olin Fellow In Law At The George Washington University Law School. (“Hon. Amy Coney Barrett,” University Of Notre Dame, Accessed 9/19/20)

Judge Barrett Served As A Visiting Associate Professor Of Law At The University Of Virginia. (“Hon. Amy Coney Barrett,” University Of Notre Dame, Accessed 9/19/20)

JUDGE BARRETT HAS BEEN PRAISED BY BOTH FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES

Prominent Legal Scholars

Barrett Received “Robust Bipartisan Support From The Legal Community” During Her 2017 Nomination. “Barrett exhibited grace under fire during her contentious confirmation hearing, and she received robust bipartisan support from the legal community, including from Neal Katyal, a prominent liberal who served as President Barack Obama’s acting solicitor general.” (Elizabeth Slattery and John Malcolm, “Meet The 6 Stellar Judges Leading The Pack On Trump’s Supreme Court Short List,” The Heritage Foundation, 6/3/18)

Judge Laurence Silberman, Who Barrett Clerked For: Barrett Is An “Extraordinary Woman” And “An Extraordinary Legal Mind.” “‘She is an extraordinary woman, an extraordinary legal mind -- first-class, penetrating,’ said Silberman, who went on to help Barrett get a Supreme Court clerkship with Antonin Scalia. The iconic conservative justice became one of Barrett’s most important mentors.” (David Yaffe-Bellany and Lydia Wheeler, “In Trump Court Front-Runner, Religious Right Sees One OF Its Own,” Bloomberg, 9/23/20)

More Than 70 Prominent Legal Scholars Wrote A Letter In Support Of Barrett’s Nomination In 2017, Calling Her “Exceptionally Well Qualified.” “We are writing to express our strong support for the nomination of Professor Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. We are a diverse group of law professors who represent a broad range of fields and perspectives. We share the belief, however, that Professor Barrett is exceptionally well qualified to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals, and we urge the Senate to confirm her as a judge of that court.” (Law Professors, Letter To Senators Charles Grassley And Dianne Feinstein, 5/19/17)

Every Living Supreme Court Clerk Who Clerked With Barrett In 1998 – 34 Total – Wrote A Letter In Support Of Barrett In 2017, Calling Her “Eminently Qualified.” “She is eminently qualified for the job. This view is unanimous – every law clerk* from October Term 1998 has joined this letter.” (October Term 1998 Law Clerks, Letter To Senators Charles E. Grassley And Dianne Feinstein, 5/26/17)

Notre Dame Law School And The Catholic Community

Every Full-Time Notre Dame Law School Faculty Member – 49 Total –  Signed A Letter In Support Of Barrett When She Was Nominated In 2017. “Indeed, it is a testament to Amy’s fitness for this office that every full-time member of our faculty has signed this letter.” (Notre Dame Law School Faculty, Letter To Senators Charles E. Grassley And Dianne Feinstein, 5/11/17)

  • Notre Dame Law School Faculty: “Amy Is A Role Model For All Of Us, And Would Be A Model Of The Fair, Impartial And Sympathetic Judge.” (Notre Dame Law School Faculty, Letter To Senators Charles E. Grassley And Dianne Feinstein, 5/11/17)

  • The Letter Was Circulated And Nearly Universally Signed Within One Day. “When Amy Coney Barrett’s colleagues at the University of Notre Dame Law School learned of her nomination for a federal appeals court seat in 2017, they began signing a letter of support for her confirmation. The letter began circulating on a Thursday, recalled professor Stephen Yelderman, who was traveling and could not immediately sign it. When Yelderman returned to the office after the weekend, his colleagues were quick to approach him. ‘Before I can get to my office, four people come up to me, one after another, and they’re like, ‘You’re the only person who hasn’t signed her letter,’’ Yelderman said. ‘All these signatures were collected in barely one day.’” (Christian Sheckler, “Notre Dame Profs Push Back On Amy Coney Barrett Portrayals: Not Just ‘An Ideological Category,’” South Bend Tribune¸ 9/26/20)

More Than 470 Of Barrett’s Former Students Wrote A Letter In Support Of Her Nomination In 2017. “We are graduates of Notre Dame Law School and former students of Professor Amy Coney Barrett, whom President Trump recently nominated for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. We write to urge the United States Senate to confirm Professor Barrett.” (Former Students, Letter To Senators Charley E. Grassley And Dianne Feinstein, 6/5/17)

Archbishop Gregory Aymond Of New Orleans: Barrett Is A “Woman Of Integrity.” “Aymond also called Barrett a ‘woman of integrity’ for defending both her faith and professionalism.” (Bryn Stole, “Amy Coney Barrett: Mother Of 7, Metairie Native, Solid Conservative … Next Supreme Court Justice?,” Nola, 7/6/18)

JUDGE BARRETT IS A WOMAN OF FAITH AND CHARACTER

Barrett Is A Dedicated Working Mother Of 7

Judge Barrett Is A Mother Of Seven, Including Two Adopted Haitian Children And One With Special Needs. “The Indiana resident is the mother of seven children, including two from Haiti and one with special needs.” (Richard Wolf, “Who Might Succeed Justice Ginsburg? Trump’s Short List Begins With These Five Women (And One Man),” USA Today, 9/18/20)

Less Than An Hour Before The U.S. Senate Voted To Confirm Barrett As A New Seventh Circuit Court Of Appeals Judge, She Was Out Trick-Or-Treating With Her Kids. “Last October, less than an hour before the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Barrett as a new Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals judge, she was trick-or-treating with her kids, said another friend and fellow law professor Jennifer Mason McAward.” (Caleb Bauer and Margaret Fosmoe, “Notre Dame’s Amy Coney Barrett Noted For Mentoring, Family Focus. Next Up: Supreme Court?,” South Bend Tribune, 7/8/18)

Judge Barrett Has Been Described As A Dedicated Working Mom. “Outside of the university, friends and colleagues say, is the story of a dedicated working mom. One close friend, Wendy Angst, says Barrett, the mother of seven children, gets up between 4 and 5 a.m., exercises, and later gives her son, Ben, a piggyback ride down the stairs. She routinely ferries her children to and from the pool and has dinner with her family. Angst said Barrett’s husband, Jesse, takes time out of each day working as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Indiana to pick their children up from school.” (Caleb Bauer and Margaret Fosmoe, “Notre Dame’s Amy Coney Barrett Noted For Mentoring, Family Focus. Next Up: Supreme Court?,” South Bend Tribune, 7/8/18)

Barrett Is Actively Involved In Her Community

In Her Local Community, Barrett Served As A Board Member At South Bend’s Trinity School At Greenlawn And Held A Position On The St. Joseph Catholic Church Parish Pastoral Council. “Since then, she’s served as a board member at South Bend’s Trinity School at Greenlawn, held a position on the St. Joseph Catholic Church Parish Pastoral Council and raised seven children with her husband Jesse, including two adopted from Haiti.” (Caleb Bauer and Margaret Fosmoe, “Notre Dame’s Amy Coney Barrett Noted For Mentoring, Family Focus. Next Up: Supreme Court?,” South Bend Tribune, 7/8/18)

Judge Barrett Has Been Described As An Extremely Popular Professor, Often Having A Line Of Students Out The Door To See Her. “But Barrett’s popularity with students sometimes made things tough for Nagle. ‘I think the most vivid memory I have is how difficult it was to get into Amy’s office to see her because the line of students would be quite long,’ Nagle said with a laugh. ‘Sometimes it was students with questions about course material, but oftentimes it was students seeking her advice and her mentoring.’” (Caleb Bauer and Margaret Fosmoe, “Notre Dame’s Amy Coney Barrett Noted For Mentoring, Family Focus. Next Up: Supreme Court?,” South Bend Tribune, 7/8/18)

BARRETT IS AN HISTORIC CHOICE

If Confirmed, Judge Barrett Would Be Only The Fifth Woman To Serve On The Supreme Court. “Barrett, if nominated and confirmed, would be only the fifth woman to serve on the Supreme Court. She’d join Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor on the bench. Harriet Miers’ 2005 nomination was the last time a Republican president picked a woman for a seat on the court.” (Evan Semones, “What You Need To Know About Amy Coney Barrett, Politico, 9/19/20)

  • Barrett Would Become The Only Mother Currently On The Supreme Court. (“Current Members,” Supreme Court Of The United States, Accessed 9/26/20; Nora Krug, “‘I don’t Baby Anyone’” The Tough-Love Message In Sonia Sotomayor’s New Books,” The Washington Post, 8/31/20; Nicole Allan, “What Place Does Motherhood Have In Kagan’s Confirmation Debate?,” The Atlantic, 5/22/10)

At 48 Years Old, Judge Barrett Would Be The Youngest Justice Currently On The Supreme Court. “At 48-years-old, Barrett would be the youngest justice currently on the Supreme Court, making it entirely plausible that Barrett could leave her mark on a swath of cases for a generation or more.” (Evan Semones, “What You Need To Know About Amy Coney Barrett, Politico, 9/19/20)

Judge Barrett Would Be The First Justice From Louisiana In More Than A Century. “If Amy Coney Barrett, 46 and a 1990 graduate of St. Mary’s Dominican High School in New Orleans, is ultimately nominated and confirmed, she would be the first justice from Louisiana since Edward Douglass White Jr. served on a court that more than a century ago remade business law and entrenched racial segregation for generations . . . White, Louisiana's only U.S. Supreme Court justice, served on the court from 1894 until his death in 1921.” (Bryn Stole, “Amy Coney Barrett: Mother Of 7, Metairie Native, Solid Conservative … Next Supreme Court Justice?,” Nola, 7/6/18)

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