Trump’s Supreme Court pick Barrett secures election fight against abortion

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President Donald Trump’s selection of Amy Coney Barrett to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court has sparked a colossal clash over religion and reproductive rights that will play out in the final days before Election Day.

Asset will appoint Barrett on Saturday, after Ginsburg died a week ago of complications from pancreatic cancerNBC News has learned.

Barrett, a devout Catholic, is a favorite among religious conservatives and a target of those on the left who say she is likely to vote to overturn the court’s longstanding abortion protections.

Trump has sought to expand his anti-abortion credentials during his tenure, repeatedly pushing for a late abortion ban during his State of the Union addresses to Congress. Trump pledged during his 2016 campaign to appoint judges who would “automatically” overturn Roe v. Wade, the historic decision on abortion.

In contrast, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has gone further in support of reproductive rights since announcing his presidential candidacy, last year, reversing his stance to support federal abortion funding via repeal of the Hyde Amendment.

While the candidates had already defined their positions, abortion was not one of the main issues facing the campaigns before Ginsburg’s death. The specter of Barrett’s Senate nomination hearings will likely force that to change.

Certainly, any conservative judge on Trump’s shortlist was likely to inspire a fight for reproductive rights. Even before the expected appointment of Barrett, the political arm of the reproductive rights group Planned Parenthood announced a six-figure ad buy opposing the replacement of Ginsburg by Trump.

But Barrett’s past writings and statements have meant that Roe’s fight for Wade’s future is likely to be particularly fierce. If Barrett is confirmed, she will be Trump’s third judge on the nine-member bench and the sixth appointed by a Republican president.

Many battle lines were drawn when Trump nominated Barrett to the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals, where she has served since 2017.

Liberal groups focused on on a 1998 article co-authored by Barrett with a professor while a law student at Notre Dame, who referred to aborted fetuses as “unborn victims”, and comments was awarded to him by the Notre Dame alumni magazine in 2013in which she is paraphrased by saying that Roe v. Wade created “by court order an abortion-on-demand framework.”

After graduating from Notre Dame, Barrett worked there as a law professor and served on the anti-abortion United Faculty for Life chapter for six years, according to a questionnaire she completed as part of its final confirmation process.

She was also a member of the influential conservative group The Federalist Society, to which at least four of the court’s current conservatives also have ties.

Since the 7th Circuit, Barrett has reviewed the laws governing abortion only twice, and in neither case has written an opinion expressing his own views. But in both cases, she voted to reconsider decisions that had overturned abortion restrictions. In a third case involving a Chicago ordinance banning certain forms of anti-abortion protests outside of abortion clinics, Barrett upheld the law, citing Supreme Court precedent.

It’s unclear whether Democrats or Republicans will be more energized by the prospect of Barrett’s confirmation to take Ginsburg’s place, a reliable vote for reproductive rights and an icon for feminists, especially those on the left. .

Biden sought to turn the Supreme Court vacancy into a conversation about health care, and in particular an upcoming case about the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

The Supreme Court will consider the legality of the sprawling health care law in trial a week after Election Day, and if it strikes it down, tens of millions of people are set to lose their coverage. In his academic writings, Barrett criticized the reasoning Chief Justice John Roberts used to uphold health care law in a blockbuster 2012 case.

Even given Biden’s efforts, the focus on abortion is likely inevitable, given the strength of the various activist groups dedicated to the topic.

Americans United for Life, a national anti-abortion group, took a stand early on. The organization’s president, Catherine Glenn Foster, issued a statement the day after Ginsburg’s death calling on Trump to appoint Barrett to the bench.

“It is certain that in the years to come, the Court will be called upon to rule on questions fundamental to the functioning of our Republic, including the most important human rights question of our time: the human right to life, she said. “We are confident that if appointed to the Supreme Court, Justice Barrett would prove a trusted guardian of the constitutional protections extended to every human person in America, including human lives in the womb.”

In a report on Barrett compiled by the Alliance for Justice, a consortium of progressive organizations, the group says Barrett’s understanding of the law “threatens to turn back the clock on decisions about a woman’s right to make their own decisions about reproductive health, as well as those who protect workers’ rights, the LGBTQ community, the right to vote, and many other essential rights.”

The abortion clash was also a major factor during Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings in 2018.

Even as liberals criticized Kavanaugh’s views on reproductive rights, some conservatives complained that Trump ignored Barrett, seen as a more reliable anti-abortion vote.

In the first major abortion case to come before Trump’s two picks, Kavanaugh and Judge Neil Gorsuch, both men voted to uphold a Louisiana restriction that threatened to reduce the state to just one clinic. The Louisiana law was almost identical to a Texas law that the court had struck down four years earlier.

Roberts, however, sided with the court’s liberals to strike down the law, delivering the fifth vote needed. Roberts, who voted to uphold the law in Texas, said he was bound by the recent precedent.

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