Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in Tuesday as the new Supreme Court justice, just a little over a month after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

Barrett was nominated on Sept. 22, 2020, four days after Ginsburg’s death, and the time it took between her nomination and confirmation was only 34 days, making her process the fastest since 1970.

 Why It’s Newsworthy: Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as the new Supreme Court Judge on Oct. 26, 2020. With Barrett’s known religious beliefs, the UGA Catholic Community shares its thoughts on her confirmation. 

 

The timeline of Amy Coney Barrett’s process of becoming a Supreme Court Justice from nomination to being sworn in. This is the fastest it has taken anyone to become a Justice since 1970. (Graphic/Grace Townsend)

Barrett’s conservative views create a 6-3 Supreme Court with Republicans in the majority. Barrett’s strong Catholic beliefs could also help sway the court and change previous rulings, such as Roe v. Wade. 

Her Catholic ties have, therefore, caused controversy across the country on how impartial she will be in this new position. However, Barrett is one of six Catholic justices on the Supreme Court.

“I would rather her remain completely impartial. I have complete faith in the system that it will be fair,” said Riley Rodier, the outreach chair for the Catholic Student Association at the Catholic Center at the University of Georgia.

Within the Catholic community, there appears to be the beginning of a divide between the older generation and the younger generation on how they would like to see Barrett rule on cases during her new lifelong career.

“I’m not going to tell you who to vote on, but don’t let politics define your religion. Instead, let religion define your politics. If you really believe in something, you should practice it,” the Rev. Fred Wendel, director of the Catholic Center at UGA, said.

Wendel said he hopes that Barrett implements some of her beliefs, such as her pro-life stance on abortion, that are strong beliefs in Catholicism. On the other hand, Rodier, a UGA student, said he hopes that Barrett remains impartial in her rulings.

Other controversies that Barrett’s confirmation and nomination sparked was the debate on how close to the election can a president put a new Supreme Court justice in the courtroom. Barrett was sworn into the Supreme Court a week before the Nov. 3 Election Day. Barrett’s confirmation barely made the majority of the Senate, passing 52-48. All that is needed for a new justice to be confirmed is a simple majority.

“I think it was rushed, but I think she was a good choice. I am happy that she is there, but it was a little in poor taste to have her confirmation so early,” Rodier said.

Despite the divide between generations, both Rodier and Wendel said they are happy that Barrett is the new Supreme Court justice.

“She plans on being an impartial judge, and it is exciting to have a working mother on the court,” Rodier said.

Grace Townsend is a third-year senior majoring in journalism at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

 

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