Journal Address

New Supreme Court Justice could be harmful to SHS minorities


As the news showed newly-confirmed Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett taking her final oath on Oct. 27, people were shocked nationwide. Barrett is the complete opposite of former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who Barrett is taking the place of.

Now that Barrett is on the Court, conservative rulers outweigh liberal ones, with a six to three majority, which has potential to be damaging for minority groups at SHS.

Barrett worked her way through high school, leading as a class president and remaining top of her class. All of this hard work led her to becoming a law professor at Notre Dame and a circuit judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals.

In admiration of her prestigious work ethic and accomplishments, President Donald Trump nominated her to be a Supreme Court Justice.

There is no doubt that she has quite a resume for the job, but her personal views could get in the way of her prestige. Barrett clerked for former Justice Antonin Scalia in the ‘90s, and she holds many of the same conservative beliefs as Scalia. Beyond that, she said “Scalia’s judicial philosophy” is hers too.

Before his passing, Justice Scalia was known, at times, for his extreme conservatism and black and white interpretation of the law. Barrett is a self-proclaimed originalist, which means she thinks the Constitution is not up for interpretation and should be regarded the same as when it was written.

At the time the Constitution was written, the U.S. was a fresh nation that lacked the modern views we hold today. This could be damaging.

In the 1700s, being gay or getting an abortion were extremely taboo and punishable. But that does not mean we should continue to hold that same, close-minded view today just because we used to.

Barrett is Catholic, too. And that isn’t wrong, but Catholicism’s traditional beliefs can be discriminatory against the LGBTQ+ community, a group in which many SHS students fit. If a case comes to the court challenging this community’s rights, who knows how Barrett may rule. She could surprise us and take a more liberal view, but based on her past, it seems that she won’t.

When it comes to immigration, Barrett shares the same views as Trump about limiting legal immigration. At SHS, the student body is extremely diverse. With these strict immigration policies and beliefs, many students who are refugees or immigrants could be at risk. Many are trying to get an education and work in order to support their families.

Although it is not necessarily Barrett’s fault the future Supreme Court rulings could sway conservatively now, her confirmation has many possible negative implications. However fit she may be for the job, her rule could seriously hurt students at SHS.