North Texas Daily

Amy Coney Barrett, religious zealotry have no place in the Supreme Court

Amy Coney Barrett, religious zealotry have no place in the Supreme Court

Amy Coney Barrett, religious zealotry have no place in the Supreme Court
November 05
18:00 2020

When 1,500 alumni from your college speak out in opposition to someone’s nomination to the Supreme Court, you know we’re deep into some drama. That’s exactly what we’ve gotten as Amy Coney Barrett, the conservative nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, had been confirmed by the Senate on Oct. 27, 2020. Now with a firm 6-3 conservative majority in the SCOTUS, the future of women’s reproductive rights and the LGBTQ+ community is now in potential peril.

Barret’s contention against abortion, her ignorance of the nature of sexual orientation and her general refusal to give her opinion about the existence of systemic racism would be concerning to anyone who watched her senate hearings. Even more concerning is Barrett’s lack of qualification to serve on the highest court in the country. Fox News host Jeanine Pirro has more experience as a judge than Barrett, and she’s not any better.

Simply put, Barrett was picked for extreme right-wing views on key issues that suit the white power structure. She was also a lawyer for Gore v. Bush, which saw the Supreme Court give George Bush the presidency despite not winning the election. Having a crazy zealot sitting on the bench is not cool, and instead of focusing on a stimulus package to help the MILLIONS of Americans being affected by COVID-19, the senate chose to rush the appointment of a judge who will crater civil rights for women and minorities. Somewhere, Merrick Garland’s fists are clenching.

Barrett has made many statements in her hearings that her personal beliefs are separate from her as a judge, but that’s hard to believe when she’s signed multiple ads against abortion and Roe v. Wade. How can any American trust the word of a judge when they’re so staunchly opposed to something that affects the reproductive rights of millions of women in this country?

It is perhaps reassuring that the Supreme Court does not write legislation but less assuring that Barrett refused to give her opinion on the existence of systemic racism in the United States. That’s “beyond” her responsibility as a judge, despite her job as a judge is to give her opinion, yet she and her children wept for George Floyd. The fact that we even have to be anxious about certain civil rights is ridiculous.

Nobody but Catholics cared about “abortion is murder” until the ’70s. The Southern Baptist Convention praised Roe v Wade. The entire idea that “abortion is murder” was concocted on a teleconference on how to keep evangelicals engaged in politics. They almost didn’t use the idea, thinking southern Baptists would associate it with northern Catholics and be turned off by the whole idea, but they couldn’t think of anything better.

If Barrett had her way, she’d turn this country into “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a book she’s been compared to more than once.

The U.S. Constitution is not meant to be a primer for how humans are to be devalued or how to strip liberties and dignity from citizens by a select group through the lens of religious dogma. But that is how Trump’s picks for the Supreme Court interpret the constitution and precisely why they were chosen.

The religious right continues to receive endless concessions, entitlements and tax-exempt status while demanding to inform secular public policy in our legislature, schools and courts with impunity.

No spiritual practice should ever be allowed to impose its moral contortions upon an entire society as a constitutional right. Nothing is more authoritarian than religious bigotry poorly veiled as “religious liberty.”

Freedom of religion does not give a license to legitimize discrimination nor to obliterate the separation of church and state. As such, Barrett’s confirmation is a tipping point we must not ignore.

Featured Illustration by Miranda Thomas

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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