Court Battles

Barrett: Supreme Court ‘not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks’

Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett defended the integrity and impartiality of the high court in a speech in Kentucky over the weekend. 

“My goal today is to convince you that this court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks,” Barrett said during her remarks to a crowd gathered on Saturday at the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville, according to the Courier-Journal. “Judicial philosophies are not the same as political parties.” 

Barrett, a Catholic and conservative who has taught law at the University of Notre Dame, was introduced at the event by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

The Supreme Court can sometimes be unfairly portrayed as partisan or covered and commented on in an unnecessarily divisive way, Barrett argued. 

“The media, along with hot takes on Twitter, report the results and decisions. … That makes the decision seem results-oriented,” she said. “It leaves the reader to judge whether the court was right or wrong, based on whether she liked the results of the decision.” 

“I don’t like the results of my decisions,” the latest appointee to the high court added, saying “it’s not my job to decide cases based on the outcome I want.”

A recent decision by the court not to hear a challenge to a recently enacted abortion law in Texas has galvanized progressive court watchers and renewed calls by some on the left for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire so he can be replaced during a Democratic administration. Breyer, 83, has indicated no plans to do so.  

During Barrett’s Senate confirmation process last year, women’s rights advocates argued her stated personal views on abortion could pose a risk to abortion rights in America and the landmark 1973 Row v. Wade decision that established the right to obtain an abortion. 

“I have an agenda to stick to the rule of law and decide cases as they come,” Barrett told a Senate panel last fall. 

Tags Amy Coney Barrett Mitch McConnell Stephen Breyer Supreme Court abortion ruling

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