Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a feminist icon who fundamentally changed this country in favor of equality for all. Her death is a tragedy. Even more devastating is President Trump’s nominee to replace her — Amy Coney Barrett.
Trump’s rush to nominate Barrett falls conveniently at a time when California v. Texas is threatening the Affordable Care Act, according to NPR. While Ruth Bader Ginsburg voted to uphold the law in multiple cases, Barrett’s record and statements show that she is likely to deem it unconstitutional.
When ObamaCare was first challenged in NFIB v. Sebelius, universal health insurance was deemed unconstitutional, and Barrett concluded, in agreement with Scalia, that Congress didn’t have the power to impose universal health insurance.
Similarly, when King v. Burwell interpreted extended provisions of the Affordable Care Act to be constitutional, Barrett sided again with Scalia’s dissent. Ultimately, Barrett has given every indication that in the upcoming case of California v. Texas, she will interpret the challenge to the Affordable Care Act to be constitutional.
As Barrett’s confirmation would result in a republican majority, this could mean that the Affordable Care Act is ultimately overturned.
In the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent claimed that the 2nd Amendment was outdated and no longer had a function in a world where a militia was no longer needed to protect a newly developing nation.
Barrett’s view of the 2nd Amendment could not be farther removed. In the case of Kanter v. Barr, Barrett was the lone dissenting judge, and she believed that the 2nd Amendment proved the framers did not intend to disallow felons from owning guns, just those who showed a tendency for being dangerous.
Conflicting Supreme Court decisions in DC v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago, among the Supreme Court’s general ambiguity in terms of the 2nd amendment, shows that the future of the 2nd Amendment and gun rights are left to be determined still by the Supreme Court. A republican majority with Amy Coney Barrett could mean that the 2nd Amendment will continue to go unchallenged and gun rights in this country will not only be unchanged but perhaps extended.
The future of Roe v. Wade is one of the most threatening aspects of Barrett’s nomination.
“It is essential to woman’s equality with man that she be the decision maker that her choice be controlling,” Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in taking the unprecedented position of supporting abortion rights, said, according to TIME.
Ginsburg is an advocate for women’s rights, and her support for abortion rights is rooted in her interpretation of the equal protections clause. Amy Coney Barrett, on the other hand, is a conservative who’s faith and precedent indicates opposition to Roe v. Wade.
While Barrett’s views on abortion can not be said for certain, and she has explicitly stated that she will not allow personal religious beliefs to interfere with her interpretation of the law, Barrett’s record indicates that she will certainly chip away at abortion rights and may go as far as overturning Roe v. Wade. In 2018, responding to a 7th Circuit case of an Indiana abortion regulation that required fetal remains from an abortion to receive a funeral, she dissented with other conservatives, arguing it was unlawful for abortions to be performed in order to determine the fetus’ race, sex, or disability.
Essentially, she asserted that abortion regulations could be made by the states, which is an underlying attack and chipping away of Roe v. Wade. On a personal level, as a law professor at Notre Dame, Barrett as a part of the Faculty For Life group, signed a letter, stating that abortion was immoral in all cases. Ultimately, Barrett as a staunch Catholic and unwavering conservative is extremely dangerous to the future of women’s rights.
Before her death, Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that her “most fervent wish” was not to be replaced by Trump. While he simultaneously describes Ginsburg as “an amazing woman,” he entirely disrespects her last wish, as well as the precedent set by Mitch McConnell under Obama’s presidency. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a shining emblem of this country’s ideals, a champion of equality, bipartisanship, and truth.
Trump and his nomination, Amy Coney Barrett, could not be more antithetical to everything she represented. Barrett’s nomination is one of the many ways that the Trump administration is attempting to roll back the decades of progress ushered in by icons like Ruth Bader Ginsburg.