Amy Coney Barrett Nomination Draws Praise, Concern From Iowa Activists

Politics

DES MOINES, Iowa — President Donald Trump on Saturday named Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Barrett would be the fifth woman to sit on the bench. At 48 years old, she would also be the youngest justice on the court.

The mother of seven is a devout Catholic, a former Notre Dame law professor and a former clerk to the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Barrett is a favorite among social conservatives and evangelicals. On Saturday, Barrett promised to apply the law as written.

Despite outrage from Democrats, Senate Republicans plan to move quickly toward confirmation — possibly before Election Day.

Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst have already said they support Barrett as the nominee, referring to her as a stellar candidate and accomplished legal scholar. While some Iowans think she is a shoo-in for the nomination, others don’t think the shoe fits at all.

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an absolute fierce advocate for gender equality, for health care, for abortion rights,” said Erin Davison-Rippey, state executive director for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa. 

As a conservative, Barrett has very different views than Ginsburg, which has some worried.

“Her seat would be filled by someone who would potentially take away civil rights,” said Davison-Rippey.

But others think she is a model candidate for a Supreme Court justice.

“She believes in following the law, the text of the Constitution, versus being an activist and just coming up with what she thinks is right,” said Chuck Hurley, vice president of the Family Leader.

Democrats and Republicans continue to debate on when the Supreme Court seat should be filled.

“This seat must not and cannot be filled until after the inauguration,” said Davison-Rippey. 

“This election itself could end up before the Supreme Court. So if they can get her thoroughly checked out, and I think they can, then we think they should have nine judges going into the election,” said Hurley.

The biggest battle many are preparing for is reproductive rights.

“We are facing down a world where Roe v. Wade is not the law of the land. This will come down to state elected officials,” said Davison-Rippey.

“She has said over and over that she doesn’t believe judges should write laws. If she applies that to Roe v. Wade, then we think she’ll come down on the side of we the people having the say versus five judges,” said Hurley.

Barrett could be seated in time to hear a case seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act and any disputes that might arise from the presidential election.

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