Surprise, Surprise: Trump's Top SCOTUS Pick Promises to Be a Disaster for Abortion Rights

Surprise, Surprise: Trump's Top SCOTUS Pick Promises to Be a Disaster for Abortion Rights
Screenshot:Jacksonville University (Fair Use)

As all but two Republican senators buckle in for a last-minute, whiplash-inducing Supreme Court appointment, Trump and his Heritage Foundation cronies have reportedly coalesced around a frontrunner: Amy Coney Barrett, an appeals court judge with a dubious track record on abortion.

While Barrett has suggested at times that she considers Roe v. Wade established precedent—most recently during her 2017 confirmation hearing—on many other occasions she’s made her anti-abortion stance quite clear.

In a 2013 talk at Notre Dame University, where Barrett has taught law since 2002, she said she believes that life begins at conception, and argued that by ruling in favor of Roe, the Supreme Court created a framework of “abortion on demand.” (If only.) Three years later, during a talk at Jacksonville University, Barrett seemed to echo Trump’s belief that abortion rights should be decided by states, which would be the likely outcome if Roe were to fall or be severely undermined.

“I think the question of whether people can get very late-term abortions, you know, how many restrictions can be put on clinics, I think that would change,” she said during the 2016 lecture, according to the New York Times.

But more telling than any of these statements is that anti-abortion groups, conservatives, and Trump are all excited about the prospect of appointing her, which suggests they’re all fairly confident she’ll use her judicial power to gut federal abortion rights.

“She is the perfect combination of brilliant jurist and a woman who brings the argument to the court that is potentially the contrary to the views of the sitting women justices,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the national anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, told the Times.

Trump has had Barrett in mind for the position since at least 2018, when he put her on a list of potential picks to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Of course he went with Brett Kavanaugh in the end, but last year he said he had “big plans” for Barrett that involved “saving her for Ginsburg.”

It seems like Trump is set on appointing a woman this time around, probably in attempts to make it more palatable when she devastates abortion access. But if for whatever reason decides against the girl boss route, he has a grab bag of other anti-abortion ghouls to choose from. Lucky us!

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