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Following the tragic passing of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, President Donald Trump invoked his right as the leader of our nation to nominate Amy Coney Barrett as a Supreme Court justice on Oct. 26. This marks the third Supreme Court nomination in this presidential term and the fifth woman in American history to serve on the court.
The president has placed an incredibly educated woman into a position of power, but more than that, he has given a mother and a woman of faith a representative voice. As Christians, Justice Barrett’s nomination is a symbol of hope for the future of our nation’s law-making decisions.
Given her track record, Justice Barrett is well-versed in legal and judiciary law. Justice Barrett graduated magna cum laude from Rhodes College before receiving the same recognition years later when she graduated from Notre Dame Law School. She graduated at the top of her class, displaying her intellectual prowess.
After college, she was a clerk in the U.S. Court of Appeals under the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Although she only held this position for only a few years, she did return to Notre Dame to teach law for 15 years. In 2017 Trump gave her a seat in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, in which she served up to her nomination as a justice.
Our new justice knows what she is doing and knows the laws of our country. Regardless of any opinion on Trump, we can be secure in the knowledge that Justice Barrett can be trusted to uphold our national law.
As a mother, Justice Barrett is making incredibly progressive strides for representation of working moms. She has seven children—two of whom were adopted from Haiti, and nearly all are school-age children, making her the first Supreme Court justice with younger kids.
In our society, the standard for working moms is remarkably strict. While they juggle motherhood and a career, employers question whether their work-related priorities can truly be accomplished in the face of childcare.
Amy Coney Barrett is breaking these boundaries. At her confirmation hearing, she discussed her love for her children at length, she has displayed to America that a woman can excel in her chosen field while also successfully raising her children. Not only that, but it sheds light onto the equal partnership of her marriage that allows for fathers to take equal responsibility over childcare.
In addition, her adopted children bring to light her sensitivity to racial disparities. Following the death of George Floyd, she grieved with her Black children and for the excessive brutality that they are at risk of facing, simply because of their skin color.
Barrett’s family values reveal to us that she is empathetic and caring, and during a crisis such as the pandemic, we need all the empathetic people in power that we can get.
A WOMAN OF FAITH
Barrett is now one of six Catholics in the Supreme Court. Although Biola is interdenominational, it is still comforting to us as believers to know that our Christian values are represented among those who are appointed to determine our rights and laws. In particular, it is noteworthy for religious women, especially conservatives, who have rarely been given a voice of authority in our nation. According to NPR, even Democrats can agree that Barrett is a symbol for women of faith, most notable on her stance against abortion.
We should not expect her faith to impede her politics, but rather to lay a foundation for her, as Christ does for all of us. In her 2017 confirmation meeting before the Senate, she expressed that “it is never appropriate for a judge to impose that judge’s personal convictions, whether they derive from faith or anywhere else, on the law.” She holds firm to her beliefs, but has illustrated her understanding of how faith is meant to interact with politics—only, if ever, on behalf of a person’s rights, not against them.
A NEW ERA
This election season has proven tumultuous and tense, but Amy Coney Barrett is at least one decision Trump has made that should unite Christians with a sense of hope. Ruth Bader Ginsberg was a phenomenal woman who furthered our nation with wisdom and consideration and Justice Barrett has the capacity to do the same.
We can be comforted by God’s sovereignty and have peace over this decision, not only because Justice Barrett is a loving and capable woman, but also because Romans 13:1 assures us that these leaders are in God’s hands. At the very least, we can trust God’s authority on the matter.