Judge Amy Coney Barrett, one of President Donald Trump’s top choices for the U.S. Supreme Court, is held in high regard by her law school colleagues and students.
They describe Barrett, a professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School, as “mind-blowingly intelligent,” “humble” and “a brilliant legal mind,” the South Bend Tribune reports.
Trump plans to announce his choice to replace the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the end of the week. Many believe Barrett, who also serves as a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, is a top candidate on Trump’s list.
Barrett’s law school colleagues rallied around her in 2017 when Trump nominated her to the Seventh Circuit, and they are doing so again as she is considered for the highest judicial position in the land, according to the Tribune.
“She’s mind-blowingly intelligent, and she’s also one of the most humble people you’re going to meet. Judge Barrett is the complete package,” Professor Stephen Yelderman said.
Others described her as an excellent teacher who challenges her students to think for themselves. According to the report, she was voted professor of the year three times at Notre Dame. She has been teaching there since 2002.
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But Yelderman and others also expressed concern about how Barrett is being treated in the press and the likelihood of a brutal confirmation hearing, should Trump choose her.
“When there’s someone you hold in high regard, it’s a little bit terrifying knowing what is coming in the course of a modern confirmation fight, regardless of how high their character is,” Yelderman said.
Paolo Carozza, a Notre Dame law professor and director of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, said people are not viewing Barrett fairly.
“If she’s being considered by a Republican administration, that means they think she’s going to be more conservative,” Carozza said. “But people are reducing Amy to an ideological category instead of taking her for who she is: An intelligent, thoughtful, open-minded person.”
There has been a lot of negative publicity about Barrett’s Catholic faith and her views on the sanctity of human life. Some leftists even have accused her of belonging to a “cult” because she and her husband are part of a conservative Christian group called People of Praise.
Democrat leaders also have show a strong anti-Catholic bias toward her and other judges who live out their faith. During her U.S. Senate confirmation hearing in 2017, pro-abortion Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein told Barrett, “The conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you.”
In reality, Barrett’s friends and co-workers say she is a strong woman of integrity who lives out her faith and loves her family. She is the mother of seven children, including two who were adopted and one with special needs.
“What greater thing can you do than raise children?” she said during a 2019 speech. “That’s where you have your greatest impact on the world.”
The Tribune reports more: “A friend of Barrett, Wendy Angst, offered a glimpse into the judge’s personal life in a 2018 interview with the South Bend Tribune, describing a daily routine in which Barrett rises between 4 and 5 a.m., exercises, then gives her youngest son, Ben, a piggyback ride down the stairs.”
And it is because of her beliefs about the value of children that abortion activists and their allies in the Democratic Party are worried.
Though her judicial rulings on abortion are few, she has made several statements about the value of babies in the womb. According to the Law and Crime blog, Barrett signed a public letter in 2015 that emphasized “the value of human life from conception to natural death.” In an interview with Notre Dame Magazine, she also stated that “life begins at conception.”
Barrett is a former clerk of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a strong conservative who died unexpectedly in 2016. Like Scalia, Barrett describes herself as an “originalist” judge.
A conservative female voice would be a welcome change to the liberal, pro-abortion female justices on the high court. The late Justice Ginsburg especially was idolized by abortion activists for repeatedly ruling against pro-life laws. Though abortion is considered a “woman’s issue,” polls consistently show that many women are strongly pro-life and a majority want the law to protect unborn babies from abortion, at least in some circumstances.