Controversy in the Senate

Opinions differ over the new Supreme Court Justice nominee.

By Braxton Mastre, Reporter

On September 18, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at 87, due to health complications in her home. She had been fighting pancreatic and lung cancer. The nation was shaken at this sudden loss of the Justice. Immediately the President got to work to find a new Justice.

 How is a new justice appointed? According to, the president picks from a list of judges who he feels fits the needs of the Judicial Branch. Once the judge has been nominated, the senate will interview the nominee. These interviews are aired publicly and take hours. After an interview, senators will look over the information on the Nominee and decide if they vote for them in the confirmation.

Within a week of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to take the seat of the fallen justice. 

Who is Amy Coney Barrett? She is a judge from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Before she was a Judge, Barrett worked at a law firm in Washington D.C. Barrett is 48 years old and has 7 children.

Barrett started college at Rhodes College, a private college in Memphis, Tennessee. After majoring in English literature and minoring in French, she went to Notre Dame Law School on a full-tuition scholarship. She finished her degree with a Juris Doctorate.

Barrett is a far-right conservative. According to a report from the National Public Radio, she has a hard stance against abortion and has said hypothetically if the supreme court were to allow states to pass restrictions on abortion, she would be ok with that.

President Donald Trump pledged in 2016 that he would appoint justices that would overturn the case, Roe v. Wade. The Roe v. Wade case of 1973 legalized abortion across the nation.

In March of 2016, Judge Merrick Garland was nominated by President Barack Obama to succeed the late Antonine Scalia. The Senate, which was Republican-held at the time, refused to give a hearing to Garland because it was an election year. This was 8 months before the election.

Now when Trump nominated Barrett to fill Ginsburg’s seat, one month before Election Day, the Republican-led Senate had a change of tune. Democrats said it’s complete hypocrisy. They didn’t allow a Democratic nominee to be heard, but they are allowing the Republican nominee to have a hearing.

2 Republican senators say they will oppose the vote. The Democrats need 4 votes to reject the bill. 

While at the Rose Garden, introducing Barrett to White House Staff and Senators, 3 Republican Senators got COVID-19. This raises questions about when a confirmation hearing would begin. 

Some Democrats are saying that a major factor is that President Trump is trying to do a power play because he is losing in current polls. Democratic candidate Joe Biden being up 53% to President Trump’s 45% in the Monmouth University poll. 

With Ginsburg off the court, the court is now leaning 5-3 with a stronger conservative side.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg famously said, “A great man once said that the true symbol of the United States is not the bald eagle. It is the pendulum. And when the pendulum swings too far in one direction it will go back.”