What Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court Nomination Means For Women's Rights

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Seventh U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett is President Donald Trump's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court. (Erin Scott/Pool via Getty Images)
Seventh U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett is President Donald Trump's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court. (Erin Scott/Pool via Getty Images)

Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation hearing starts Monday, and the question of what her appointment could mean for women's rights in the U.S. will hang over it. But feminism and gender equality have wide-ranging definitions, depending on who you ask. We'll talk about the conversation surrounding Judge Barrett's nomination.


Erika Bachiochi, legal scholar specializing in Equal Protection jurisprudence, feminist legal theory, Catholic social teaching, and sexual ethics. Senior Fellow at the Abigail Adams Institute in Cambridge, MA. Author of a forthcoming book, "The Rights of Women: Reclaiming a Lost Vision." (@erikabachiochi)

Fatima Goss-Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center. Co-founder of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which connects those who experience sexual misconduct in the workplace or in trying to advance their career with legal and public relations assistance. (@FGossGraves)

From The Reading List

Politico: "Amy Coney Barrett: A New Feminist Icon" — "Amy Coney Barrett has been praised for her topflight legal mind, even by those who disagree with her. At 48 years old, she is poised to help shape the court for a generation or more. But that’s not all her elevation to the high court has the potential to accomplish. Barrett’s expected confirmation should serve as a catalyst for rethinking the most powerful social movement in the past half century: feminism."

The Los Angeles Times: "Barrett tied to religious group that ex-members say subordinates women" — "Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett has close ties to a charismatic Christian religious group that holds that men are divinely ordained as the “head” of the family and faith. Former members of the group, called People of Praise, say it teaches that wives must submit to the will of their husbands."

The New Republic: "The Elite Sisterhood of Amy Coney Barrett" — "Sometimes the reason 'women’s rights' feel so tenuous is because the question 'which women?' is as central as it is overlooked. The threat Amy Coney Barrett would pose to women as a Supreme Court justice far exceeds abortion. That she was nominated by President Trump to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as a kind of fuck-you to those who saw Ginsburg as legal abortion’s last defense, isn’t helping clarify the potential damage Barrett could do. Any opposition to Barrett is about her faith, the kind of woman she is, her defenders say."

USA Today: "Conservative women know what it's like to be mocked. We'll defend Amy Coney Barrett." — "After interning in the summer of 2004 for my home state senator in Washington, D.C., I returned to the University of Virginia looking for a group of women who wanted to talk about the issues of the day and welcomed a more conservative perspective. There was a women’s club, a Women’s Studies department, and even a Women’s Center at UVA. But, because I am a conservative woman, my ideas were not fully welcome at the traditional women’s institutions on campus."

The Lily: "Women on both sides flocked to the Supreme Court after Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination — and they’re just getting started" — "Amy Wilson’s plans to protest came together quickly. Last Wednesday, the 37-year-old drove to the Supreme Court from Silver Spring, Md., to pay her respects to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in person. The justice, who died Sept. 18 at 87, was a fierce defender of women’s rights, and 'what she stood for means a lot for myself and others,' Wilson says. A friend joined her at the courthouse to mourn; Wilson told her to let her know if she heard of any more events at the Supreme Court in the coming days."

The New York Times: "For Conservative Christian Women, Amy Coney Barrett’s Success Is Personal" — "Ruth Malhotra had just arrived in Florida for a vacation with some girlfriends from high school and their families when President Trump was scheduled to introduce his next nominee for the Supreme Court on Saturday afternoon. A college football game was on the television at their rented beach house. 'Turn off football and turn on C-SPAN!' she told her friends. 'We’ve got to watch this; this is historic.'"

New York Magazine: "Amy Coney Barrett and the Triumph of Phyllis Schlafly" — "Consider her out of context, and Amy Coney Barrett looks like a personal and professional success. A wife, a mother of seven, and now maybe a Supreme Court justice, Donald Trump’s new nominee seemingly has it all. Barrett, Trump said while announcing the nomination on Saturday, is a “towering intellect,” an accomplished woman and loving mother who possesses “one of our nation’s most brilliant and gifted legal minds.”

This program aired on October 12, 2020.


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