Federal Courts and Nominations

RELEASE: Judge Barrett and Progressive Originalism

WASHINGTON — After Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett mentioned Constitutional Accountability Center today in her testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, CAC President Elizabeth Wydra issued the following reaction:

As Judge Barrett noted during today’s confirmation hearings, the Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC) is an organization dedicated to the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text, history, and values. When you look at the whole Constitution—not just the way it looked in 1789, but through its arc of progress after We the People amended it to end chattel slavery, guarantee equal protection for all, protect the right to vote, and more—it is, indeed, remarkably progressive. Justice Ginsburg knew that, and powerfully articulated the meaningful equality our amended Constitution guarantees. Unfortunately, too many conservative originalists privilege the Constitution as it stood in the 18th century, when slavery was tolerated, many injustices ran rampant, and broad democratic exclusion reigned. Judge Barrett’s record, and the litmus tests of the President who nominated her, cause CAC deep concern that she will fall more in line with these myopic conservative originalists, and would be, if confirmed, the “polar opposite” of Justice Ginsburg, as Senator Klobuchar observed.

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Resources:

RELEASE: RUSHED NOMINATION TO REPLACE RBG AMID ELECTION AND PANDEMIC PUTS SUPREME COURT’S LEGITIMACY AT GRAVE RISK, (featuring comment by CAC President Elizabeth Wydra) September 25, 2020: https://www.theusconstitution.org/news/release-rushed-nomination-to-replace-rbg-amid-election-and-pandemic-puts-supreme-courts-legitimacy-at-grave-risk/

ISSUE BRIEF: Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Partial Constitution: A Review of Her Constitutional Jurisprudence, October 9, 2020: https://www.theusconstitution.org/think_tank/issue-brief-judge-amy-coney-barretts-partial-constitution-a-review-of-her-constitutional-jurisprudence/

ISSUE BRIEF: Will Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett Be A Reliable Vote for Big Business?, October 9, 2020: https://www.theusconstitution.org/think_tank/issue-brief-will-supreme-court-nominee-amy-coney-barrett-be-a-reliable-vote-for-big-business/

RBG, Originalist, by CAC Civil Rights Director David Gans, Balkinization, April 07, 2016: https://balkin.blogspot.com/2016/04/rbg-originalist.html

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Constitutional Accountability Center (www.theusconstitution.org) is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history.

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