What Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court Nomination Means for Women
To understand the role Trump’s pick will play, you have to understand how right-wing women wield power
Tomorrow afternoon, President Donald Trump is set to announce his Supreme Court pick: Amy Coney Barrett. If she is confirmed, Barrett will fill the seat of storied justice, legal scholar, and women’s rights pioneer Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died earlier this month at the age of 87. Unlike Ginsburg, who dedicated much of her career to furthering the very basic goal of gender equality, Barrett is a typical right-wing woman — someone who undermines feminism, even when she herself has benefited from it.
There’s no doubt that the GOP will trumpet the fact that Barrett is a woman and try to use her gender to bulldoze over feminist concerns: “How can you say she’s anti-woman? She’s a woman.” But as much as feminism is, of course, a woman-led and woman-centered movement, conservative women have also always been on the frontlines of the fight against feminism. And they have often succeeded in blocking or delaying progress for women writ large.
Amy Coney Barrett Would Destroy Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Legacy
And that’s exactly why President Trump would nominate her
That is likely the role Barrett, who has only been a judge for three scant years, will play on the court. She has already ruled on abortion rights, both times in favor of restricting abortion access. She allegedly said in a speech that she believes life begins at conception, a common refrain from opponents of legal abortion. And she has said that requiring health insurance policies to cover contraception violates religious liberty.
There is little question that appointing Barrett to the Court would spell the end of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide. But invalidating Roe would likely mean invalidating the entire legal concept of a right to sexual privacy, which would put Supreme Court decisions at risk that go far beyond abortion, including those that legalized contraception, same-sex marriage, and consensual intercourse between adults of the same sex…