Opinion | How Amy Coney Barrett May Change the Court

To the Editor:

Re “Barrett Sworn In to Supreme Court After a 52-48 Vote” (front page, Oct. 27):

With the rushed confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the nation now suffers a president, a Senate and a Supreme Court that do not represent the views or wishes of a majority of our people.

Justice Barrett has said all the right things — assuring us that she is independent, that she will not legislate nor serve as an automatic vote for the president who appointed her. It will be interesting to see whether her actions comport with those words or whether she rules as one would expect from her arch-conservative writings.

Will there be 5-to-4 or 6-to-3 majorities that will ignore precedent, expand the power of the president, destroy the Affordable Care Act, overturn Roe v. Wade, and play havoc with the rights of women, labor, people of color and the L.G.B.T.Q. community?

Most pressing is whether Justice Barrett will provide the fifth or sixth vote to suppress voting rights in the election, and if it is contested, to repay the president for selecting her.

We may soon learn whether Justice Barrett is the independent jurist who strictly and honorably follows the law, or whether she will bring the court into further disrepute as the American people increasingly see it as simply another partisan branch of government.

Oren Spiegler
Peters Township, Pa.

To the Editor:

For the sake of reassuring a doubting public of the nonpolitical character of the Supreme Court, not to mention protecting her own reputation and integrity, Justice Amy Coney Barrett must establish with unambiguous clarity her independence from President Trump, who chose her with an agenda that he made no attempt to hide.

A brief, modest, dignified swearing-in would have been a first step in putting distance between Justice Barrett and the president. Instead, the swearing-in took place on the White House lawn, where, in an unusual nighttime ceremony, Mr. Trump addressed a large and partisan crowd.

It was capped by Justice Barrett and Mr. Trump climbing up the stairs to stand together on the balcony in full photo-op form. Justice Barrett allowed her swearing-in to be turned into a presidential campaign event.

Bernard J. Kabak
New York

To the Editor:

With Amy Coney Barrett now on the court we can look forward to decisions based on what the Constitution and statutes say rather than on what The New York Times think they should say.

Greg Byrne
Oracle, Ariz.

To the Editor:

I am a junior in high school, and my peers and I have growing concerns for what is to come. In our history classes we have learned about historical figures having to fight for their rights. These issues used to sound like they were completely in the past, but now that we’re older and more educated we can understand that the fight is ongoing.

With Amy Coney Barrett succeeding R.B.G. in the Supreme Court and making it a 6-3 conservative majority, we are very worried. It seems like we have been taking baby steps forward in the fight for our rights, just to take huge steps backward. The policies the conservatives are working to push through are a threat to the rights of women, people of color and members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community, and we are worried as well about climate change.

How are we supposed to thrive in a world that does not care about our futures, and where we have no say? We can’t take these backward steps anymore. It is not an option.

Araya Kartik
San Jose, Calif.

To the Editor:

Since the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I have been wondering how many of the Democrats who refused to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016 are having regrets now. If Hillary had been elected, we would now have three new members of the Supreme Court who would take the job for the purposes it was intended — to provide justice for those who have been wronged. Now we have three new justices who will rule according to their ideologies and their personal religious beliefs.

Shirley A. Reynolds
Mount Pleasant, Wis.

To the Editor:

Despite shoving through Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination against the will of the majority of the American people, the Republican Party will probably cry foul play if a Biden administration expands the Supreme Court. If for some ridiculous reason the Democratic Party wants to avoid hurting the G.O.P.’s feelings, it has an originalist alternative to expanding the court: reduce it to its original size of six by removing the three most recent appointments — Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett.

The G.O.P. should find this agreeable, since it believes in originalism’s magical thinking, in which conservatives pretend to know how the founding fathers thought and, to their delight, always discover that they thought like modern Republicans.

Karla Jennings
Decatur, Ga.

To the Editor:

Who says America is not still the land of opportunity? We are, after all, a beacon of light and democracy to the world, a nation in which any little boy or girl can grow up to be nominated to the Supreme Court by a president who won three million fewer votes than his opponent and confirmed by a Senate “majority” that represents 15 million fewer citizens than the “minority.” I am laughing so I don’t cry.

David D. Turner
Canadensis, Pa.

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