The Top Contender for RBG’s Seat Has a Fundamentally Cruel Vision of the Law

The Top Contender for RBG’s Seat Has a Fundamentally Cruel Vision of the Law

Eric Baradat/Getty Images Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death presents Donald Trump with an opportunity to transform the United States far beyond most Americans’ comprehension. Replacing the justice with a conservative would mark the single most consequential act of his presidency. It would doom policies and precedents that have come to form a cornerstone of American law. It’s not hard to foresee what the court could accomplish if Justice Brett Kavanaugh becomes the swing vote. The consensus among legal and political analysts is that Judge Amy Coney Barrett, whom Trump placed on a federal appeals court in 2017, is the leading candidate to fill Ginsburg’s seat. Barrett gained fame during her confirmation hearing after Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein made inappropriate comments about the judge’s devout Catholic faith . She is a hardcore conservative , but that description doesn’t quite capture how radically her jurisprudence differs from Ginsburg’s. The justice viewed the Bill of Rights and civil rights acts as generous guarantees of human dignity that must be read expansively to achieve their purpose. By contrast, Barrett’s view of the law is fundamentally cruel. During her three years on the 7 th Circuit Court of Appeals, Barrett has either written or joined a remarkable number of opinions that harm unpopular and powerless individuals who rely on the judiciary to safeguard their rights. Faced with two plausible readings of a law, fact, or precedent, Barrett always seems to choose the harsher, stingier interpretation. Can job applicants sue employers whose policies have a […]

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