Students React to the Nomination of Amy Coney Barret to the Supreme Court

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Max Shannon '24, Staff Writer

The confirmation hearings for Judge Barrett began this week despite much controversy in the wake of the passing of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Some have criticized the decision of the Republicans as hypocritical, since they blocked a Supreme Court nomination in the last year of then President Obama’s term in 2016. 

Magnus Swimley ’24 thinks Judge Barrett “doesn’t seem to be very representative of American attitudes with regard to social issues,” which concerns him regarding issues of LGBTQ and women’s rights. Swimley says that “the haste with which she was nominated was perhaps distasteful,” but expressed that it is in the Republican Party’s best interest to rush through the nomination. 

The disparity between the attitudes towards now and 2016 worries Swimley and shows how undemocratic our system is. Swimley says this is because “the most populous state elects as many senators as the least populous state, meaning that the will of people in smaller states is imposed on everyone,” with neglect of majority opinion.

The recent Rose Garden ceremony at the White House in celebration of Judge Barrett’s nomination has been linked to a series of coronavirus cases in government. Notably President Trump, but also two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Barrett is set to testify.  

However, those on the other side of the political aisle are claiming that the president is simply executing his constitutional right to nominate a Justice to the Supreme Court, even in an election year. 

Shane Shuma ’22,  President of Republicans of Dickinson, feels as though this nomination is timely. “It is appropriate and aligned with precedent for a Senate and a President of the same party to nominate a Supreme Court Justice in an election year,” he said. Shuma noted that when a vacancy has happened in the same year as an election, and both the Senate and the President were of the same party, they have almost always successfully been appointed. 

Shuma believes that this vacancy must be filled immediately because “our Supreme Court is strongest with nine Justices on the bench,” and he believes that the nomination process has been nothing but appropriate.

Shuma says that the recent Rose Garden incident “may jeopardize her confirmation,” but believes that “hearings can be done virtually,” to address this issue.