Amy Coney Barrett has been confirmed to the Supreme Court by the Senate with eight days left before the election and about a month after she was nominated by President Trump, making her confirmation one of modern history's fastest. The judge was voted through by a 52–48 Republican majority, with Susan Collins of Maine the only Republican to vote against her.
Barrett—a former University of Notre Dame law professor and the third Supreme Court justice appointed by Trump—has tipped the Supreme Court to a conservative majority, meaning a litany of issues including abortion rights, climate change, health care, and LGBTQ rights could shift dramatically for Americans for generations. At 48 years old, she’s set to become the youngest justice on the court.
Barrett was nominated in September by President Trump in the White House Rose Garden, the infamous super-spreader event during which the majority of attendees chose to forgo wearing masks and after which several—including the president and first lady—contracted COVID-19.
Barrett lives in South Bend, Indiana, with her husband, a former federal prosecutor, and their seven children, two of whom were adopted from Haiti.
“She was the plan all along,” a former senior administration official shared with CNN last month. “She’s the most distinguished and qualified by traditional measures. She has the strongest support among the legal conservatives who have dedicated their lives to the court. She will contribute most to the court’s jurisprudence in the years and decades to come.”
As Glamour previously reported, Barrett was a former clerk to the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Trump also nominated her for the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In that time, the Associated Press reported, Barrett has authored around 100 opinions and “several telling dissents in which Barrett displayed her clear and consistent conservative bent.”
In 2016, while still campaigning for the presidency, Trump promised to appoint “pro-life” judges if elected. Barrett, a devout Catholic, has referred to abortion as “always immoral.” She also believes that life begins at conception. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean she will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. At least not in its totality.
“I don’t think that abortion, or the right to abortion, would change. I think some of the restrictions would change,” Barrett said during a discussion at Jacksonville University in 2016. “States have imposed regulations on abortion clinics, and I think the question is, ‘How much freedom the court is willing to let states have in regulating abortion?’”
In the discussion, she specifically pointed to “very late-term abortions,” and restrictions on clinics as potential changes to the law. She added, hypothetically, if Roe were revoked, “abortion would be neither legal nor illegal throughout the United States…. [I]nstead, the states and Congress would be free to ban, protect, or regulate abortion as they saw fit.”
In 2013, Barrett also said she believes it is “very unlikely at this point” that the Supreme Court is going to overturn Roe v. Wade. In her confirmation hearing to the Seventh Circuit, Barrett said she did not believe it was “lawful for a judge to impose personal opinions, from whatever source they derive, upon the law,” SCOTUS Blog reported. She additionally pledged that her personal views on abortion “or any other question will have no bearing on the discharge of my duties as a judge.”
Still, women’s reproductive rights groups are worried. In 2017, Planned Parenthood even condemned her nomination to the Seventh Circuit, writing in a statement:
The idea that Amy Coney Barrett would be a fair and impartial judge on issues of reproductive health is ludicrous. We call on every United States senator to uphold a fundamental standard: If you oppose Roe v. Wade and would empower employers to deny women access to birth control, you should not sit on the bench. Planned Parenthood urges senators to reject the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Seventh Circuit.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died of complications from pancreatic cancer at the age of 87 on September 18, 2020. She told her granddaughter a week before her death, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
This post has been updated.
Originally Appeared on Glamour