Much has been made of Amy Coney Barrett, who will likely soon replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. In typical and exhausting fashion, the Left have focused on her beliefs, and not her actual positions, in their various attacks. Democrats have harkened back to the days of fear-mongering against Catholics in public office more than a half-century ago, painting her as a religious zealot with an insidious and secret agenda. California Senator Dianne Feinstein infamously told Barrett back in 2017, “the dogma lives loudly within you.” Days ago, radical activists staged a garish protest against her nomination outside of Capital Hill by dressing up as subjugated characters from Margaret Atwood’s feminist dystopian novel, “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
Lurking beneath these predictable attempts to vilify Judge Barrett is a deeper level of elitist arrogance and conceit which often drives the Left against successful women who dare to think for themselves.
In addition to presenting Barrett as some sort of boogeywoman by implying that her beliefs automatically preclude her from sound judgment and reason, the media have moved to present her family as evidence that Barrett is nothing but a dogmatic simpleton, rife with regressive shortcomings. The New York Times made such an insinuation in a recent piece, ignoring her judicial pedigree in favor of describing her nomination as a “stark departure…from traditional nominees to The Supreme Court.”
“Judge Barrett is from the South and Midwest,” The New York Times reported. “Her career has been largely spent teaching while raising seven children, including two adopted from Haiti and one with Down syndrome, and living according to her faith. She has made no secret of her beliefs on divisive social issues such as abortion. A deeply religious woman, her roots are in a populist movement of charismatic Catholicism.”
Rather than presenting Barrett as a successful woman who has balanced both career and motherhood, she is instead portrayed as a yokel “from the South and Midwest,” and is therefore unfit for the intellectual rigors of the Supreme Court, perhaps best suited for a quiet, domestic life.
The Times piece then followed with a familiar dose of progressive alarmism by asserting that Barrett is “the antithesis of…Justice Ginsburg, her life spent in a cocoon of like-minded thinking that in many areas runs counter to the views of a majority of Americans” and as “someone whose record…suggest[s] will overturn Roe, strike down the A.C.A., bend the law toward big business interests and make it harder to vote.”
Further evidence of the Left’s classism was uncovered when they focused on the fact that Barrett would be the only Supreme Court Justice in decades that did not attend an Ivy League school. Instead, Barrett earned her law degree from Notre Dame. In his piece for the National Review, Michael Brendan Dougherty argued that “American class antagonisms are silent and submerged” and that the Left’s “peculiar opposition is to her status as an elite from outside the normal cultural and educational formation of America’s elites.”
“Most conservative elites come across now as heretics, not outsiders,” Dougherty continues. “But on the right side of the high court, Barrett would stand out. Justice John Roberts is a product of Harvard undergrad and eventually the Harvard Law Review. Neil Gorsuch was a Columbia undergrad, and he went to Harvard Law. Samuel Alito: Princeton undergrad and Yale Law School. Justice Brett Kavanaugh: Yale undergrad and Yale Law School. Amy Coney Barrett went to Rhodes College, a small, Southern Presbyterian institution, before moving on to Notre Dame.”
Dougherty doesn’t hold back, stating, “Her ascent is a rejection of the laws of our hardening class divisions.” Her judicial rise is so potentially exceptional that “[w]hen she sits in front of Senators Feinstein, Harris, and Hirono, Amy Coney Barrett might as well be levitating” given her status as an outlier.
Perhaps the “problem” is that both Barrett’s education and background are rooted in “red America,” with so-called “flyover” states categorically dismissed by the rampant classism of the Left, and it’s this aspect of Amy Coney Barrett which seems to elicit true fear from progressive demagogues. Patrick J. Deneen, a colleague of Barrett’s at Notre Dame, elaborates on this insight for First Things:
“She would be the only current sitting justice not to have graduated from Harvard or Yale Law Schools. Instead, she will have been dominantly shaped by the schools and surroundings of ‘red America.’ She will be the first justice to receive her law degree from a Catholic university,” said Deneen. “She has spent almost her entire life in the ‘flyover’ places of America where ‘gentry liberalism’ is not the dominant fashion. Rather, she has either been born into, or sought out, places where a different ethos reigns: family, home, place, tradition, community, and memory.”
By all available evidence, Amy Coney Barrett will bring a reasoned, intrepid voice to the Supreme Court. We should be thankful that she is not a woman “shaped by the places and people governed by the dominant liberal ethos of our age,” but, as Deneen eloquently puts it, “has had her soul shaped by the people and places where America is at home.”
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.