Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett fired back at critics of the Supreme Court who claimed, following the Court’s decision not to stay a Texas “heartbeat” bill that effectively outlaws abortion after fetal cardiac activity can be detected, telling a crowd gathered for the opening of the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville, that the Supreme Court is not packed with “partisan hacks.”
“In the wake of a controversial decision on abortion rights, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett told a crowd of more than 100 here that she doesn’t believe the highest court in the land is politically driven,” the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.
“My goal today is to convince you that this court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks,” Justice Barrett said in her remarks. “Judicial philosophies are not the same as political parties.”
Barrett then tried to draw a comparison between “originalism,” which she says is her judicial philosophy, and Justice Stephen Breyer’s preferred method of legal interpretation, “pragmatism,” and cautioned interpreting the court’s decisions through the lens of political ideology.
“To say the court’s reasoning is flawed is different from saying the court is acting in a partisan manner,” Barret said. “I think we need to evaluate what the court is doing on its own terms.”
“The media, along with hot takes on Twitter, report the results and decisions,” Barrett said. “That makes the decision seem results-oriented. It leaves the reader to judge whether the court was right or wrong, based on whether she liked the results of the decision.”
“And here’s the thing: Sometimes, I don’t like the results of my decisions. But it’s not my job to decide cases based on the outcome I want,” she added.
Barrett’s explanation closely follows criticism she and other justices who elected not to weigh in on Texas’ abortion regulations — and a subsequent decision not to stay the law before it went into effect — particularly from leftists, that the Court was falling along political lines and that the Court’s conservatives were using their positions to outlaw abortion absent a legislative effort.
Barrett was asked about the abortion cases specifically but noted that it was “inappropriate” to discuss cases that could end up in front of the Supreme Court, even if those cases have already resulted in a petition for an emergency stay or a plea for immediate relief, according to NBC News. She did, however, say that Supreme Court Justices are cognizant that their personal biases can factor into their decisions, and that they must absent themselves from their own individual preferences and political beliefs.
Justices, Barrett said, are “hyper vigilant to make sure they’re not letting personal biases creep into their decisions, since judges are people, too.”
Democrats have blasted Barrett, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and even Justice Breyer in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision not to pre-emptively block the Texas abortion law from going into effect. Breyer, who is reaching an advanced age and is the most senior leftist member of the Court, is facing calls to resign and allow President Joe Biden to appoint a successor before the midterm elections in 2022 — a situation that would help avoid a repeat of what happened when the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed, leaving a hole in the court.
Breyer has, so far, resisted those calls.
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