When President Donald Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee for associate justice of the Supreme Court on Sept. 26, he praised her intellect, her credentials and her legal accomplishments. He also made sure to emphasize another part of her life: her role as a wife and a mother of seven.
“Amy is more than a stellar scholar and judge,” he said during the announcement in the White House Rose Garden. “She is also a profoundly devoted mother. Her family is a core part of who Amy is.”
Barrett also emphasized those aspects of herself, telling those gathered at the COVID-19 superspreader event, “While I am a judge, I’m better known back home as a room parent, carpool driver and birthday party planner. ... Our children are my greatest joy, even though they deprive me of any reasonable amount of sleep.”
On Monday night, against the vocal protestations of Democrats, the GOP-controlled Senate voted 52-48 to confirm Barrett to a lifetime appointment on the nation’s highest court. And Republicans weaponized her whiteness, womanhood and motherhood to do so.
Barrett is poised to be one of the most conservative justices on an already conservative Supreme Court, and at 48, she will likely be serving for decades. Her legal ideology and personal views are a concern to many advocates for women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights and racial justice. In her personal life, she has ties to People of Praise, a fringe Christian group whose adherence to strict gender roles has evoked comparisons to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and she previously served on the board of private Christian schools that effectively barred LGBTQ teachers and the children of LGBTQ parents. Rep. Josh Howley (R-Mo) recently gushed about how Barrett was “the most openly pro-life judicial nominee to the Supreme Court in my lifetime.”