Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's brand new nominee to the Supreme Court, is a devout Catholic who lives out her pro-life beliefs.
Critics are raising concerns over how her religious beliefs will influence her legal thinking. During her 2017 confirmation hearing, she was asked if she believed abortion is always immoral. She affirmed that's what the Catholic church teaches, but she also said that, if confirmed, her personal views would not affect her duties as a judge.
At the same time, she doesn't avoid pro-life decisions while keeping her faith out of the courtroom. In the two abortion-related cases she has heard on the appeals court, she determined that the law does allow restrictions on abortion. She also has opposed the Affordable Care Act's birth control mandate, saying it's a "grave violation of religious freedom" - the first freedom protected in the US Bill of Rights.
But it's her personal history that shines a bright light on her pro-life views.
Barrett is a mother of seven, including two adopted children from Haiti and a biological son with Down syndrome. She learned of the diagnosis during prenatal testing but chose to keep the baby.
"Her religious convictions are pro-life, and she lives those convictions," U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz told the New York Times. "The question of what we believe as a religious matter has nothing to do with what we believe a written document says."
She's also demonstrated that her beliefs mean helping people at every stage of life. In a Washington Post column, Notre Dame law professor O. Carter Snead writes of a blind student who faced obstacles in her first year at the university.
When the student asked Barrett for advice on how to get the technical help she needed, Barrett said: "This is no longer your problem. It is my problem."
From that time on, Snead writes, Barrett took the student under her wing, mentored her, and made sure she had all the help she needed. That student became the first blind female Supreme Court clerk.
Pro-life groups, including Americans United for Life, the Susan B. Anthony List and the Thomas More Society greeted her nomination with support.
"She is the perfect combination of brilliant jurist and a woman who brings the argument to the court that is potentially the contrary to the views of the sitting women justices," Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List said in a statement.
Do you support the Constitutional process for a full court? Check out CBN’s Faith In Action petition to Fill the Supreme Court.
President Trump's Campaign Senior Legal Adviser Jenna Ellis said in a statement to CBN News:
"With the President's new nominee, the balance of the Court is shifting to a stronger conservative majority. This is so significant because it will return the judicial branch to its rightful role in the separation of powers mandated by the Constitution, not making law or policy. Our Declaration acknowledges that our rights come from God our Creator, not our government, and it is the government's obligation to protect religious freedom and human life at every stage. This isn't about Amy Coney Barrett applying her faith to the law, it's about applying the law correctly without activism. Roe v. Wade can and should be overturned because it was wrongly decided, and a conservative majority has the power and duty to do so."
Her confirmation makes her the sixth Catholic currently sitting on the high court.
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