LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Following a controversial ruling on abortion rights, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett told a crowd of more than 100 here that she did not believe the highest court in the land was politically motivated.
“My goal today is to convince you that this tribunal is not made up of a bunch of partisan hacks,” she told guests at a Sunday celebration of the 30th anniversary of the opening of the McConnell. Center at the University of Louisville.
Barrett, who was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2020, spent much of her speech at the Seelbach Hilton Hotel, saying the court is defined by “judicial philosophies” rather than political opinions personal.
“Judicial philosophies are not the same as political parties,” she said, noting that she identifies as “originalist” and citing her colleague Judge Stephen Breyer as an example of the other school of thought. main, “pragmatism”.
Barrett cited a number of instances in which the court’s nine judges did not rule along “party lines” – that is, each judge appointed by a Republican voting together and each judge appointed by a Democrat. doing the same.
“The media, as well as hot shots on Twitter, report the results and the decisions.… It gives the impression that the decision is outcome-oriented. It leaves the reader to judge whether the court was right or wrong, depending on whether he liked the results of the decision, ”Barrett said.
“And here’s the problem: 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.”
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Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Was in attendance at the event – in addition to Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams, U of L President Neeli Bendapudi and others – and presented Barrett.
He praised the court’s junior judge for not trying to “legislate on the bench” and for being from “Central America,” noting that the Indiana native is the only current judge not to attend Harvard or Yale.
The Senior Kentucky Senator was the Senate Majority Leader at the time of Barrett’s appointment, the third time Republican President Donald Trump has held a Supreme Court seat.
McConnell was the subject of criticism from Democrats for his handling of the judicial recess while he was leading the Senate, and it was the subject of many protesters who gathered outside of Sunday’s event.
“I am aware that they are staying in power through unethical and unscrupulous means.… I’m just fed up,” said a woman dressed as a maid from the series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which has refused to give his name.
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The recent court ruling to deny an emergency appeal to block a Texas law banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, virtually banning the procedure because most don’t know they are pregnant before this point, was another point of contention with the group of about thirty protesters outside the event.
“With what’s going on in Texas, I don’t want it to spread to Kentucky.… And so, we just come to let Mitch know what a lot of citizens think about this problem,” Jane Martin Buckley of Louisville , noted.
Barrett was questioned about the decision and the so-called “shadow case” by a group of McConnell Scholars program students at the event, but said “emergency” decisions such as this may again to be taken to court, so it would be “inappropriate” for her to comment on the case.
McConnell founded the center bearing his name in 1991. It awards scholarships at the U of L to students in Kentucky, hosts a series of public lectures, and houses the archives of McConnell and his wife, Elaine Chao, the former US Secretary of Transportation.
Follow Mary Ramsey on Twitter @ mcolleen1996
This article originally appeared in the Louisville Courier Journal: Justice Amy Coney Barrett says Supreme Court is not politically motivated