How Just Is the New Justice?

Corinne Salter, Writer/Editor

Americans were shocked last week on October 26, 2020, as  the United States Senate sped through Supreme Court nomination, hearing, and appointment in a mere 30 days. The Republican Party spared no time after the death of former justice, activist, and icon, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, swiftly nominating Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the position. The entire process came as a surprise to many people, including numerous Whitney Young students. Senior Maiya Austen ‘21 was hurt by the death of Justice Ginsburg, “things change so fast that we don’t even have the time to grieve.” 


The topic has become one of political tension, as Democrats suspected the President was rushing this process in order to continue stacking D.C. with republican politicians during what may be his last days in office. While the process of appointing a new Supreme Court Justice normally takes around 70 days, and can be a process over three  months long, Justice Amy Coney Barrett was able to make it through the ordeal in a mere 30 days. The confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barret tips the political leanings of the Supreme Court, making 6 Republican-affiliated justices to only 3 Democratic. Sophomore Isabele Schuerman ‘23 fears that Justice Coney Barrett isn’t going to make the right decisions in the position. “Her politics seem very misaligned with the needs of the United States at the moment.” 


Some argue that a court tasked with handling the most important decisions in the United States of America should value neutrality, being balanced politically. It is because of this that some suspect a Democratic president may make changes to the Supreme Court in the future. While a Supreme Court appointment is one for life, the Constitution fails to set a fixed number of justices, so technically any Congress and President could add justices as they wish. Despite this, Joe Biden has spoken against setting the precedent of “packing the Court”. “I would not get into court packing. We had three justices. Next time around, we lose control, they add three justices. We begin to lose any credibility the court has at all.” Only time will tell the future of the United States, and what this Supreme Court means for the future.

US President Donald Trump watches as Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas swears in Amy Coney Barrett as a US Supreme Court Associate Justice, flanked by her husband Jesse M. Barrett, during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House October 26, 2020, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images) (NICHOLAS KAMM)