Amy Coney Barrett Establishes Her Influence

Justice Amy Coney Barrett is emerging as a significant intellectual force on the Supreme Court.

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

When Barrett was first nominated, her supporters believed she would not only be a solid conservative vote but also an influential justice shaping conservative legal doctrine. True to expectations, she has proven to be staunchly conservative, backing decisions to overturn Roe v. Wade, expand gun rights, and limit federal power.

However, Barrett is beginning to distinguish herself from her peers. She appears less willing than some justices to bypass parts of the legal process to reach a desired outcome. She has criticized how some conservatives use historical analysis to address modern legal questions.

In the recent term, Barrett’s rulings were notably less favorable to former President Trump compared to other Republican appointees. She joined the liberal justices in dissenting when the court narrowed a charge the Justice Department used in January 6 cases, including Trump’s. She argued the majority made “textual backflips” to avoid an “open and shut” win for the government.

In another case, while every justice agreed Trump should remain on the ballot in Colorado, Barrett argued for narrower grounds to reach that decision. Her concurring opinion in a presidential immunity case also suggested a more nuanced application of immunity, allowing more issues to go to trial. She disagreed with a ruling section that prevents courts from considering a president’s official acts as evidence in trials.

Barrett has also voiced concerns about how some colleagues, especially Justice Clarence Thomas, rely heavily on historical analysis. She believes history should be understood in context and not be the sole basis for legal decisions. For instance, in a Second Amendment case, she wrote, “Evidence of ‘tradition’ unmoored from original meaning is not binding law.”

Barrett’s approach may shift the court’s method for resolving big constitutional questions if she garners support. Her habit of writing concurring and dissenting opinions helps articulate her unique judicial philosophy. As the youngest conservative justice, Barrett is likely to influence the court long after justices like Thomas and Samuel Alito retire, potentially shaping its direction for years to come.

Re-reported from the article published originally published in axios

Amy Coney Barrett Establishes Her Influence

Justice Amy Coney Barrett is emerging as a significant intellectual force on the Supreme Court.

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

When Barrett was first nominated, her supporters believed she would not only be a solid conservative vote but also an influential justice shaping conservative legal doctrine. True to expectations, she has proven to be staunchly conservative, backing decisions to overturn Roe v. Wade, expand gun rights, and limit federal power.

However, Barrett is beginning to distinguish herself from her peers. She appears less willing than some justices to bypass parts of the legal process to reach a desired outcome. She has criticized how some conservatives use historical analysis to address modern legal questions.

In the recent term, Barrett’s rulings were notably less favorable to former President Trump compared to other Republican appointees. She joined the liberal justices in dissenting when the court narrowed a charge the Justice Department used in January 6 cases, including Trump’s. She argued the majority made “textual backflips” to avoid an “open and shut” win for the government.

In another case, while every justice agreed Trump should remain on the ballot in Colorado, Barrett argued for narrower grounds to reach that decision. Her concurring opinion in a presidential immunity case also suggested a more nuanced application of immunity, allowing more issues to go to trial. She disagreed with a ruling section that prevents courts from considering a president’s official acts as evidence in trials.

Barrett has also voiced concerns about how some colleagues, especially Justice Clarence Thomas, rely heavily on historical analysis. She believes history should be understood in context and not be the sole basis for legal decisions. For instance, in a Second Amendment case, she wrote, “Evidence of ‘tradition’ unmoored from original meaning is not binding law.”

Barrett’s approach may shift the court’s method for resolving big constitutional questions if she garners support. Her habit of writing concurring and dissenting opinions helps articulate her unique judicial philosophy. As the youngest conservative justice, Barrett is likely to influence the court long after justices like Thomas and Samuel Alito retire, potentially shaping its direction for years to come.

Re-reported from the article published originally published in axios