Coney Barrett: I Don't Always Like Results of My Decisions

Supreme Court justice says court is not made up of 'partisan hacks'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2021 10:35 AM CDT
Coney Barrett: I Don't Always Like Results of My Decisions
Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett speaks at the University of Louisville McConnell Center in Louisville, Ky., on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Justice Amy Coney Barrett isn't happy with how the public perceives the Supreme Court, a problem she blames in part on "hot takes on Twitter." In a speech at the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville, the 49-year-old pushed back against the notion that court decisions are driven by politics, per the Louisville Courier Journal, Politico, and CNN.

  • "My goal today is to convince you that this court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks," she said, drawing a distinction between "judicial philosophies" and justices' own political views.
  • Coney Barrett said her judicial philosophy is that of an "originalist" when it comes to interpreting the Constitution, while someone like Stephen Breyer represents "pragmatism."

  • "To say the court's reasoning is flawed is different from saying the court is acting in a partisan manner," said Coney Barrett. "I think we need to evaluate what the court is doing on its own terms." She acknowledged, though, that "judges are people, too," and that they must be vigilant about keeping their "personal biases" out of decisions.
  • "The media, along with hot takes on Twitter," is focused on "results-oriented" reporting on decisions. "It leaves the reader to judge whether the court was right or wrong, based on whether she liked the results of the decision," she said. "And here's the thing: 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."
  • Coney Barrett said it would be "inappropriate" for her to comment on the court's recent emergency decision to keep a highly restrictive abortion law on the books in Texas. (Breyer, on the other hand, publicly criticized the ruling.)

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