CNN Español — Conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a new member of the US Supreme Court, has seven children, two of them adopted in Haiti. He has spoken openly about his Catholic faith. He was a student at the University of Notre Dame and an assistant to the late judge Antonin Scalia, whom he has identified as his legal reference. We review here 10 facts of his life.
Mother of seven children, two of them adopted from Haiti
Family is Barret’s number one priority, according to people who know her. The 48-year-old judge, who was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, has seven children: Emma, Vivian, Tess, John Peter, Liam, Juliet and Benjamin.
Vivian and John were adopted by Amy Coney Barrett and her husband, Jesse, from Haiti. Vivian is our miracle. Vivian joined our family, she was born in Haiti and came home when she was 14 months old and weighed 5 kilos and was so weak that we were told that she might never walk normally or speak. Today Vivian is a great athlete and I assure you that she has no problem speaking », said during confirmation hearings for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
The challenges of being a mother of a child with Down syndrome
Benjamin, the judge’s youngest son, has Down syndrome. “Benjamin has special needs and that presents unique challenges for all of us, but I think everything you need to know about Benjamin’s place in the family comes down to the fact that the other children identify him without reservation as their favorite brother.” said in that same hearing in 2017.
During confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court, she noted that she would be the first woman with school-age children to serve on the highest court of justice in the United States.
Graduated from the University of Notre Dame
En 1994, Amy Coney Barrett he graduated magna cum laude as a BA from Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee. In 1997 she graduated summa cum laude with a Juris Doctor from the University of Notre Dame School of Law. In one of the confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court, Coney Barrett noted that she would be the only sitting justice who did not graduate from Yale or Harvard.
Catholic who believes “in the power of prayer”
One of the issues that has been at the center of the debate is Amy Coney Barrett’s religion and how it could influence her rulings. The judge is Catholic. “I believe in the power of prayer and it has been encouraging to hear that so many people are praying for me,” he said on the first day of his Senate confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court. It has been associated with a Christian group called the People of Praise, although the judge has not spoken publicly about her link with this community.
In 2017, when Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked if Barrett could separate her faith from legal decisions, she said her personal opinions would not influence her performance of her duties as a judge.
This Monday, after swearing in her position as a magistrate before the Supreme Court, she also said: “I will do my job without fear or to do favors and I will do it independently, both from the political branches and from my own preferences.”
Assistant Conservative Judge Antonin Scalia
Between 1998 and 1999, Coney Barrett was a law clerk to the late Judge Antonin Scalia. During confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court, Coney Barrett said he shared the same legal philosophy that Scalia of the conservative wing advocated. Scalia pioneered so-called “originalism” in interpreting the US constitution “as it was written.” However, during the hearing he also emphasized that he was not equal to him. “I want to be careful and say that if they confirm me, they would not have Judge Scalia, they would have Judge Barrett,” she said.
Teacher at Notre Dame
Between 2002 and 2017 Amy Coney Barrett served as a professor at Notre Dame Law School. Previously, she was an adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Law. He also worked in the private area. Between 1999 and 2001 he worked at the Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin law firm in Washington.
Signing of manifest contrary to Obamacare
In 2012, when she was a professor at Notre Dame, she signed a collective manifesto condemning the birth control benefit in the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare. In that document it was described as an “assault on religious freedom.” During confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court, Barrett said he was not “hostile” to that law. “I am not here on a mission to destroy the Affordable Care Act,” he said. “I am only here to apply the law and adhere to the rule of law,” he said.
Judicial career promoted by Donald Trump
It is not the first time that Trump has chosen Barrett for a judicial position. In May 2017 the president appointed her for the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which covers Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Months later, on October 31, 2017, she was confirmed by the Senate for the position.
He has a gun, plays the piano and his most sincere moment
During the confirmation hearings, the judge repeatedly refused to advance her views on issues on which she could intervene. However, he gave several information about his private life. He said, for example, that he plays the piano. And that his family has a gun. In what CNN’s Alex Rogers called “perhaps her most heartfelt moment” on the third day of hearings, Amy Coney Barrett said she had had a glass of wine the day before. “I’ll tell you I needed it at the end of the day,” he said. And Richard Blumenthal, the Democratic Senator from Connecticut, responded, “Let me say (that) on that kind of issue, you have the right to remain silent.”
Acknowledged the personal cost of designation
“I don’t think it’s a secret from any of you, or from the American people, that this is a really difficult process, some might say unbearable,” Barrett said when asked in the Senate how she felt about being appointed.
“Jesse and I had very little time to make a decision with far-reaching consequences for our family. We knew that our lives would be checked for any negative details. We knew that our faith would be caricatured. We knew that our family would be attacked. And then we had to decide if those difficulties would be worth it because what sane person would go through that if there was no benefit on the other side? “
Amy Coney Barrett said the “benefit” would be her commitment “to the rule of law and the role of the Supreme Court.”
With information from Gabriela Matute and Alex Rogers
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