By Nicky Andrews (Loyola Sophomore)
After Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation into the Supreme Court, Loyola students are voicing their opinions on her possible impact on landmark cases like Roe v. Wade.
On October 26th, Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed as a United States Supreme Court Justice by President Donald Trump. The confirmation came only a little over five weeks after the passing of former Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was known as a long standing feminist and supporter of accessible abortions.
As Barrett’s previous opinions on abortion and women’s rights come into light, many individuals are not only questioning where abortion stands in regards to the law, but they are questioning the legal process of confirming a Supreme Court Justice.
When asked if she felt she had a voice in the confirmation of Barrett, Katie Pease, a current sophomore at Loyola University, said, “I feel that it was unprecedented, especially so close to the election. It should have been up to the American people, so many loved Ginsburg and she helped inspire so many women.”
With the presidential election having occurred only eight days after the confirmation, many argued that the country’s decision to elect Trump, four years prior, was no longer representative of current day perspectives. This lack of representation has become a growing concern as many Americans begin to understand the power of the Supreme Court.
Ciara Gibbons, a junior at Loyola University, addressed the power of the Supreme Court when she said, “In several cases the Supreme Court has been the last line of defense for certain rights and liberties.” With the recent confirmation of Barrett, Ciara says, “This era is now over.”
Due to the now conservative leaning court, the act of receiving an abortion, which a majority of interview respondents considered a human right, is at stake. The case of Roe v. Wade has faced the possibility of being overturned in the past but it has remained in practice since its initial ruling in 1991.
Although Loyola Sophomore Caitlin Wagner is discouraged by Barrett’s confirmation, she said, “I think she will push for overturning Roe v. Wade but ultimately I doubt it will get to that point.”
While some students consider Roe v. Wade to be too established to be overturned, others are quickly losing confidence in any progressive action occurring in the foreseeable future.
Connor Karwowski, a sophomore at Loyola University, said, “there’s no chance for anything surrounding equality to be passed until someone conservative dies. There is only going to be traditional and conservative rulings made,” confirming the belief that the conservative party does not prioritize equal protection under the law.
For some, they’re particularly concerned about the level of power a Justice holds over the country.
Ciloe Flores, a Junior at Loyola, said, “Normally, church and state is said and forced to be separate in judicial offices, like those of judges; but as Justice, she [Barrett] is in a unique position to reform an entire nation’s outlook on laws and culture.”
Similar concerns of Barrett’s ability to separate church and state were heard throughout the surveying.
“She will side against most controversial cases that will seem to go against her religious views, just as Roe v. Wade.” said Olivia Savard, a current junior.
Of all 16 Loyola interview respondents, not one of them voiced support for the confirmation of Barrett, exposing how Loyola University specifically attracts those of liberal ideology. While my survey may have been an accurate representation of Loyola’s political climate, it is important to consider whether conservative views may be existent yet frowned upon and therefore less apparent in the community.
While polarization may be hard to detect on college campuses, the election results exposed how the U.S. is far more divided than one may have previously thought. This is forcing each citizen to consider if the system in which Supreme Court Justices are appointed is truly representative of all, and if not, what effect it’ll have on the country.