Notre Dame Faculty Call for ACB to Halt the SCOTUS Nomination — There's Just One Problem

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Posted: Oct 13, 2020 3:50 PM
Notre Dame Faculty Call for ACB to Halt the SCOTUS Nomination — There's Just One Problem

Source: Oliver Contreras/Pool via AP

Eighty-eight members of the University of Notre Dame's faculty wrote an open letter to Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett asking she put a pause on the nomination process until after the election. 

Barrett has been a professor at Notre Dame's law school and no one who signed the open letter teaches at the law school. Instead, it includes professors who teach Gender Studies, English, Anthropology, and Peace Studies. Seven librarians also signed on to the letter. 

In other words, they do not work with Barrett at Notre Dame:

"We ask that you take this unprecedented step for three reasons. First, voting for the next president is already underway. According to the United States Election Project, more than seven million people have already cast their ballots, and millions more are likely to vote before election day. The rushed nature of your nomination process, which you certainly recognize as an exercise in raw power politics, may effectively deprive the American people of a voice in selecting the next Supreme Court justice. You are not, of course, responsible for the anti-democratic machinations driving your nomination."

"However, you can refuse to be party to such maneuvers," the letter stated. "We ask that you honor the democratic process and insist the hearings be put on hold until after the voters have made their choice. Following the election, your nomination would proceed, or not, in accordance with the wishes of the winning candidate."

The letter then points to how "the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish was that her seat on the court remain open until a new president was installed."

"Finally, your nomination comes at a treacherous moment in the United States. Our politics are consumed by polarization, mistrust, and fevered conspiracy theories," the letter continued. "Our country is shaken by pandemic and economic suffering. There is violence in the streets of American cities. The politics of your nomination, as you surely understand, will further inflame our civic wounds, undermine confidence in the court, and deepen the divide among ordinary citizens, especially if you are seated by a Republican Senate weeks before the election of a Democratic president and Congress."

By contrast, a letter signed in support of Barrett's nomination not only netted professors who are her colleagues at Notre Dame's law school, but also professors from Harvard University, Columbia Law School, and Yale Law School.