SDSU Professor breaks down Coney Barrett confirmation

Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 10:40 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Amy Coney Barrett is now officially a member of the U.S. Supreme Court, and the third Justice President Trump has appointed since he took office.

Democrats have strongly opposed the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, saying it breaks precedent set by Republicans in 2016, and threatens the rights of the American people.

“You can’t spell shameful without sham, and that’s what Senate Republicans have turned this Supreme Court nomination process into, a sham," Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey said.

But, how likely is Barrett’s spot on the court truly going to impact landmark decisions that have already been made? That’s what Dakota News Now asked South Dakota State University Political Science Professor Lisa Hager.

“I don’t think her being on the court is the thing that’s really going to change things, we are just now in a situation where we don’t have as many swing justices as we used to," Hager said.

One major case the court is set to soon take up addresses the Affordable Care Act. There have also been concerns about a majority conservative court infringing upon women’s rights by overturning Roe v. Wade, something Hager says is ultimately unlikely.

“I would expect that they would uphold more restrictions, not overturn Roe v. Wade," Hager said.

Democrats have threatened to pack the court in response to Barrett’s confirmation, however, they would have to take control of the Senate and Oval Office, as well as retain control of the House.

“I don’t personally see that being a very popular thing with the American public, especially if we haven’t even given the Supreme Court much of a chance to rule on any of these issues," Hager said. "I see it more as a threat than anything else.”

While Barrett’s lifetime SCOTUS appointment certainly holds significance, Hager says she expects the court to remain true to its roots.

“They’re not willing to just overturn precedent left and right, because what they really want is predictability, and they want their decisions to be respected," Hager said.

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