Image: wikimedia.org/Rachael Malehorn
Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as the newest justice of the United States Supreme Court on Oct. 27.
The Supreme Court dates all the way back to 1789! Article III of the United States Constitution establishes the federal judiciary and allows Congress to decide how to organize the courts. When Congress created the Supreme Court 231 years ago, there were six justices. There are nine seats on the Court today. Each justice is appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, and it is a lifetime appointment.
Barrett, 48, was confirmed by the Senate with a 52-48 vote and became the 115th justice of the Supreme Court. She was sworn in to fill the seat vacated by Ruth Bader Ginsburg five weeks after Ginsburg died.
There were plenty of politics involved in Barrett’s nomination. Due to the impact the Supreme Court can have with its decisions and the length of time justices can serve, vacancies on the Supreme Court always attract a lot of attention. The fact that she was confirmed the week before the presidential election was a source of contention. Shortly before her CONFIRMATION, the American Bar Association rated Barrett as “well qualified” for the position.
Barrett was born in Louisiana and completed her undergraduate degree at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. She went to law school at Notre Dame on a full scholarship. After law school, she worked as a clerk for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Barrett returned to Notre Dame to work as a law professor for 15 years. In 2017, President Trump nominated her to become a federal appeals court judge.
Barrett and her husband are parents to seven children, so Barrett has joked that she’s used to being in a group of nine.
“While I am a judge, I’m better known back home as a room parent, carpool driver and birthday party planner,” Barrett said in September.