Amy Coney Barrett and Mitch McConnell Want You to Believe the Unbelievable

The Supreme Court justice—and the man responsible for pushing through her hyper-political nomination—insist the high court isn’t political.

Timothy D. Easley/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Sunday responded to critics blasting the high court as hyperpartisan in the wake of its refusal to stop Texas’ near-total abortion ban earlier this month. And she did so in a place named after one of the country’s most strident hyper-partisans: the University of Louisville’s McConnell Center. Yes, that McConnell. The venue’s namesake, Senator Mitch McConnell, proudly introduced her.

“My goal today is to convince you that this court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks,” Barrett said, while McConnell, who single-handedly pushed through her confirmation process mere days before the 2020 presidential election, looked on from several feet away.

“Judicial philosophies are not the same as political parties,” she continued.  “Sometimes, I don’t like the results of my decisions. But it’s not my job to decide cases based on the outcome I want.”

But just as her legal resume is thin, so too is Barrett’s knack for persuasion. Her remarks arrive just after the Supreme Court’s inaction in Texas’ new abortion law—a decision abortion rights advocates and legal experts warn could foreshadow the end of Roe v. Wade—and at a moment when the court is making increasingly political rulings and public remarks at places like the Federalist Society. And Barrett knows all too well that her nomination to the high court came inextricably tied to the widely held expectation that she’d play a key role in overturning the constitutional right to abortion.

Still, Barrett is out here hoping to “convince” court-watchers that there’s nothing to mounting concerns that the Supreme Court is governed by politics. That such a claim was made alongside Mitch McConnell—at a venue honoring a man whose greatest legacy is reshaping the federal judiciary into a conservative dreamscape—was rich.

Later in the event, Barrett reportedly declined to answer audience members’ questions about the Texas decision. That, she claimed, would be “inappropriate.”

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $200,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, this week so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $200,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, this week so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate