OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett is firing back at critics of the U.S. Supreme Court and she did not mince her words.
While delivering remarks at McConnell Center at the University of Louisville, Barrett said she doesn’t believe the highest court in the land is politically driven and said the nation’s highest court is not filled with “partisan hacks.”
Barrett spoke specifically about the Supreme Court’s decision not to stay a Texas “heartbeat” bill that effectively outlaws abortion after fetal cardiac activity can be detected.
“My goal today is to convince you that this court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks. Judicial philosophies are not the same as political parties,” Barrett said.
“To say the court’s reasoning is flawed is different from saying the court is acting in a partisan manner,” Barret said. “I think we need to evaluate what the court is doing on its own terms.”
“The media, along with hot takes on Twitter, report the results and decisions,” Barrett added. “That makes the decision seem results-oriented. It leaves the reader to judge whether the court was right or wrong, based on whether she liked the results of the decision.”
“And here’s the thing: 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,” she added.
Barrett said the justices are “hyper-vigilant to make sure they’re not letting personal biases creep into their decisions, since judges are people, too.”
Over the weekend, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer made headlines when he discussed a myriad of hot topics surrounding the Court and what the future might hold.
During an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Breyer began by saying he is opposed to the Democrats’ idea of packing the Supreme Court.
“I think, well, people understand to some degree why it’s a good idea what Hamilton thought. And he thought the court should be there because there should be somebody – somebody who says when the other two branches of the government have gone outside the confines of this document,” Breyer said.
“Well, if one party could do it, I guess another party could do it,” he said. “On the surface, it seems to me you start changing all these things around and people will lose trust in the court.”
However, Breyer did say he is open to the idea of term limits instead of the current lifetime appointments.
“I think you could do that. It should be very long-term because you don’t want the judge who’s holding that term to start thinking about his next job. But it would make life easier for me,” Breyer said.
“I don’t intend to die on the court. I don’t think I’ll be there forever,” Breyer added.
“There are many factors, in fact, quite a few,” Breyer said. “And the role of court and so forth is one of them. And the situation, the institutional considerations are some. And I believe, I can’t say I take anything perfectly into account, but in my own mind, I think about those things.”
With those considerations in mind, he said, “I didn’t retire because I decided on balance I wouldn’t retire.”
“That’s the political environment,” Breyer said of the present state of affairs. “Now you may disapprove of it, I may disapprove of it, and if enough people in the public want it to change or be modified one way or the other, it will be.”
“I’m there for everybody. I’m not just there for the Democrats. I’m not just there for the Republicans. And I’m not just there because the president was a Democrat who appointed me,” he said. “It’s a very great privilege to be in that job. And part of it is to remember that you’re there for everyone. They won’t like what you say half the time – or more. But you’re still there for them.”
Late last month, Breyer revealed he is weighing “many considerations” about whether he should retire.
In an interview with the New York Times, the 83-year-old liberal justice said one of the factors he’s considering is who would Joe Biden nominate to be his successor.
Breyer said he did not want his potential replacement to undo his nearly two decades of work on the bench.
“I don’t think I’m going to stay there till I die — hope not. There are a lot of blurred things there, and there are many considerations,” Breyer said.
Democrats want Breyer to retire sooner rather than later.
Joe Biden and the White House are worried that efforts to push Breyer into retirement could backfire.