By Esther Lee
Esther Lee is a sophomore, studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences and Finance & Operations in The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
With the recent confirmation hearings of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States, there is undoubtedly a question of whether her presence on the bench could mark an enormous shift for future holdings. If confirmed, Barrett will give the court’s conservative wing a solid 6-3 majority. Currently, Chief Justice John Roberts is the court’s median . Barrett is a self-proclaimed originalist, meaning she believes that constitutional text should be interpreted as “what it did at the time it was ratified and that this original public meaning is authoritative” . One estimate of her ideological leanings is that Barrett will be the third-most conservative justice on the court, to the right of Trump’s previous nominees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, and just to the left of Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas. Using Alito’s career as a guide, it is expected that Barrett will reach conservative decisions in 84% of non-unanimous decisions and 71% of all cases . Though these predictions are not always correct — as several of the court’s most liberal justices were appointed by Republican presidents — the conservative legal movement has been able to bring to prominence potential justices, like Barrett, who are consistent ideological conservatives .