Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Who is Amy Coney Barrett?

Judge Amy Coney Barrett is one of President Trump’s potential nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Age: 45 (approximate)

Current Position: Circuit Court Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Education:

  • B.A., Rhodes College (1994), magna cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa, Most Outstanding English Major; Most Outstanding Senior Thesis

  • J.D., Notre Dame Law School (1997); summa cum laude; recipient, Hoynes Prize (awarded to the graduate with the best record in scholarship, deportment, and achievement); Dean’s Award (best exam in Administrative Law, Civil Procedure I and II, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, First Amendment, Torts II, and Legal Research and Writing); Executive Editor, Notre Dame Law Review; Kiley Fellow (full tuition fellowship)

Judicial Clerkships:

  • Judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1997-1998)

  • Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court (1998-1999)

Experience:

  • 1999-2000: Associate, Miller Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin (merged with Baker Botts in 2000) (Washington, D.C.)

  • 2000-2001: Associate, Baker Botts LLP (Washington, D.C.)

  • 2001-2002: John M. Olin Fellow in Law, Adjunct Faculty, George Washington University Law School (Washington, D.C.)

  • 2002-2017: Assistant Professor of Law, Associate Professor of Law, Professor of Law, and Diane and M.O. Miller II Research Chair in Law, Notre Dame Law School (South Bend, IN)

  • 2017-present: Circuit Court Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Notable matters:

  • At Notre Dame, Barrett taught and researched in the areas of federal courts, constitutional law, and statutory interpretation. Her scholarship in these fields has been published in leading journals, including the Columbia Law Review, Virginia Law Review, and Texas Law Review. Her recent publications include Congressional Insiders and Outsiders, U. Chi. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2017), Originalism and Stare Decisis, 92 Notre Dame Law Review (forthcoming 2017) and Congressional Originalism, 19 U. Penn J. of Const. Law (2017).

  • From 2010-2016, she served by appointment of the Chief Justice on the Advisory Committee for the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.

Awards: Distinguished Professor of the Year (2006, 2016)

Update: Letters of Endorsement for Amy Coney Barrett

Supreme Court Law Clerks who clerked with Barrett: her former colleagues unanimously agree that she “is a woman of remarkable intellect and character” who is “eminently qualified for the job.”

450 Former students: “Her students learn that lawyers have an unyielding obligation to think deeply and well about the law. And they see that Professor Barrett cares deeply about the rule of law as the foundation of our constitutional system. … We are convinced that Professor Barrett will bring to the federal bench the same intelligence, fairness, decency, generosity, and hard work she has demonstrated at Notre Dame Law School. She will treat each litigant with respect and care, conscious of the reality that judicial decisions greatly affect the lives of those before the court. And she will apply the law faithfully and impartially.”

73 Law professors: “Professor Barrett’s qualifications for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit are first-rate. She is a distinguished scholar in areas of law that matter most for federal courts, and she enjoys wide respect for her careful work, fair-minded disposition, and personal integrity.”

49 Notre Dame Law School Colleagues: “She is a brilliant teacher and scholar, and a warm and generous colleague. She possesses in abundance all of the other qualities that shape extraordinary jurists: discipline, intellect, wisdom, impeccable temperament, and above all, fundamental decency and humanity. Indeed, it is a testament to Amy’s fitness for this office that every full-time member of our faculty has signed this letter. … Despite our differences, we unanimously agree that our constitutional system depends upon an independent judiciary staffed by talented people devoted to the fair and impartial administration of the rule of law. And we unanimously agree that Amy is such a person.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

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