The Corner

Law & the Courts

Graduating from Barrett’s High School Does Not Make You an Expert on Her Nomination

The Guardian has published an op-ed this morning by Lisa M. O’Neill, who graduated from St. Mary’s Dominican High School in Louisiana, the same high school from which Amy Coney Barrett graduated.

The headline — “Amy Coney Barrett went to my all-girls high school. I hope she’s not confirmed” — might lead one to believe that the author knew Barrett personally or, having gone to the same high school, possesses some personal, perhaps disqualifying inside information about her that she wishes to disclose publicly.

That is not the case. Instead, The Guardian has given O’Neill this platform to denounce Barrett as a threat that will “irrevocably harm the lives of millions of Americans” merely because she graduated from the same institution as the judge. As far as we can tell, O’Neill never so much as met Barrett, nor does she offer any unique or useful insight about her on a personal level.

Instead, the article is a laundry list of reasons why O’Neill — once a pro-life Catholic who now rejects the Church and its supposed “patriarchal culture” — believes that Barrett’s nomination is a reason to “worry about the lives and futures of . . . fellow Americans.”

Among O’Neill’s specific concerns are “the lives of women and all those with uteruses when Barrett has referred to abortion as ‘always immoral’” and “the lives of LGBTQ+ families when Barrett defended supreme court dissenters on the landmark marriage equality case Obergefell v Hodges.”

Wielding her “I was once a Catholic” card, O’Neill criticizes Barrett for her involvement in the lay Christian group People of Praise, implying that her membership proves she has an authoritarian worldview and wants women to “play subservient roles” — an especially ludicrous assertion considering that Barrett is only in the public eye at the moment because she’s accepted a nomination to the highest court in the land.

O’Neill closes by asserting that Barrett has no ability “to separate out the ‘rightness’ of her faith from decisions about the future of healthcare, reproductive freedom, and civil rights for millions of Americans.” How many more spurious, hyperbolic columns such as this one must we tolerate from ill-informed Americans who are given a platform to share their uninteresting progressive views simply because they attended the same school as a nominee?

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