The Corner

Law & the Courts

Notre Dame Liberal-Arts Faculty Ask Barrett to Halt Her Nomination

University of Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Ind. (Matt Cashore/USA TODAY Sports)

In an open letter, 88 faculty members at the University of Notre Dame are calling on Judge Amy Coney Barrett to withdraw herself from consideration for the Supreme Court vacancy until after the election.

“It is vital that you issue a public statement calling for a halt to your nomination process until after the November presidential election,” they write, concluding that doing so “might well inspire Americans of different beliefs toward a renewed commitment to the common good.”

What’s most interesting about the letter is the composition of its signatories: To a man, they belong to colleges and departments at the university other than Notre Dame’s law school. Not a single one of Barrett’s faculty colleagues in the law school signed on.

In fact, according to Senator Ben Sasse, when Barrett was nominated to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, she was recommended unanimously by her Notre Dame Law School faculty colleagues.

Just yesterday, 23 of Barrett’s law-school colleagues submitted a letter to the Judiciary Committee commending her Supreme Court nomination. “As a scholarly community, we have divergent political views, as well as commitments to different approaches to judicial methodology and judicial craft,” they wrote, adding:

We also have divergent views about the President, as well as the timing of this confirmation process and its long-term implications for the future of the Supreme Court. We are united, however, in our judgment about Amy. 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 judges: discipline, intellect, wisdom impeccable temperament, and above all, fundamental decency and humanity.

The dean of Notre Dame’s law school, G. Marcus Cole, offered his own statement after she was nominated, calling Barrett “an absolutely brilliant legal scholar and jurist” and “one of the most popular teachers we have ever had here at Notre Dame Law School.”

Cole added, “Judge Barrett has served our nation with true distinction from the bench, and would continue to do so if she were confirmed to serve on our nation’s highest court.”

This open letter asking her to withdraw from consideration, meanwhile, was signed by Notre Dame faculty who hail from some of the university’s most progressive departments: four from Gender Studies, nine from Anthropology, seven from history, and several from other assorted liberal-arts disciplines.

These faculty members are, of course, entitled to their own opinions. But we shouldn’t be asked to believe that their sentiments reflect in any way on Barrett’s fitness to serve on the Supreme Court.

Most Popular

The Imaginary Trump

Like Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump is man who represents the age in which he lived. Whatever you may think of the age. Jackson embodied a generation of men who had risen and made their mark in a young country. He represented their desire for greater representation, even if it had costs for slaves and Indians. He ... Read More

The Imaginary Trump

Like Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump is man who represents the age in which he lived. Whatever you may think of the age. Jackson embodied a generation of men who had risen and made their mark in a young country. He represented their desire for greater representation, even if it had costs for slaves and Indians. He ... Read More
White House

Implications of the Flynn Pardon

President Trump granted a pardon to Michael Flynn, his former national-security adviser, today. Flynn had pled guilty to lying to FBI agents about conversations, during the 2016 transition, with the Russian ambassador about sanctions. Flynn’s pardon should bring to an end one gross violation of the ... Read More
White House

Implications of the Flynn Pardon

President Trump granted a pardon to Michael Flynn, his former national-security adviser, today. Flynn had pled guilty to lying to FBI agents about conversations, during the 2016 transition, with the Russian ambassador about sanctions. Flynn’s pardon should bring to an end one gross violation of the ... Read More
History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More
History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More
Economy & Business

Shopping Superstitions

It’s the boss-bossiest time of the year, when Americans getting ready to open up their wallets to buy Christmas presents are lectured by illiterate halfwits about where and how to spend their money. The usual demands: Buy local, or buy from small businesses. This is pure nonsense, and you should feel free to ... Read More
Economy & Business

Shopping Superstitions

It’s the boss-bossiest time of the year, when Americans getting ready to open up their wallets to buy Christmas presents are lectured by illiterate halfwits about where and how to spend their money. The usual demands: Buy local, or buy from small businesses. This is pure nonsense, and you should feel free to ... Read More
Film & TV

Bowing Down to Obama

‘How can we miss you when you won’t go away?” political podcaster Yvette Carnell joked two years ago when Barack Obama began his comeback tour by making sideline pronouncements about the state of the nation after his brief retirement. Now the comeback is official, with two new Kool-Aid-drinker Obama ... Read More
Film & TV

Bowing Down to Obama

‘How can we miss you when you won’t go away?” political podcaster Yvette Carnell joked two years ago when Barack Obama began his comeback tour by making sideline pronouncements about the state of the nation after his brief retirement. Now the comeback is official, with two new Kool-Aid-drinker Obama ... Read More
Culture

On Being Grateful

My mother always enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner. She took a traditional Southern woman’s pride in being a good cook, following her mother’s recipes, and my family made a rare display of kindness by declining to inform her that she was a fairly dreadful cook, one whose kitchen alchemy on the electric range ... Read More
Culture

On Being Grateful

My mother always enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner. She took a traditional Southern woman’s pride in being a good cook, following her mother’s recipes, and my family made a rare display of kindness by declining to inform her that she was a fairly dreadful cook, one whose kitchen alchemy on the electric range ... Read More
U.S.

Gratitude: What We Owe to Our Country

Editor’s Note: The following essay by National Review founder William F. Buckley comes from the first chapter of his 1990 book, Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country. I have always thought Anatole France’s story of the juggler to be one of enduring moral resonance. This is the arresting and ... Read More
U.S.

Gratitude: What We Owe to Our Country

Editor’s Note: The following essay by National Review founder William F. Buckley comes from the first chapter of his 1990 book, Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country. I have always thought Anatole France’s story of the juggler to be one of enduring moral resonance. This is the arresting and ... Read More