The liberal case for confirming Amy Coney Barrett

Likewise, Barrett has proven herself willing to rule in favor of plaintiffs claiming race- and sex-based discrimination. In 2018, she ruled in favor of a butcher claiming sexual and racial harassment by male colleagues. That same year, she ruled in favor of a woman seeking back pay from Costco after she took unpaid leave in the face of sexual harassment from a male customer. This year, she upheld a ruling in favor of a park supervisor discriminated against on the basis of being Hispanic. Although much has been made of her 2019 decision to throw out a sexual-assault conviction, this reflects more of a concern with due process, rather than a willful ignorance of the need to uphold decisions affecting civil rights. The claim that she will be an unmitigated threat to “civil rights” is unfounded.

Finally, Barrett has shown skepticism of the powers sometimes claimed by law enforcement. This is an important consideration given the tendency of some other judges to apply overly broad exemptions to police officers accused of racist police brutality. The Week describes how her jurisprudence tends to “reach conclusions that are less deferential to law enforcement.” These decisions include one from 2018 and two from 2019 in which she criticized common police search tactics. Her conscience is also clearly disturbed by the death penalty. Rather than interpreting this as an admission of religious bias, we should appreciate her obvious discomfort with the power of the state being used to harm its own citizens.