Alumni petition for Barrett’s removal from Hall of Fame


Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett testifies during the third day of her confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, October 14, 2020.


A group of former students of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s alma mater, Rhodes College, plan to ask school officials for her removal from the College Hall of Fame.

The Rhodes College Alumni for Reproductive Rights group shared a letter and petition on Thursday, August 4, alleging her testimony at the Supreme Court confirmation hearings was a violation of Rhodes College’s honor code.

The letter, signed by former students Rob Marus and Katherine Morgan Breslin, details how the group believes Barrett’s written and court opinions were “profoundly inconsistent” with his testimony, including what the group says were “misleading statements about constitutional abortion protections during her confirmation hearing and her “likelihood of shredding decades of precedent in the future.”

The letter comes after Barrett was one of five justices who overturned Roe v. Wade, a 1973 Supreme Court decision that the Constitution protects the right to abortion. The recent decision left the matter to the states to regulate.

Barrett graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee with her undergraduate degree in 1994 before attending Notre Dame Law School in Indiana. She was appointed as a Supreme Court Justice by former President Donald Trump following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and was confirmed by the Senate in October 2020.

“We think it’s time to take her at her written word rather than verbally. And we believe Judge Amy Coney Barrett is one of today’s greatest threats to our basic rights, the stability of our nation, and our democracy,” the letter reads. “Simply being one of our most famous alumni is not reason enough for the College to continue to honor someone who has so publicly violated Rhodes’ most fundamental values.”

McClatchy News contacted the Supreme Court for comments from Barrett and did not immediately receive a response.

In a statement to McClatchy News, Rhodes College said the school is “aware that some alumni are seeking signatures for a letter regarding Judge Amy Coney Barrett,” but has no comment at this time. because it hasn’t been delivered yet.

Marus, the lead author of the letter, told McClatchy that the group plans to officially send the petition and letter to the college after the August 19 deadline for signature.

The Rhodes College Alumni for Reproductive Rights group was originally formed in 2020, Marus said, as “Rhodes Alumni Against Amy Coney Barrett’s Nomination” for oppose its confirmation to the Supreme Court.

It was later reactivated, Marus added, “after joining the majority opinion in the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey,a 1992 Supreme Court decision that also upheld the constitutional right to abortion.

Following his appointment to Supreme Court, a statement of congratulations was posted on the Alumni for Amy website, which said, in part, “Those of us who attended Rhodes with Amy remember her as a person of great intelligence, strong skills leadership and exceptional character, and knew her as a thoughtful, calm, respectful, and principled person, genuinely interested in those around her. … We congratulate Amy on her appointment and are proud of the honor she brings to the College.

McClatchy News asked for comment on the recent alumni petition for Amy, but did not immediately receive a response.

Several students and the elders expressed their support on the website, including Ryan Sullivan.

“Regardless of political ideology, our community should be very proud that a Rhodes alumnus has been nominated for one of our country’s most prestigious and revered positions,” Sullivan said in the comments. “Furthermore, as a fellow Catholic, I find it inspiring to see a woman living her faith with conviction while simultaneously fulfilling her civic duty to America.”

In an Aug. 9 post on its Facebook page, the reproductive rights group said its organizers “were subjected to threatening calls from lunatics who somehow obtained our cell phone numbers. personal, and we have also been targeted in our professional lives” in the days since the letter was posted.

“We will not be deterred in our efforts by a backlash. Unlike his apologists, we are uniquely motivated by upholding the Rhodes values ​​of truth, loyalty and service that our alma mater taught us,” Marus said. “We believe – and our letter explains why – Judge Barrett clearly violated the Rhodes honor system with her swift action to not only remove an established right to bodily autonomy for millions upon millions of Americans, but also to endanger the very foundation of other hard rights. – vested rights for millions of other Americans, including the right to privacy and equality for LGBTQ people, the right to birth control, and countless others.

Emmalyse Brownstein is a national real-time reporter covering the Southeast. She is an alumnus of the University of Miami, where she was editor of Distraction Magazine. She has reported for Miami New Times, Wine Spectator and more.

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