Justice Barrett Says “Read the Opinion”

Yesterday Justice Amy Coney Barrett gave a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Simi Valley in California. This AP report states that Justice Barrett warned against reading judicial decisions in political terms or assuming judges are motivated by policy outcomes.

Justice Barrett said that when controversial decisions are made, it is important to read the opinion first before making any conclusions as to why the Court made the decision. This is the rest of the story.

Is it possible to read (the decision), as a result driven, designed to force the policies of the majority or is this an honest, persuasive, and even controversial effort to establish what the Constitution and precedent require? She asked.

Americans should judge the court — or any federal court — by its reasoning, she said. Is the reasoning of this court political, legislative or judicial? She asked.

When she was asked about her advice to a new justice, which seemed timely considering she will be joining Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson in this summer’s case, she replied:

She said, “I believe one of the most difficult things I had to deal with was becoming a public figure.” Also, security has changed. … We all have security details and that’s different.”

Also, the story noted Justice Barrett was interrupted briefly by a heckler. But this did not appear to have affected her junior-most justice. Justice Barrett stated, “As a mother to seven children, I’m used to interruptions and even outbursts.” Justice Barrett was also reported to be skeptical about the entry of cameras in the courtroom.