Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett

Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett was nominated by President Trump to the United States Supreme Court. Justice Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court on October 26, 2020, with a Senate confirmation vote of 52–48. She became the fifth woman confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, filling the vacant seat of late Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Education and Clerkships

Justice Barrett graduated magna cum laude from Rhodes College with a Bachelor of Arts in English literature in 1994. She earned membership into Phi Beta Kappa and was named the most outstanding English department graduate.

After graduating from Rhodes, she attended Notre Dame Law School. There, Justice Barrett was an executive editor for the Notre Dame Law ReviewWhen she graduated, Justice Barrett was ranked first in her class and earned summa cum laude honors in 1997.

Justice Barrett served as a judicial law clerk after graduation for two years. She first clerked for Hon. Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Justice Barrett then clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court until 1999.

Law Practice

Justice Barrett began her practice at Miller Cassidy Larroca & Lewin (which later merged with Baker Botts) from 1999 to 2002. While at this firm, she most notably worked on Bush v. Gore (2000) and assisted in the firm's representation of George W. Bush.

In 2002, Justice Barrett returned to academia to teach at her alma mater, Notre Dame Law School. She taught students various legal subjects in this role, including evidence, federal courts, and constitutional law. During her time at Notre Dame, Justice Barrett was named "Distinguished Professor of the Year" award three times.

Justice Barrett also taught at George Washington University Law School and the University of Virginia Law School.

Judicial Offices

Before her appointment to the United States Supreme Court, Justice Barrett was appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts to serve on the Advisory Committee for the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure in 2010.

Seven years later, President Donald Trump nominated Justice Barrett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. In this role, Justice Barrett wrote over 70 opinions on various topics, including employment discrimination, immigration, abortion, the Second Amendment, and criminal procedure.

Following the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September 2020, President Trump announced that Justice Barrett would fill her vacancy. Republicans generally supported her, and she was a favorite of Christian conservatives. However, progressives worried about her religious affiliations and her views on honoring prior precedents.

Notable Decisions

Justice Barrett wrote her first majority opinion as a U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice in United States Fish and Wildlife Services v. Sierra Club (2021). She has joined the majority in other cases, such as Fulton v. City of Philadelphia (2021) and Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization (2022), which overturned Roe v. Wade.

Justice Barrett also wrote a shadow docket concurrence in Does v. Mills (2021), a case that addressed vaccine requirements for healthcare workers.

Was this helpful?

More on the Supreme Court

Learn more about the most powerful court in the United States and the justices who decide these historic cases. 

Read more >