News Release

Supreme Court: After Ginsburg — Barrett?

On Saturday The Guardian reported: “Francis Boyle, a law professor at the University of Illinois, said: ‘From [Republicans’] perspective, this is the chance of a lifetime to turn the court to the right.

“’If you have a look at the opinions coming down this term, several of them were five to four, waffling on both sides of the issue, but now you’re definitely going to have six to three. So I don’t I think the Republicans will pass this opportunity.'”

NBC reports: “Amy Coney Barrett, a federal appellate court judge, has emerged as one of the front-runners to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, three sources told NBC News.”

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle@illinois.edu
The New York Times in “To Conservatives, Barrett Has ‘Perfect Combination’ of Attributes for Supreme Court” quotes Barrett mentor Judge Patrick J. Schiltz: “The question of what we believe as a religious matter has nothing to do with what we believe a written document says.”

Said Boyle: “That’s rubbish. It’s like John Roberts saying that he was just going to be calling balls and strikes. And she was at Notre Dame Law School. When I interviewed with them in the late 1970s, I was told by the dean that law professors took a required pledge that they had to conduct themselves consistent with ‘Catholic values,’ which I took to mean I would not teach, write or advocate in favor of abortion rights. Has Barrett taken any kind of pledge that’s relevant to her being on the Court? She is being positioned for the Supreme Court to do a job and overturning Roe v. Wade will be part of it.”

Barrett is a member of the rightwing Federalist Society and Boyle has been a longtime critic of the group (see “Hijacking Justice” from 1999 in Emerge magazine), which is now widely acknowledged as being remarkably influential in shaping the Federal judiciary.

Since the Kavanaugh nomination, Boyle has advocated that when the Democrats obtain control of the presidency and both Houses of Congress, they should increase the number of members of the Supreme Court, an idea that has recently gained wider attention, see recent episode of “The Katie Halper Show.”

Boyle added: “Biden has come out against packing the Supreme Court. No surprise there. This is not a symmetrical situation. The Republicans have always played hard-ball on judicial appointments. They have been packing the Federal courts with Federalist Society members since Ronald Reagan and his White House Counsel and then Attorney General Edwin Meese, a leader of the Federalist Society. Establishment Democrats don’t care all that much despite what they say.”

Boyle was the lawyer for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war and genocide against them before the International Court of Justice. In that capacity, he represented the 40,000 raped women of Bosnia, argued their case for genocide before the World Court, and won two World Court Orders protecting them.