US Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett said that the public may view the court as a partisan institution. At a lecture hosted by the University of Louisville's McConnell Center, she said, "Justices must be 'hyper-vigilant to make sure they’re not letting personal biases creep into their decisions, since judges are people, too."
Justice Amy was introduced by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and she spoke at length about her desire to view the Supreme Court as nonpartisan.
Mitch McConnell was the one who pushed her confirmation in the last days of the Trump administration. Her confirmation to the seat was left open by the death of the liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Justice Amy pointed out that the media’s reporting of opinions doesn’t capture the deliberative process in reaching those decisions, insisting that "judicial philosophies are not the same as political parties."
“To say the court’s reasoning is flawed is different from saying the court is acting in a partisan manner,” she said.
“I think we need to evaluate what the court is doing on its own terms.”
Barrett's comments followed a high-profile decision earlier this month in which the court by 5-4 vote declined to step in to stop a Texas law banning most abortions from going into effect, prompting outrage from abortion rights groups and President Joe Biden.
The 49-year-old also spoke about her introduction to the court in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, saying it “certainly is a different experience.”
She further described the court as a “warm, collegial place.”
“I have an important job, but I certainly am no more important than anyone else in the grocery store checkout line,” she said about balancing her life.
Barrett was confirmed by the Senate in a 52-48 vote last year, a little over a month after Ginsburg's death.
Democrats opposed her nomination, saying that her appointment was rushed and the 2020 presidential election should have been able to choose Ginsburg's replacement.
(with inputs from Associated Press)