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Barrett's SCOTUS Confirmation Would Give Conservatives a Supermajority on Education Issues From Race-Based Admissions to School Choice but Could Create a 'Desert for Equity,' Experts Say


September 30, 2020

Judge Amy Coney Barrett speaks after being nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House on Saturday. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)

Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, is the product of a Catholic education who served as a trustee for a religious school participating in Indiana's publicly funded school choice program.

The background of the conservative federal appeals judge could draw scrutiny at a time when the nation's high court is increasingly easing longtime barriers to private and religious schools receiving public funds.

In her relatively short stint on the Chicago-based 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Notre Dame law professor didn't rule on many school matters. But her few opinions included a decision that sided with a Purdue University student accused of sexual assault in a Title IX case and, notably, voting with the majority against extending public school transportation services to a private school. Although the Supreme Court has no cases directly related to education in its upcoming term, its growing conservative majority is widely expected in the coming years to issue decisive rulings on such issues as raced-based admissions, gay and transgender students' rights and the limits of school choice.


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