Hundreds of staff at Notre Dame University in Indiana have signed two letters opposing the nomination of former Notre Dame law professor Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
The two letters outline how hundreds of faculty at the famous university are opposed to Barrett's nomination to the US Supreme Court.
The first letter, dated October 10, was circulated by Notre Dame Professor of English John Duffy and was signed by 93 professors at the university, including several professors at Notre Dame's law school. It was posted on a website called Teacher-Scholar-Activist.
English's letter optimistically calls on Barrett, a circuit judge on the US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, to make a statement calling for a halt in the nomination process until after November's presidential election.
English notes that Barrett is unlikely to halt the process but said that it would be a good thing for the nation and that she would be providing a model of "civic selflessness."
While the letter generated almost 100 signatures, some professors felt that it didn't go far enough.
Kristin Shrader-Frechette, for instance, a professor emerita of biological sciences, decided to pen a second letter and generate signatures along with three colleagues (Amitava Dutt - economics, political science, Steve Fallon - English, liberal studies, and Jacek Furdyna -physics) after she felt that English's first letter, which she signed, didn't go far enough in terms of Barrett's policies.
Shrader-Frechette slammed Barrett's view on global warning: "To say she doesn’t have an opinion is appalling," Shrader-Frechette told Forbes.
She also condemned Barrett's comments on sexuality, pointing to when the Supreme Court nominee referred to sexual orientation as a preference.
"It’s not preference, it’s biology," Shrader-Frechette said.
The letter is still collecting signatures on a private Google document only available to faculty, but the text of the second letter can be read here on Forbes.
Shrader-Frechette's letter sets out four main points; opposition to Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins' presence at a Rose Garden ceremony celebrating Barrett's nomination; opposition to the process by which the Republican Party is pushing Barrett through; opposition to Donald Trump as President of the United States; and opposition to Barrett's nomination as a Supreme Court judge.
Shrader-Frechette, along with her colleagues, said that Jenkins had given the impression that Notre Dame was officially endorsing Donald Trump and the appointment of Barrett by attending the Rose Garden ceremony, and pointed to the fact that Notre Dame's faculty boasts a diverse political background.
She said that Republican Party efforts to push Barrett through before the election were wrong based on the precedent set by Republicans four years ago when they prevented former President Barack Obama from appointing Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in 2016.
Additionally, she said that many on the Notre Dame faculty were opposed to the US President on a wide range of issues, including "his assault on democratic norms" and his "inability to separate personal and partisan interests from the national interest."
Finally, the letter opposes Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court, arguing that her positions on matters such as health care, immigrant rights, gun safety, and worker rights are troubling.
"We are not convinced that Judge Barrett, with her originalist interpretation of the Constitution, would protect the many people in society who are ignored, excluded, or treated unjustly," the letter says.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on October 15 that the Senate Judiciary Committee has formally set a panel vote on Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court for October 22 at 1 pm EST.