If the last four years taught us anything, it’s that Americans love politics but they hate politicians. Thankfully, the country has a new, non-political figure to admire: Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
Last night, Barrett was confirmed by the Senate and sworn in as an associate justice to the U.S. Supreme Court. The optics alone were historic. Clarence Thomas, a black, conservative justice, administered the swearing in oath for the first female originalist justice—and the first justice who’s a mother of school-aged children.
During the swearing in ceremony at the White House, Barrett made her judicial philosophy clear: She will not legislate from the bench. “It is the job of a judge to resist her policy preferences. It would be a dereliction of duty for her to give into them,” she said, adding:
This separation of duty from political preference is what makes the judiciary distinct among the three branches of government. A judge declares independence, not only from Congress and the President, but also from the private beliefs that might otherwise move her. The Judicial Oath captures the essence of the judicial duty. The rule of law must always control.
Barrett’s respect for the separation of powers, coupled with her unflappable determination to stay above the political fray, perhaps explains her popularity among voters. She answered grueling questions with nothing more than a blank notebook, all the while displaying a level of patience and grace that could only be matched by a working mom of seven. (It’s safe to assume Barrett is used to dealing with temper tantrums and long days.)
Minutes after being sworn in as an associate justice to the Supreme Court, Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Fox News’ “Hannity” that Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination was a triumph not just for the rule of law, but also for conservative women.
“To all conservative women who go through hell for being conservative, who get beat up by the mainstream media for embracing your faith, being pro-life… you’re a winner tonight. There’s a seat at the table for you,” he said.
Graham’s remarks stood in direct contrast to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who hours earlier called Barrett’s confirmation “one of the darkest days in the 231-year history of the United States Senate.”
Sure, it might have been one of the darkest days for a leftist, establishment guy. But for the millions of hardworking conservative women seeking an example of what it can look like to balance faith, family, and a fulfilling, successful career, Barrett’s confirmation was one of the brightest days in all of history.
It was especially bright for those of us who are exhausted and demoralized by the ugly rancor and political rhetoric. And it was encouraging for those of us who are told we are traitors to our sex if we don’t vote a certain way. It was also historic for those of us who hear, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women,” but then watch as so-called feminists turn around to destroy women who don’t follow their explicit agenda. Indeed, they didn’t hold back for Barrett.
When a figure like Amy Coney Barrett walks in the door and earns a seat at the table, she establishes a new vision for feminism and reminds conservative women who—and what—we’re fighting for.
The significance of her example cannot be overstated. Whether we’re single, stay-at-home moms, career women, or a mix, Barrett shows what’s possible for us to achieve. Her story rejects the tired notion of traditional feminism and replaces it with a bold version that embraces womanhood for all its glories: marriage, motherhood, faith and a fulfilling career.
And in a year of political burnout, Barrett’s story reminds us of another important thing: Nice guys don’t always finish last. Sometimes, she even finishes first.