Amy Coney Barrett wants America ruled by her Christian legal movement

In recent years, conservatives have been intent on installing judges who will not disappoint by becoming more centrist over time. Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy sided with liberal Justices in a few notable cases, including ones that allowed same-sex marriage and upheld Roe. David Souter, who had become a federal judge just months before President George H. W. Bush nominated him to the Court, in 1990, moved leftward enough that “No More Souters” became a conservative slogan. A decade ago, Chief Justice John Roberts committed the unpardonable sin of providing a critical vote to keep the Affordable Care Act in place. In 2020, the seemingly stalwart Gorsuch delivered a blow, writing the majority opinion in a case which held that civil-rights legislation protected gay and transgender workers from discrimination. On the Senate floor, Josh Hawley, the Missouri Republican who later attempted to discredit the results of the 2020 Presidential election, declared that Gorsuch’s opinion marked the end of “the conservative legal project as we know it”—the “originalist” jurisprudence, prominent since the nineteen-eighties, that claims to be guided by the textual intent of the Founding Fathers. It was time, Hawley said, for “religious conservatives to take the lead.” Four months later, that new era unofficially began, when Barrett joined the Court.

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