Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Amy Coney Barrett: A View from Rhodes College

 

President Trump is going to announce his nomination for the Supreme Court later this week, and all the talk is about Amy Coney Barrett, currently a Notre Dame professor of law and a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. As it happens, Amy was a classmate of mine at Rhodes College, a small (1,400 students at the time) liberal-arts school in Memphis. I didn’t know her well, but she was a friend of other friends, and we were acquainted a bit through being in a club together.

I can tell you a few things about her, though. For one thing, she did not have a wild reputation, so I think that if she’s nominated, the Senate hearings will have to find something else to complain about. She was an English major and served on the Honor Council, a student body that enforced our honor code against lying and cheating (a great feature of academics at Rhodes that allowed us take-home tests in many classes). We were both in Mortar Board, an honor society. She wasn’t a political activist and was never a member of the College Republicans (I was, and we had a much larger membership than the College Democrats).

Amy at the homecoming game senior year

Popular, as far as I knew, and by our senior year, she shows up in the yearbook’s candid photos taken around campus.

Candid photo in the social room (the ironing board refers to another picture)

I hadn’t thought about her for a long time, until three years ago when friends were pointing out she’d been nominated for the Seventh Circuit, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein grilled her over her religion, proclaiming that “the dogma lives loudly within you.” At the time, I thought that was a rough Senate hearing.

My daughter was a Notre Dame student, and two years ago, I stopped by to visit Amy at her home in South Bend and catch up. She had been listed as being on the president’s shortlist for a Supreme Court seat, and Kavanaugh was going through his own nomination process at that time.

L to R: Me, Amy Barrett, and my daughter

My daughter had been treating the accusations against him as probably true by default and took an unconcerned view towards the behavior of the press. Amy knows Kavanaugh, spoke well of him, and described what it was like seeing the press contacting her and digging through rumors about him. That changed my daughter’s opinion of how these things go, she told me. I meant to ask her if she were named to the Supreme Court if she’d be willing to go through all of the hatred and attacks on her reputation that would surely be a part of it. But I can’t remember if I did. I reckon we’ll all find out soon enough, though.

As a footnote, if Amy is confirmed to the court, she would be the second Supreme Court justice to come from Rhodes. Our first was Abe Fortas (class of 1930), who was named by President Johnson in 1965. Fortas resigned in 1969 after a series of ethics scandals, but the college gives out the Abe Fortas Award for Excellence in Legal Studies each year. Quite understandable; we’re a small school, and we should still be proud one of our own was elevated to the Supreme Court. May Amy Barrett bring us more honor.

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  1. PHCheese Member

    That’s a beautiful picture of you three.

    • #1
    • September 23, 2020, at 3:04 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  2. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Tim H.: Sen. Dianne Feinstein grilled her over her religion, proclaiming that “the dogma lives loudly within you.” At the time, I thought that was a rough Senate hearing. 

    The only response I would have been able to come up with would have been “As yours does in you, Senator.”

     

    • #2
    • September 23, 2020, at 3:35 PM PDT
    • 16 likes
  3. Retail Lawyer Member

    What a great post! I wish I knew her. Diane, Kamala, Mazie and the gang will have trouble taking her down. You wouldn’t be familiar with her high school yearbooks, would you!

    • #3
    • September 23, 2020, at 3:44 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  4. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Thanks for the post. It is nice reminder that she’s a real person with real life. 

    • #4
    • September 23, 2020, at 4:55 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  5. Maguffin Member

    Given the state of things, the democrats will use the top picture to try to show she has a drinking problem.

    I’m far more concerned about her loafing around.

    • #5
    • September 23, 2020, at 6:15 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Maguffin (View Comment):

    Given the state of things, the democrats will use the top picture to try to show she has a drinking problem.

    I’m far more concerned about her loafing around.

    In the year of Black Lives Matter and the fact Amy’s from the south, I’m betting on race card accusations if she’s nominated, especially with the Democrats’ fear that they could lose 10-15 percent of the black vote to Trump this fall, which might be key in a few swing states.

    • #6
    • September 23, 2020, at 7:11 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  7. Full Size Tabby Member

    Maguffin (View Comment):

    Given the state of things, the democrats will use the top picture to try to show she has a drinking problem.

    I’m far more concerned about her loafing around.

    That is an impressive loaf she is holding. 

    • #7
    • September 23, 2020, at 7:44 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  8. Nick Plosser Coolidge

    Great post Tim! Thanks for sharing your connection with Barrett, the pictures and story about your daughter. 

    • #8
    • September 23, 2020, at 8:27 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. Tim H. Member
    Tim H.

    Maguffin (View Comment):

    Given the state of things, the democrats will use the top picture to try to show she has a drinking problem.

    I’m far more concerned about her loafing around.

    Hah! We could submit any kind of picture we wanted to, senior year, and I’ve kind of assumed she was on a trip to France…but maybe it was just downtown in Memphis with the wine and bread to pretend.

    • #9
    • September 23, 2020, at 8:39 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. Trink Coolidge
    TrinkJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Tim . .. . Wow! Truly. A classmate being considered for The Supreme Court. This is really something! Wow!

    • #10
    • September 23, 2020, at 9:36 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. Manny Member

    Super post. I hope she’s the one!

    • #11
    • September 23, 2020, at 11:18 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. Phil Turmel Coolidge

    Tim H. (View Comment):
    but maybe it was just downtown in Memphis with the wine and bread to pretend.

    She’s from cajun country. Wine and baguettes make sense to me.

    • #12
    • September 24, 2020, at 4:13 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Tim H. Member
    Tim H.

    Trink (View Comment):

    Tim . .. . Wow! Truly. A classmate being considered for The Supreme Court. This is really something! Wow!

    I know! For years, I had wondered who out of our class would wind up being famous. With only about 400 or so members, there wasn’t a big pool, so maybe nobody. Two-three years ahead of me was Chris Cox, who went on to head up the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, but he wasn’t exactly a classmate. Then all of a sudden, this!

    • #13
    • September 24, 2020, at 4:27 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. Vance Richards Member
    Vance RichardsJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Tim H.: I can tell you a few things about her, though. For one thing, she did not have a wild reputation, so I think that if she’s nominated, the Senate hearings will have to find something else to complain about.

    Ok, scrap the gang rape thing, but they still have . . .

    • #14
    • September 24, 2020, at 6:04 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. cdor Member
    cdorJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Maguffin (View Comment):

    Given the state of things, the democrats will use the top picture to try to show she has a drinking problem.

    I’m far more concerned about her loafing around.

    You’re such a joker…”loafing around” ha!

    • #15
    • September 24, 2020, at 6:37 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Tim H. (View Comment):

    Trink (View Comment):

    Tim . .. . Wow! Truly. A classmate being considered for The Supreme Court. This is really something! Wow!

    I know! For years, I had wondered who out of our class would wind up being famous. With only about 400 or so members, there wasn’t a big pool, so maybe nobody. Two-three years ahead of me was Chris Cox, who went on to head up the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, but he wasn’t exactly a classmate. Then all of a sudden, this!

    You’re doing better than I did — from Grades K-12 I was two years behind David Axelrod.

    • #16
    • September 24, 2020, at 6:43 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Tim H. (View Comment):

    Trink (View Comment):

    Tim . .. . Wow! Truly. A classmate being considered for The Supreme Court. This is really something! Wow!

    I know! For years, I had wondered who out of our class would wind up being famous. With only about 400 or so members, there wasn’t a big pool, so maybe nobody. Two-three years ahead of me was Chris Cox, who went on to head up the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, but he wasn’t exactly a classmate. Then all of a sudden, this!

    You’re doing better than I did — from Grades K-12 I was two years behind David Axelrod.

    And better than me, I went to law school with John Kerry.

    • #17
    • September 24, 2020, at 8:41 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  18. Front Seat Cat Member

    What a refreshingly great story to read for a change! I hope she is nominated – I don’t wish the crap that the Democrats will sling on whoever the choice is, on anyone, but we need to stand up for everyone and everything that is under attack right now. The Republic is counting on us – thank you for sharing this!

    • #18
    • September 24, 2020, at 9:41 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    If she is the nominee, it will be interesting to see how Democrats seal with the religion issue. Feinstein got a lot of negative publicity from her comments about “dogma.” I could see an assault on her religion being a huge negative to Hispanic voters, most of whom are Catholic and many are observant, unlike Biden and Pelosi. If the Democrat staff is unable to unearth some sort of racist stuff from her past, I could see the Democrats boycotting the hearings as a tactic.

    • #19
    • September 24, 2020, at 11:50 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  20. Jon1979 Lincoln

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    If she is the nominee, it will be interesting to see how Democrats seal with the religion issue. Feinstein got a lot of negative publicity from her comments about “dogma.” I could see an assault on her religion being a huge negative to Hispanic voters, most of whom are Catholic and many are observant, unlike Biden and Pelosi. If the Democrat staff is unable to unearth some sort of racist stuff from her past, I could see the Democrats boycotting the hearings as a tactic.

    Talking to one of my friends whose wife is pretty progressive, they already are talking about her being anti-LGBTQ because of her Catholic beliefs. Whether or not they actually have anything besides claims is another question (and I’m still betting on the race card will be thrown first, if there’s nothing more than accusations).

    • #20
    • September 24, 2020, at 12:30 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. Ralphie Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Tim H.: Sen. Dianne Feinstein grilled her over her religion, proclaiming that “the dogma lives loudly within you.” At the time, I thought that was a rough Senate hearing.

    The only response I would have been able to come up with would have been “As yours does in you, Senator.”

     

    True, and I thought she would be good, but after listening to Robert Barnes I’m not so sure. He makes the argument that Amy comes in controversial, upheld Ill lockdowns, followed the modern route of going up the ladder, and would have a lower possiblity of confirmation verses the Cuban judge from Florida. He also thinks Amy could be another Roberts on the court. Barnes is a political betting man, and bets Lagoa has a much higher odds of being confirmed. She Cuban, got 8o votes last time, is a woman, and from Florida. This is a political chess move. It also helps Trump in Florida, which he needs.

    • #21
    • September 24, 2020, at 12:41 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Ralphie (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Tim H.: Sen. Dianne Feinstein grilled her over her religion, proclaiming that “the dogma lives loudly within you.” At the time, I thought that was a rough Senate hearing.

    The only response I would have been able to come up with would have been “As yours does in you, Senator.”

     

    True, and I thought she would be good, but after listening to Robert Barnes I’m not so sure. He makes the argument that Amy comes in controversial, upheld Ill lockdowns, followed the modern route of going up the ladder, and would have a lower possiblity of confirmation verses the Cuban judge from Florida. He also thinks Amy could be another Roberts on the court. Barnes is a political betting man, and bets Lagoa has a much higher odds of being confirmed. She Cuban, got 8o votes last time, is a woman, and from Florida. This is a political chess move. It also helps Trump in Florida, which he needs.

    Yeah, but the solution should be political. If Illinois keeps electing a governor and a legislature of the same party, then on their heads be it. That was Scalia’s stance on upholding the Texas sodomy law. Is the law stupid? Yes. Is the law unconstitutional? No. Don’t wield “unconstitutionality” to repair stupidity. Just change the law.

    • #22
    • September 24, 2020, at 12:48 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White MaleJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Ralphie (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Tim H.: Sen. Dianne Feinstein grilled her over her religion, proclaiming that “the dogma lives loudly within you.” At the time, I thought that was a rough Senate hearing.

    The only response I would have been able to come up with would have been “As yours does in you, Senator.”

     

    True, and I thought she would be good, but after listening to Robert Barnes I’m not so sure. He makes the argument that Amy comes in controversial, upheld Ill lockdowns, followed the modern route of going up the ladder, and would have a lower possiblity of confirmation verses the Cuban judge from Florida. He also thinks Amy could be another Roberts on the court. Barnes is a political betting man, and bets Lagoa has a much higher odds of being confirmed. She Cuban, got 8o votes last time, is a woman, and from Florida. This is a political chess move. It also helps Trump in Florida, which he needs.

    Yeah, but the solution should be political. If Illinois keeps electing a governor and a legislature of the same party, then on their heads be it. That was Scalia’s stance on upholding the Texas sodomy law. Is the law stupid? Yes. Is the law unconstitutional? No. Don’t wield “unconstitutionality” to repair stupidity. Just change the law.

    https://www.overlawyered.com/2017/02/stupid-but-constitutional/

    • #23
    • September 24, 2020, at 3:39 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. Tim H. Member
    Tim H.

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Talking to one of my friends whose wife is pretty progressive, they already are talking about her being anti-LGBTQ because of her Catholic beliefs. Whether or not they actually have anything besides claims is another question (and I’m still betting on the race card will be thrown first, if there’s nothing more than accusations).

    The new Rhodes president issued an anodyne statement on her being considered. Mostly just acknowledging she’s an alumna and that this has sparked many alumni comments, pro and con, and how wonderful that Rhodes has such eloquent alumni who can voice their opinions, etc. That milquetoast statement has drawn the ire of the radical alumni (mostly younger than us), and it’s mostly being justified through identity politics of the sexual-orientation sort.

    • #24
    • September 24, 2020, at 7:42 PM PDT
    • Like
  25. Tim H. Member
    Tim H.

    Percival (View Comment):

    Yeah, but the solution should be political. If Illinois keeps electing a governor and a legislature of the same party, then on their heads be it. That was Scalia’s stance on upholding the Texas sodomy law. Is the law stupid? Yes. Is the law unconstitutional? No. Don’t wield “unconstitutionality” to repair stupidity. Just change the law.

    I agree. I’m big on states’ rights, and the states do have the general police power; they are not governments of limited powers. They’ve wielded such powers in epidemics in the past, as precedent. I may or may not agree with these, but it’s a matter for the state to settle, not the US courts.

    • #25
    • September 24, 2020, at 7:45 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. cdor Member
    cdorJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    If she is the nominee, it will be interesting to see how Democrats seal with the religion issue. Feinstein got a lot of negative publicity from her comments about “dogma.” I could see an assault on her religion being a huge negative to Hispanic voters, most of whom are Catholic and many are observant, unlike Biden and Pelosi. If the Democrat staff is unable to unearth some sort of racist stuff from her past, I could see the Democrats boycotting the hearings as a tactic.

    Talking to one of my friends whose wife is pretty progressive, they already are talking about her being anti-LGBTQ because of her Catholic beliefs. Whether or not they actually have anything besides claims is another question (and I’m still betting on the race card will be thrown first, if there’s nothing more than accusations).

    Anti-LGBTQ? Is that really a thing? What the heck…OK, looked it up: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning. Wow, that’s got to be about 1/10th of 1 percent of the population, at least. Against Catholic beliefs? I don’t intend any insult, but that almost feels like a majority of Catholic Priests.

    • #26
    • September 25, 2020, at 9:45 AM PDT
    • Like
  27. CACrabtree Coolidge

    Here is an interesting exchange of views. The first is from a self-described “Catholic scholar” and the second is an intellectual beat-down of that same “scholar”. We can expect more of the same during the next 30 days.

    https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/09/24/supreme-courtreligious-beliefs-420863

     

    https://nypost.com/2020/09/24/politicos-pretentious-error-filled-hit-against-amy-coney-barrett/

     

    • #27
    • September 25, 2020, at 12:21 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. Dr. Strangelove Thatcher
    Dr. StrangeloveJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Tim H.: Sen. Dianne Feinstein grilled her over her religion, proclaiming that “the dogma lives loudly within you.” At the time, I thought that was a rough Senate hearing.

    The only response I would have been able to come up with would have been “As yours does in you, Senator.”

    I wish Amy had responded, “Thank you”.

    • #28
    • September 26, 2020, at 5:28 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dr. Strangelove (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Tim H.: Sen. Dianne Feinstein grilled her over her religion, proclaiming that “the dogma lives loudly within you.” At the time, I thought that was a rough Senate hearing.

    The only response I would have been able to come up with would have been “As yours does in you, Senator.”

    I wish Amy had responded, “Thank you”.

    That would have been better than mine.

    • #29
    • September 26, 2020, at 5:50 PM PDT
    • Like