Throughout the hearing, Senate Republicans have pointed to Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s decision to join the majority opinion in Price v. City of Chicago, 915 F.3d 1107 (7th Cir. 2019), upholding the city of Chicago’s buffer zone law, as “evidence” that she would not be hostile to abortion rights on the Supreme Court. The fact is that Barrett’s record proves she is a clear threat to abortion access and reproductive rights. Senate Republicans are offering a disingenuous interpretation of the opinion Barrett signed on to. Here are the facts:
- In Price v. City of Chicago, 915 F.3d 1107 (7th Cir. 2019), Barrett joined an opinion upholding the city of Chicago buffer zone law. The panel decision reasoned that its hands were tied because the law was identical to the Colorado law upheld by the Supreme Court in Hill v. Colorado, 530 U.S. 703 (2000).
- Although that conclusion was straightforward, the decision spent 18 pages of its 24-page opinion explaining why “Hill is incompatible with current First Amendment doctrine.” In other words, Barrett and her colleagues went out of their way to explain why they thought a Supreme Court decision was wrong.
- As a Supreme Court justice, Barrett would not be constrained in the same way she was in Price. If confirmed, she would be in a position to overrule Hill and could strike down buffer zone laws across the country that are needed to protect patients seeking reproductive health care.
There is nothing in Barrett’s record that proves she will be an objective jurist on abortion access. In fact, her record shows the exact opposite.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.