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VERIFY: Who is Amy Coney Barrett? Breaking down past rulings from the expected Supreme Court nominee

The Verify team spoke with legal experts to compile a list of the most meaningful rulings and votes by Amy Coney Barrett, a front-runner for Supreme Court seat.

WASHINGTON — The Verify team spoke with two legal experts to gain insight on the most meaningful legal cases considered by Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's expected nominee as the replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

"It's possible Mr. Trump could change his mind, but at this point, Barrett is expected to be announced as the president's choice Saturday afternoon at the White House," announced CBS News Friday evening. Multiple other outlets, including The New York Times, corroborated the decision.

Specifically, the Verify team digs into her cases on gun rights and abortion.


Erwin Chemerinsky, UC Berkely Law School

Victoria Nourse, Georgetown University Law Center

Kanter Vs. Barr, 2019 - Barrett Dissent

Kristina Box, Commissioner, Indiana Department of Health, Et Al. V. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, 2019

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc Vs. Kristina Box, Commissioner, Indiana State Department of Health, et al., 2019

Gun Rights:

On social media, there is no shortage of posts about Barrett's legal history, relating to her support of the Second Amendment. 

“Amy Coney Barrett wants to give guns rights to felons,” wrote one user on Twitter. "So there's that in her favor."

The Verify team was able to identify that this claim was based on her dissent in the 2019 case, Kanter V. Barr

This legal dispute centered on a Wisconsin man named Rickey Kanter, who plead guilty to one count of Medicare fraud. As a result, he was prohibited from possessing a firearm. 

Victoria Nourse, a law professor at Georgetown Law School said Barrett wrote a strongly-worded dissent that was a "very pro-Second Amendment position." 

Barrett began her dissent with the following:

"History is consistent with common sense: It demonstrates that legislatures have the power to prohibit dangerous people from possessing guns. But that power extends only to people who are dangerous.” 

In this dissent, Barrett argued that gun rights should be expanded to felons, who were not deemed to be dangerous. 

"Absent evidence that he either belongs to a dangerous category," she wrote. "Or bears individual markers of risk, permanently disqualifying Kanter from possessing a gun violates the Second Amendment." 

To read Barrett's full dissent, click here


On the topic of abortion, Erwin Chemerinsky confirmed that Barrett has never directly ruled on an abortion case, as a judge in the 7th Circuit. However, she has cast multiple votes, signaling her opinion on the subject. 

In 2016, Indiana passed a law requiring that fetal remains be buried or cremated after an abortion. This lead to a legal dispute over the constitutionality of such a law. 

Eventually, the 7th Circuit deemed this law unconstitutional. In response, Barrett voted in favor of re-hearing the case. 

In 2019, there was another Indiana law that would require that parents be notified, when a girl under 18 sought an abortion. This would be mandatory, even if the girl asked the court to provide consent, rather than her parents. This too lead to a legal dispute

Barret once again voted to re-hear this case, which proved unsuccessful. 

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