Rhodes College

The petition by an alumni group at Rhodes College is looking for to take away Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett from the varsity’s “Hall of Fame” on account of her vote within the Dobbs choice overturning Roe v. Wade. The petition accuses Barrett of violating the varsity’s honor code by testifying untruthfully in her affirmation listening to. In actuality, the letter engages in gross misrepresentations of her testimony within the newest assault on her character and honesty. It is a letter that ought to be condemned by individuals no matter their view of reproductive rights.  The letter additionally declares Justice Barrett to be a risk to democracy as a result of she holds opposing views on constitutional interpretation.

The petition is directed to the varsity’s president Jennifer Collins and Director of Community Standards Richard Adams. While the signatories insists that they had been “impelled” to jot down the letter, that is simply the most recent such letter concentrating on Barrett. Three alumni that listed as unique authors or sponsors: Rob Marus, ’97, Katherine Morgan Breslin, ’98, and Kimberly Pillsbury Steele, ‘98.

According to the letter, the signatories’ “firm belief in the Rhodes Honor Code we all signed impels us to make this request.” However, Rob Marus and Katherine Morgan Breslin additionally authored a letter in 2020 opposing the affirmation of Barrett as “diametrically opposed to the values of truth, loyalty, and service that we learned at Rhodes.” Rob Marus began a Facebook group opposing her appointment to the Supreme Court.

Marus seems to be the Associate Vice President for Communications at Association of American Universities (AAU) the place he handles “AAU’s writing and messaging, ensuring message consistency and clarity as well as utility in reaching AAU’s strategic communications goals.”

Marus was not writing in his capability as a VP of the AAU. However, it’s shocking to see somebody holding such a excessive place in a tutorial group on the head of this ignoble effort. The AAU is premised on ideas of educational freedom and free speech. The use of such false and deceptive assaults to sanction a graduate undermines these ideas.

These signatories search to sanction Barrett for holding opposing views on points which have divided the court docket and the authorized occupation for many years.

The newest letter repeats the false declare that Barrett misled the Senate on her views on Roe. To invoke the glory code to make such a false declare really captures the sense of impunity exhibited by many critics at present. The irony is that the alternative is true about Barrett’s solutions which had been extra substantive than her predecessors.

At the time, I wrote that Barrett was refreshingly and surprisingly trustworthy about her judicial philosophy and method to Roe. She particularly rejected the declare that Roe constitutes “super precedent.” Barrett mentioned that this time period “define[s] cases that are so well settled that no political actors and no people seriously push for their overruling. And I’m answering a lot of questions about Roe, which I think indicates that Roe doesn’t fall in that category.” (Notably, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson took the identical place towards Roe as tremendous precedent.).

Moreover a few of these identical Rhodes alumni opposed Barrett as a result of her view of Roe was clearly important. Indeed, senators lined as much as vote towards her on that very foundation.

In the letter, the alumni declare  “It was, at best, disingenuous of Justice Barrett to admit that she did not believe Roe to be a ‘super-precedent’ yet then suggest that did not mean the case ‘should’ be overruled, despite clearly adhering to a legal philosophy that would obviously lead her to rule against Roe.” That assertion completely captures the vacuous high quality of those factors. There is nothing disingenuous in saying {that a} case will not be super-precedent however nonetheless may not be overturned. The level is barely that the case is protected by the identical ideas of a stare decisis as different instances, which affords safety to precedent however doesn’t make such instances inviolate. Barrett’s assertion was refreshingly trustworthy and correct.

The alumni group additionally accuses Justice Barrett of being “one of the biggest current threats to our fundamental rights, the stability of our nation, and our democracy.” So the mere proven fact that Justice Barrett shares a view of constitutional interpretation with tens of millions of different residents (and plenty of judges and legal professionals), she is now a risk to our democracy?

The use of clearly false allegations within the identify of upholding the glory system doesn’t appear to concern these signatories. Yet, it’s Justice Barrett who’s accused of “an egregious lack of fidelity with the Rhodes Honor System.” They use the allegations to demand that “Justice Barrett be removed from the Rhodes College Hall of Fame based on the above violations of the Rhodes Honor System.”

Rhodes College ought to have fun that it performed a task within the training of a girl who has achieved such nice success within the regulation no matter disagreements along with her constitutional views or positions. We can have passionate debates on these points whereas exhibiting mutual respect and civility.

That has not been the case at Rhodes College the place Justice Barrett’s portraits have been repeatedly defaced. One had the phrases “Go F*ck Yourself” scribbled on it. Another featured Barrett because the satan, together with extra profane language.

These alumni gas such anger with these unfounded and reckless assaults. This is an argument that ought to be a clarion name for your entire Rhodes College neighborhood. This is a superb college with a wonderful tutorial status. People of good-faith ought to have the braveness to face with Justice Barrett as an alumna no matter their settlement or disagreement along with her views.

As a professor and a jurist, Barrett has written on these points for many years with complete and at occasions profound observations on tips on how to method constitutional interpretation. We can disagree on these conclusions whereas condemning those that search to slander or cancel her. It is not only that this assault unfairly characterizes Justice Barrett. It hopefully unfairly characterizes the views of the Rhodes neighborhood.



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