U.S. Supreme Court

Justice Barrett has aligned most often in argued cases with these 2 SCOTUS justices

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Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the U.S. Supreme Court’s newest justice, has aligned 100% of the time in argued cases with conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil M. Gorsuch, according to an analysis by CNN reporter Joan Biskupic.

Barrett’s alignment with Thomas and Gorsuch reflects her preference for textualist interpretation, according to the CNN article.

While adopting the method favored by her mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, she “has avoided the flamethrower rhetoric that defined him and some followers on the bench today,” Biskupic wrote.

CNN pointed to one textualist case last month in which Barrett, Thomas and Gorsuch joined with the liberal justices to rule for an immigrant who claimed that the government’s notices to appear for removal proceedings didn’t follow the statutory mandate.

The CNN article pointed out, however, that Barrett has aligned with different justices in decisions responding to emergency requests without full briefing and argument. In one of those cases, Barrett agreed with concurring liberal justices that an Alabama inmate should not be executed without the presence of his pastor.

In another unargued case, Barrett wrote a one-paragraph concurrence that favored keeping in place a COVID-19 ban on singing and chanting at California churches.

Barrett, joined by Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, said the ban couldn’t stand if churches were treated differently than other institutions, but the record was unclear on the point. Their concurrence was part of a case in which the court allowed California churches to host indoor services, with some restrictions, during an appeal.

Barrett has written two opinions for the high court, according to the CNN article. In one, she sided with Georgia in a water dispute. In another, she ruled against an environmental group seeking draft rule-making documents on threats to endangered species.

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