Tobacco Causes One in Five Deaths from Heart Disease

The World Health Organization reports tobacco kills 1.9 million people, or 20 percent of all those who die every year from coronary heart disease. In advance of World Heart Day (September 29), WHO, the World Heart Federation and the University of Newcastle Australia have released a new report warning of the dangers of tobacco-induced heart disease.Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death on Earth, killing an estimated 17.9 million people every year. The World Health Organization reports smoking and second-hand smoke are responsible for nearly two million of these deaths.Director for Health Promotion at WHO, Ruediger Krech said smokers should take heart. All is not lost. He told VOA even life-long smokers who quit their deadly habit can prevent dying prematurely from heart attack or stroke.“That’s the good news. If tobacco users take immediate action now and quit, then their risk of heart disease will decrease by 50 percent after one year of not smoking. So, you can, if you quit smoking now, you can have immediate health effects on that,” he said.Besides tobacco use, major risk factors for heart disease include lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity and being overweight.WHO also warns high blood pressure and heart disease increase the risk of severe COVID-19. Krech said people are beginning to understand that smoking during a raging pandemic is not a good idea.“There are about 400 million people who want to quit smoking because of COVID-19. They now realize that a pandemic like this which is in the respiratory tract actually—you are more vulnerable, and you will actually develop more severe symptoms,” he said.While it is not easy to quit smoking, tools such as nicotine patches are available to help. WHO warns against using smokeless tobacco, which every year, it says, causes around 200,000 deaths from coronary heart disease. It adds e-cigarettes also raise blood pressure, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as COVID-19.Krech said governments can help people quit by creating communal smoke-free zones, banning tobacco advertising and raising taxes on these deadly commodities. 

your ad here

read more

Barrett is a Committed Conservative Jurist, But How Will She Rule on Hot-Button Issues?

By nominating Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Saturday to replace the late liberal U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Donald Trump unquestionably has chosen a committed conservative jurist.In announcing his choice in the White House Rose Garden, Trump described Barrett as “one of our nation’s most brilliant and gifted legal minds,” a woman with sterling credentials and “unyielding loyalty to the Constitution.”A one-time protégé of Antonin Scalia, the late conservative icon on the high court who opposed abortion and gay marriage, Barrett, more than Trump’s two earlier Supreme Court appointments — Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — is expected to push the bench much further to the right by creating a new 6-3 conservative-liberal split.That much most legal and political expert agree on.What no one can predict with any certainty is how she’ll vote on hot-button social and economic issues that are likely to come up before the court and determine the rights and freedoms of millions of Americans – including the fate of the Affordable Care Act that currently insures more than 20 million people amid the worst pandemic in over a century.During her confirmation hearing for a seat on a federal appeals court in 2017, Barrett faced two broad questions — whether she can separate her Catholic faith from her decision-making on the court, and whether she will she accept court precedent on abortion, LGBTQ rights and other issues that might be at odds with her understanding of the Constitution.Those questions will likely dominate her confirmation hearing, which reportedly could begin as soon as October 12, and shed light on how she might come down on key issues before the high court.Catholic faith versus jurisprudenceBarrett, 48, is a devout Catholic and the mother of seven children. Her Catholic faith came up during her 2017 confirmation hearing for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Democrats suggested that her religious beliefs on abortion and same-sex marriage would influence how she votes on those issues on the court.She sought to reassure the lawmakers that she would not allow her faith to affect her vote on the federal bench. “It’s never appropriate for a judge to impose that judge’s personal convictions, whether they derive from faith or anywhere else, on the law,” she said.She also said that she would follow all Supreme Court precedents “without fail” and would regard decisions such as Roe v Wade, the landmark ruling that legalized abortions, as binding precedent.Democrats were not persuaded.“I can’t tell you how many nominees have been before this panel . . . and virtually all say the same,” Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island said. “‘I’m following the precedent, I’m following the law, I’m following the Constitution. Don’t worry a thing about who I am. How I was raised. What my religion is. What my life experience has been. Put it all aside.’ I don’t believe that for a second.”Today many critics, including Senate Democratic leaders, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and liberal advocacy groups, harbor similar doubts about her professed impartiality.“I think her viewpoint would ensure that people who share her ideas about religion would be dominant,” said Caroline Fredrickson, a former president of the left-leaning American Constitution Center who now teaches law at Georgetown University.Her defenders say Barrett is committed to keeping her religious beliefs and jurisprudence separate.“There’s no doubt that Judge Barrett is conservative,” said Andrew Hessick, a University of North Carolina professor who endorsed Barrett’s appellate nomination in 2017. “I think it’s important to separate out the claim that she’s conservative and that she is looking to impose her religious views on the world.”Where she stands on precedentPrecedent, or deference to past court decisions, is a bedrock principle of American jurisprudence. Lower courts are bound by precedents set by the Supreme Court and the high court often upholds its own precedent.However, the Supreme Court sometimes reverses past decisions, and in her scholarly writings and speeches over the years, Barrett has stressed that stare decisis — the legal principle of following precedent — is not an absolute principle.“There is a time when cases should be overruled and errors corrected,” she said on a panel at the Federalist Society, a highly influential organization of conservatives and libertarians that advises the Trump White House on judicial nominations.In a 2013 law journal article, Barret singled out the type of precedents that could potentially be overturned, drawing a distinction between Supreme Court decisions that serve as simple precedent and so-called “super-precedents” – cases that “no justice would overrule.”Among super precedents, she cited Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling that ended racial segregation in public schools, but not Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion. In 2017, she declined to say whether the 2015 Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage qualified as a “super-precedent.”That worries LGBTQ rights advocates.“She is on record as saying that marriage should be between a man and a woman which indicates to us that she is hostile to the Obergefell ruling and could potentially seek to undermine or overturn it,” said Kevin Jennings, president of Lambda Legal, the largest LBGTQ rights legal advocacy organization in the country. He was referring to the 2015 Obergefell v Hodges court ruling recognizing same-sex marriage as a constitutional right.Hessick said Barrett’s stance on precedent is “a little bit more aggressive” than other jurists’.“She’s written multiple articles saying that there are good reasons to allow litigants to challenge precedent and for courts to reconsider precedent, that It’s important to get it right,” Hessick said.On the other hand, just because a decision is not considered a super-precedent, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be overturned, Hessick added. “It just means that there’s less restriction on overturning it, that judges should be more willing to re-examine it.”However, while Roe v. Wade is unlikely to be overturned anytime soon despite a fervent campaign by religious groups, Obergefell may be more at risk.“It’s a very important decision, but it’s a recent decision,” Hessick said. “And I think that that probably opens the door for some people to think that it’s more amenable to a challenge than some of the precedents that have been around for a really long time.”Another major issue whose outcome Barrett could influence is the Affordable Care Act. On November 10 — a week after the presidential election — the court is set to hear oral arguments in the latest case challenging the program.As a professor at Notre Dame in 2012, Barrett signed a protest statement denouncing Obamacare, saying a religious exemption from the law’s contraceptive coverage mandate “changes nothing of moral substance and fails to remove the assault on religious liberty.”Later, Barret criticized a high court decision upholding the law, taking Chief Justice John Roberts to task for construing as a tax Obamacare’s penalty on individuals lacking health insurance coverage.Ultimately, court watchers say there is no way to know with certainty how she’ll vote on hot-button issues. Justices evolve over time and sometimes break ranks with their ideological cohorts.Going back to the 1950s, a number of Republican justices have gone on to embrace liberal positions much to the chagrin of many on the right.“I don’t know if anyone could have predicted the way Chief Justice Roberts has been voting or the way Justice [Anthony] Kennedy voted in his later years or go back to Chief Justice [Earl] Warren, who Eisenhower apparently said was his worst decision as president,” said Saikrishna Prakash, a University of Virginia law professor who endorsed Barrett three years ago.During her three years on the federal bench, Barrett, according to her defenders, has demonstrated her independence as a jurist. While she has ruled in favor of the Trump administration in two immigration cases and backed restrictions on abortion in two other cases, Barrett has also rejected a police officer’s claim of immunity and a Republican Party challenge to the Illinois governor’s coronavirus pandemic economic and social limits. 

your ad here

read more

Trump, Biden Prepare for Contested Election Over Mail-in Voting

President Donald Trump’s continued attacks on the legitimacy of voting by mail and refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power has raised concerns that a bitterly contested presidential election in November could provoke a constitutional crisis.Experts predict nearly 80 million people will vote by mail this year, and recent polling indicates that nearly twice as many Democrats as Republicans will send in absentee ballots.Trump, who is trailing in national presidential polls, has repeatedly – and without evidence – denounced mail-in voting as fraudulent and a scam. Many states have expanded absentee voting during the coronavirus pandemic to reduce the potential for spreading the highly contagious and deadly disease.In particular, the president has been critical of states that proactively sent mail-in ballots to all registered voters, even those that did not request one.Twice last week, Trump refused to commit to the peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election, citing concerns over the legitimacy of mail-in ballots.”We are going to have to see what happens. You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster,” said Trump during a news conference on Thursday.Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said he was not surprised by Trump’s equivocation on ensuring a peaceful democratic transition. “Look, he says the most irrational things,” Biden told reporters Wednesday evening. “I don’t know what to say about it. But it doesn’t surprise me.”U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other top Republicans on Thursday reiterated their support for the democratic principle of peaceful transition, without directly criticizing the president.Rejection rateAnalysts note that while there is no evidence of widespread vote-by-mail fraud as the president has alleged, mail-in ballots do have a higher rejection rate, mostly because voters fail to fill them out properly.Also there have been cases of ballots getting lost in the mail, and as happened during this year’s primary elections in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, some states experienced long delays in counting the surge of mail-in ballots.“The more you encourage people to vote by mail, the larger the number of people who will be disenfranchised and their votes aren’t going to count,” said Hans von Spakovsky, a former Federal Election Commissioner, now with the Republican leaning Heritage Foundation.Von Spakovsky also raises security concerns over mail-in ballots, that they could be intercepted and altered, or that polling staff may not properly check that ballot signatures match the registration signatures on file.Supreme CourtTrump predicts there could be legal challenges to the ballot count that would ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court. This is one reason he has cited for his intention to nominate a replacement for recently deceased liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election.In the closely contested 2000 presidential election, the Supreme Court ruled on a vote recount dispute in Florida that essentially provided Republican George W. Bush a victory over former Democratic Vice President Al Gore by one electoral vote.Gore then conceded, saying it was for the good of the country, despite winning the overall popular vote.The Supreme Court’s role this year in all of this – if any – remains to be seen.“Hopefully we won’t be in a situation in which we’re asking justices to rule on a case that will decide the outcome of the election. I think that would be very problematic for democracy,” said Sam Berger, a Democratic political analyst at the Center for American Progress.Red MirageOne contested election scenario called the Red Mirage or Blue Shift could sow doubt over the legitimacy of the election and lead to legal challenges to mail-in voting.A Democratic polling firm called Hawkfish projected that because the mostly Democratic mail-in ballots could take days longer to tabulate than in-person voting, Trump may take the lead on election night, but eventually lose to Biden as absentee ballots are counted.Democrats reportedly fear Trump would claim victory early and refuse to later concede by challenging the legality of mail-in ballots.Also, according to a report last week in The Atlantic, the Trump campaign, citing possible vote-by-mail fraud, is considering asking Republican-controlled state legislators, “to set aside the popular vote and exercise their power to choose a slate of electors directly.”In the complicated U.S. Electoral College system that gives added weight and influence to smaller, rural states, the popular vote in each state is used to select a slate of electors who pledge to cast their ballots for the winning candidate.Democrats would almost certainly challenge in court any Republican attempts to override the popular vote in Biden’s favor by installing electors pledged to vote for Trump.Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center For Justice at New York University Law School, says there is long established legal precedent, “that made it clear that when it comes to the electoral votes, it’s the voters’ will, not the legislators’ or the tweets of any candidate that decide.”A protracted legal battle over a contested election, analysts fear, could undermine public confidence in the American democratic system and provoke political violence from both right-wing militias and radical leftists. 

your ad here

read more

Tiny Airborne Particles May Pose a Big Coronavirus Problem

At a University of Maryland lab, people infected with the new coronavirus take turns sitting in a chair and putting their faces into the big end of a large cone. They recite the alphabet and sing or just sit quietly for a half hour. Sometimes they cough.The cone sucks up everything that comes out of their mouths and noses. It’s part of a device called “Gesundheit II” that is helping scientists study a big question: Just how does the virus that causes COVID-19 spread from one person to another?It clearly hitchhikes on small liquid particles sprayed out by an infected person. People expel particles while coughing, sneezing, singing, shouting, talking and even breathing. But the drops come in a wide range of sizes, and scientists are trying to pin down how risky the various kinds are.The answer affects what we should all be doing to avoid getting sick. That’s why headlines were made a few days ago when a U.S. health agency appeared to have shifted its position on the issue, but later said it had published new language in error.The recommendation to stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) apart — some authorities cite about half that distance — is based on the idea that larger particles fall to the ground before they can travel very far. They are like the droplets in a spritz of a window cleaner, and they can infect a person by landing on his nose, mouth or eyes, or maybe if they are inhaled.Smaller particlesBut some scientists are now focusing on tinier particles, the ones that spread more like cigarette smoke. Those are carried by wisps of air and even upward drafts caused by the warmth of our bodies. They can linger in the air for minutes to hours, spreading throughout a room and building up if ventilation is poor.The potential risk comes from inhaling them. Measles can spread this way, but the new coronavirus is far less contagious than that.For these particles, called aerosols, “6 feet is not a magic distance,” said Linsey Marr, a leading researcher who is studying them at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. But she says it’s still important to keep one’s distance from others, “the farther the better,” because aerosols are most concentrated near a source and pose a bigger risk at close range.Public health agencies have generally focused on the larger particles for coronavirus.That prompted more than 200 other scientists to publish a plea in July to pay attention to the potential risk from aerosols. The World Health Organization, which had long dismissed a danger from aerosols except in the case of certain medical procedures, later said that aerosol transmission of the coronavirus can’t be ruled out in cases of infection within crowded and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.FILE – A view of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta.The issue drew attention recently when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted and then deleted statements on its website that highlighted the idea of aerosol spread. The agency said the posting was an error, and that the statements were just a draft of proposed changes to its recommendations.Dr. Jay Butler, CDC’s deputy director for infectious disease, told The Associated Press that the agency continues to believe larger and heavier droplets that come from coughing or sneezing are the primary means of transmission.Last month, Butler told a scientific meeting that current research suggests aerosol spreading of the coronavirus is possible, but it doesn’t seem to be the main way that people get infected. Further research may change that conclusion, he added, and he urged scientists to study how often aerosol spread of the coronavirus occurs, what situations make it more likely and what reasonable steps might prevent it.Marr said she thinks infection by aerosols is “happening a lot more than people initially were willing to think.”‘Superspreader’ eventsAs a key piece of evidence, Marr and others point to so-called “superspreader” events where one infected person evidently passed the virus to many others in a single setting.Butler said such events raise concern about aerosol spread but don’t prove it happens.There could be another way for tiny particles to spread. They may not necessarily come directly from somebody’s mouth or nose, said William Ristenpart of the University of California-Davis. His research found that if paper tissues are seeded with influenza virus and then crumpled, they give off particles that bear the virus. So people emptying a wastebasket with tissues discarded by somebody with COVID-19 should be sure to wear a mask, he said.Scientists who warn about aerosols say current recommendations still make sense.FILE – Public information messages are posted in Manchester, England, after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued new restrictions to slow the renewed spread of the coronavirus, Sept 22, 2020.Wearing a mask is still important, and make sure it fits snugly. Keep washing those hands diligently. And again, staying farther apart is better than being closer together. Avoid crowds, especially indoors.Their main addition to recommendations is ventilation to avoid a buildup of aerosol concentration. So, the researchers say, stay out of poorly ventilated rooms. Open windows and doors. One can also use air-purifying devices or virus-inactivating ultraviolet light.Best of all: Just do as much as you can outdoors, where dilution and the sun’s ultraviolet light work in your favor.”We know outdoors is the most spectacularly effective measure, by far,” said Jose-Luis Jimenez of the University of Colorado-Boulder. “Outdoors it is not impossible to get infected, but it is difficult.”FILE – In this July 15, 2020, photo, job seekers exercise social distancing as they wait to be called into the Heartland Workforce Solutions office in Omaha, Neb.The various precautions should be used in combination rather than just one at a time, researchers say. In a well-ventilated environment, “6 feet [of separation] is pretty good if everybody’s got a mask on” and nobody stays directly downwind of an infected person for very long, said Dr. Donald Milton of the University of Maryland School of Public Health, whose lab houses the Gesundheit II machine.Duration of exposure is important, so there’s probably not much risk from a short elevator ride while masked or being passed by a jogger on the sidewalk, experts say.Scientists have published online tools for calculating risk of airborne spread in various settings.At a recent meeting on aerosols, however, Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, noted that preventive steps can be a challenge in the real world. Keeping apart from other people can be difficult in homes that house multiple generations. Some old buildings have windows that were “nailed shut years ago,” he said. And “we have far too many communities where they simply don’t have access to clean water to wash their hands.”It might seem strange that for all the scientific frenzy to study the new coronavirus, the details of how it spreads can still be in doubt nine months later. But history suggests patience.”We’ve been studying influenza for 102 years,” said Milton, referring to the 1918 flu epidemic. “We still don’t know how it’s transmitted and what the role of aerosols is.”

your ad here

read more

Trump Nominates Barrett for Supreme Court Post

U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday nominated Amy Coney Barrett to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, giving him an opportunity to make the court more conservative, 38 days before the November 3 presidential election.”Today, it is my honor to nominate one of our nation’s most brilliant and gifted legal minds to the Supreme Court … Judge Amy Coney Barrett,” Trump said to a gathering in the White House Rose Garden. “I looked and I studied, and you are very eminently qualified.”“Amy Coney Barrett will decide cases based on the text of the Constitution as written. As Amy has said, ‘Being a judge takes courage. You are not there to decide cases as you may prefer. You are there to do your duty and to follow the law wherever it may take you.’ That is exactly what Judge Barrett will do on the U.S. Supreme Court,” he said.Trump said he believed it “should be a straightforward and prompt confirmation,” and urged lawmakers and media to refrain from personal and partisan attacks on Barrett.Trump had promised to nominate a woman to succeed Ginsburg, who died last week at age 87.The president also noted that should Barrett, the mother of seven, be confirmed, she would be the first mother of school-age children to serve on the nation’s highest court. At age 48, she would also be the youngest judge on the nine-member Supreme Court.FILE – Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks at the memorial service for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, March 1, 2016, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington.Ginsburg, ScaliaIn brief remarks, Barrett praised Ginsburg’s life of service, to women and the court.“Should I be confirmed, I will be mindful of who came before me. The flag of the United States is still flying at half-staff in memory of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to mark the end of a great American life. Justice Ginsburg began her career at a time when women were not welcome in the legal profession, but she not only broke glass ceilings, she smashed them,” Barrett said.Barrett, who was a clerk for the late Justice Antonin Scalia more than 20 years ago, said, “The lessons I learned still resonate. His judicial philosophy is mine, too — a judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policymakers, and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they might hold.”Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a statement Saturday that said, “President Trump could not have made a better decision. Judge Amy Coney Barrett is an exceptionally impressive jurist and an exceedingly well-qualified nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States.”Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, in a statement issued Saturday, said, “Millions of Americans are already voting … because their health care hangs in the balance.”“President Trump has been trying to throw out the Affordable Care Act for four years. Republicans have been trying to end it for a decade. Twice, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law as constitutional,” Biden’s statement said. He added that Barrett “has a written track record of disagreeing with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act.”House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi echoed Biden in her statement, saying, “If this nominee is confirmed, millions of families’ health care will be ripped away in the middle of a pandemic that has infected 7 million Americans and killed over 200,000 people in our country.”House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted Saturday, “President Trump just knocked it out of the park with his Supreme Court nominee. There is no question that Amy Coney Barrett is the best-qualified person to uphold the Constitution.”President Donald Trump walks along the Colonnade with Judge Amy Coney Barrett to a news conference to announce her as his nominee to the Supreme Court, at the White House, Sept. 26, 2020.Confirmation hearingsThe Senate Judiciary Committee will begin holding confirmation hearings for Barrett the week of October 12, several media reports suggested. VOA could not confirm the media reports.Barrett will begin meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hearings, if they follow recent confirmation proceedings, would last about four days.Later, when asked if he thought Barrett would be confirmed before Election Day, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said, “I’m not confident.” He then clarified, “That would be a discussion for the senators. I would believe that they’re going to try to move through the process and review her credentials in an expeditious manner. And if they do that, based on the resume that I’ve seen, hopefully she would get confirmed before the first of November.”The president’s decision to make an appointment ahead of his heated reelection contest with Biden instantly sparked a fierce political battle in Washington, with Senate Republican leaders arguing the confirmation process should proceed as quickly as possible and Democrats contending the nomination should be delayed until the winner of November’s presidential election is known.At stake is the political leaning of the Supreme Court, to which justices are appointed for life. The court had a 5-4 conservative majority before Ginsburg’s death. If a conservative justice is confirmed to replace Ginsburg, the conservative majority could shift to 6-3.Whoever fills Ginsburg’s vacant seat will play a role in making key Supreme Court decisions in the coming years on a range of important issues, likely including abortion rights, health care, gun laws, religious liberty, immigration and freedom of speech.Judge Amy Coney Barrett reacts as President Donald Trump announces her as his nominee to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat, at the White House in Washington, Sept. 26, 2020.Support for BarrettBarrett has drawn wide support from the conservative legal establishment in the United States.She is a 48-year-old devout Catholic who is very popular among conservative evangelical Christians, arguably Trump’s most loyal supporters.Barrett taught law at the University of Notre Dame, one of the most prominent U.S. Catholic universities, for 15 years before Trump named her in 2017 to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, which covers the states of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.Religious conservatives hope Barrett would vote to overturn the landmark 1973 decision legalizing abortion rights in the United States. While Barrett has in the past expressed criticism of the ruling, she also said during her 2017 confirmation hearing to the appeals court that she would view previous Supreme Court rulings as binding precedent.Democrats opposed her confirmation in 2017, voicing concerns about the role she places on religion in her life. They cited comments Barrett made at Notre Dame, in which she said a “legal career is but a means to an end … and that end is building the kingdom of God.”Vice President Mike Pence told ABC News this week that Barrett faced “intolerance” about her faith in her last confirmation hearing.Trump’s Supreme Court nominee was his third, following Senate approval of two other conservative justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, both of which came after contentious confirmation hearings.VOA’s Steve Herman contributed to this report from the White House.

your ad here

read more

Consistent Conservative, Devout Catholic Could Serve on Court for Decades

Amy Coney Barrett is a 48-year-old devout Catholic and an apparent abortion-rights opponent who is popular among conservative evangelical Christians, arguably President Donald Trump’s most loyal supporters.Barrett has authored more than 100 opinions since her 2017 confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, which covers the states of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.Her opinions have consistently reflected her conservative values.She was a front-runner for Trump’s third nomination to the Supreme Court, to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died September 18. He nominated Neil Gorsuch in 2017 to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016. After the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy in 2018, Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to fill the seat.Barrett, a New Orleans native, earned a degree in English literature from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, and then entered Notre Dame Law School in Indiana in the fall of 1994.She began teaching at the law school in 2002 at age 30 and served as a judge for the first time when confirmed for the 7th Circuit.Seen as Scalia successorReligious conservatives and others salute Barrett as an ideological successor to the late conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, for whom she worked as a clerk. She is the ideological opposite of Ginsburg.Scalia was a leading advocate of originalism, in which justices attempt to interpret constitutional laws by what they meant at the time they were written. Barrett has for years expressed sympathy for originalism, which many liberals oppose on the grounds the approach is too rigid and does not allow the Constitution to evolve in contemporary times.As a law professor, Barrett expressed some criticism of the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, which protects a pregnant woman’s right to have an abortion.Barrett has been a member at times of the conservative Federalist Society. She has long been associated with People of Praise, a small spiritual Christian community in Indiana, although her current status with the group is not publicly known.If confirmed by the Senate, Barrett would become the youngest justice on the nation’s highest court, a position she could maintain for decades.

your ad here

read more