On Monday, October 26th, 2020, the Senate confirmed Amy Coney Barrett as an Associate Justice to the Supreme Court of the United States. The narrow vote, at 52-48, came late in the evening and very close to the general election, just 9 days away from Election Day. It’s easy to feel discouraged by this decision. Many have called this “sad, surreal,” on account that ACB has proven to have many divisive positions, most notably her anti-abortion stances and her problematic rulings in sexual assault cases. The commentary on social media and the immediate reactions from many, from politicians to students is largely negative.
As a woman, as a college student, as an immigrant, as someone who depends on their parents’ healthcare, I am taken aback by this decision. It is shocking and infuriating that this would happen, so quickly and so close to Election Day. I do believe that the fact that she has never tried a case to completion, and has a noticeable lack of experience compared to past and present Justices, is outrageous. Yet, in spite of it all, I refuse to be scared. I refuse to let this rushed, dangerous appointment let me down.
We have been speaking a lot about voting lately, amidst the election. Being from North Carolina, where early voting has been happening for nearly two weeks now, I have talked to several people about involvement in and out of the polls. Now more than ever, this matters. We have to be politically active outside of simply just voting, and that is where my hope lies.
I have seen tremendous efforts globally. Even among the pandemic, I have seen my peers take to the streets and work on their campuses in the name of racial justice. I have seen social media be used in ground-breaking ways by teenagers, to advocate for others. In my own backyard, I have seen efforts from my own friend group organize for the betterment of our communities. Through my own work, I have witnessed the enormous efforts of activists and the unchanging dedication of many. There is positive work being done, work that I believe counters any endangerment to civil and human rights posed by such a move on the part of the Senate.
It is debilitatingly easy to be discouraged, but this cannot be where we end. Throughout a year that has seemed to give nothing but bad news, there is good. I believe that people are good and that our continued involvement, in and outside of the voting booths, is what drives our communities. The selfish, elitist minority aiming to direct for self-enrichment is not the rule, as I believe that most of us know we work stronger together. I believe in democracy, and I believe in our capabilities to hold each other not only accountable but motivated to that account.
So, in the wake of this appointment, I want to leave you with hope. I want to leave you with even but a glimmer of faith that people are stronger, together. Past the worry, the uncertainty and the anger that is completely understandable and shared by many, we have to stand up. I love my community, and I know that my community is bound by love. We will work to overcome this.
Cover image: The Atlantic