WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite Amy Coney Barrett’s claim at today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that she was “dubious” of a police search during a line of questioning by Senator Mike Lee, Barrett’s record actually shows a history of being very cozy with police and other law enforcement bodies. According to an analysis by government watchdog Accountable.US, Amy Coney Barrett sided with policing interests 86% of the time when law enforcement actions were at issue during her tenure on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“When a law enforcement issue is at hand, Amy Coney Barrett’s history suggests that it is overwhelmingly likely she will rule in the police’s favor,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “In a year marked by widespread police brutality and killings, the Senate is attempting to drive through a nominee who has shown herself to be no friend to those alleging harm at the hands of law enforcement. The Senate should be focused on helping American families and small businesses who need relief, not on the president’s radical judicial agenda.”
Some examples of Barrett’s history siding with law enforcement this year are:
- Shanika Day et al v. Franklin Wooten: In a ruling described as a “radical departure” from previous court decisions, Amy Coney Barrett ruled that police officers who let a Black teenager in their custody die – after he told them he couldn’t breathe – had qualified immunity from a civil suit.
- Estate of Joseph Biegert v. Thomas Molitor: Amy Coney Barrett ruled that police officers who killed a suicidal man, after being called to the scene by the man’s mother, did not commit any constitutional violations.
- King v. Hendricks County Commissioners: Barrett ruled that police were justified in killing a paranoid schizophrenic man who called them for help — despite circumstantial evidence that undermined the officers’ account of what happened.
Earlier this week, Accountable.US sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee urging members to review the detailed analysis of Barrett’s record of consistently siding with law enforcement and corporations and against immigrants, workers, and those alleging bias and urging a delay to the confirmation hearing until her full record is made public.
Read more about Barrett’s history of siding with policing interests here.